Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN, January 26, 2014 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Over the Limit
A Lubbock District captain and a Garza/Lynn County game warden were about to call off their patrol efforts for the day because of heavy rains, when they saw the headlights of an all-terrain vehicle going in to a ranch near Lake Alan Henry. The wardens gave the ATV a head start, then entered the ranch and tracked the vehicle’s muddy prints. With windows down, the wardens soon heard the squawk of an injured rabbit, scanned the area, and saw two men hunting coyotes and hogs over two white-tailed deer carcasses. One of the wardens checked the men’s licenses and asked when the two bucks, both with sawed-off skullcaps, had been killed. The man soon confessed to killing one of the bucks the day before, his second of the season in Garza County, a one-buck county. The wardens were led back to a nearby house, where multiple citations were issued and the illegal buck and skullcap were seized. Criminal charges and civil restitution are pending.
Joyride Leads to Trouble
A Titus County game warden received a call about riders of seven ATVs that were tearing up the road, throwing beer cans everywhere, and trespassing. The warden located the ATVs in a camp close to the area. Ten adults were found on the scene, two of whom were under 21. Citations were issued for minor in possession of alcohol, evading arrest, and operating an ATV on a public roadway. An investigation is pending on criminal trespass and burglary of a deer camp in the same area.
Two Youths Earn Once-in-a-Lifetime Hunt
A Dallas county game warden organized a once-in-a-lifetime red deer hunt on a local ranch for two youths. Working with the landowner, the TPWD Hunter Education office, and the Dallas Safari Club’s Ecological/Education Foundation, the group developed criteria for this opportunity by developing prerequisites that not only educated each hunter, but showed the importance of hunting and conservation. To qualify for selection, each hunter was required to be currently enrolled in his/her high school’s outdoor education program, complete a hunter education course, show firearm proficiency, and write a one-page essay on wildlife conservation. Both hunters were chosen from a competitive group and were accompanied by their fathers. Both were successful in taking two mature red deer stags, and one feral hog.
Tossing up a White Flag
A McCulloch County game warden was staking out Brady Lake when he saw an SUV stop nearby. After several minutes, the passenger tossed an empty bottle out of the window. After contacting the vehicle occupants, the warden discovered the driver and passenger had active arrest warrants for theft by check in McCulloch, Mason, Llano, and Burnet counties. Both individuals were booked into McCulloch County Jail.
Tag, You’re It
While checking a father and his two daughters, who were hunting in Harris County, a warden found both daughters had multiple tags missing from their licenses. The girls said they had never harvested a deer before and that this was their first time hunting this year. The father said he knew nothing about the missing tags on their licenses because both girls live with their stepfather and mother. After a lengthy interview with the stepfather, citations were issued for hunting under the license of another and over the bag limit of white-tailed deer. Cases pending.
Swimming to Safety
While checking a fisherman in a kayak in a fairly remote location, a Comal County game warden noticed something in the water swimming towards his patrol boat. After closer inspection, the warden saw that it was a dog. He grabbed the pup and brought it aboard. The warden saw that the dog had no collar, was in need of a meal and since the water was about 53 degrees, he offered the pup a ride back to the shore. The dog was turned over to the New Braunfels Humane Society.
Wrong Time, Wrong Place
A Starr County game warden was informed about an ATV theft that had occurred. When the warden arrived on scene, a description of the missing ATV was obtained, but was not found. The next day while returning from a routine patrol, the warden noticed an ATV that matched the description of the one reported stolen the previous night. Contact was made and the ATV was identified as the one that was stolen. The operator was placed under arrest and the ATV was recovered.
South Texas Peyote Bust
Two Starr County game wardens were notified about hunters trespassing on a ranch. When the subjects returned to their vehicle, the wardens, who were waiting on scene, discovered that they were harvesting peyote on the property. The subjects were found in possession of 32 pounds of peyote and admitted that they were harvesting the plant and were intending to deliver it. The two subjects were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a first-degree felony.