Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN, April 7, 2015 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
No Parking on the Grass
A Dallas County game warden patrolling Lake Ray Hubbard near Barnes Bridge Park noticed the vehicle barrier that prevents access to the shoreline was pushed down and a vehicle was parked nearby. The warden saw a man and a woman who appeared to be sleeping inside the vehicle. The warden knocked on the window, identified himself and told them they had to move. The passenger opened her window and the warden could smell marijuana coming from inside. Asked if they had any illegal drugs, the passenger handed the warden a container of marijuana. The warden instructed the couple to stay put while he returned to his patrol truck to run a check on their IDs. On his way, the warden came across three individuals walking up from the shoreline and again smelled marijuana. The warden conducted a search that produced a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Can’t Outrun the Long Arm of the Law
Two Zapata County game wardens received a call from a Zapata Sheriff’s Deputy for assistance with a pursuit of two suspicious vehicles. The deputy initiated a traffic stop on one of the vehicles while the wardens attempted to stop the other. The vehicle pursued by the wardens fled from the officers, and during a chase that lasted several miles, crashed through a fence and fled onto a ranch. The wardens pursued the vehicle through the property and were joined by sheriff’s deputies. The wardens and deputies lost the truck, which was eventually located, but abandoned, having sustained severe damage from busting through four fences. Border Patrol later located 11 undocumented aliens that had fled the scene.
A Big Stash of Pot
A Starr County game warden patrolling for wildlife enforcement heard a Department of Public Safety call on the radio that Border Patrol had intel on marijuana bundles crossing the river close to his location. The warden and DPS assisted Border Patrol in apprehending two individuals at a stash house, along with multiple bundles of marijuana. More than 2,900 pounds of marijuana were seized and the individuals were turned over to Border Patrol.
Poaching Yes, Trespassing No Way
A Comal County game warden received a call from a homeowner at Canyon Lake claiming he found a deer carcass that appeared to have been shot in his yard. Upon investigation, the warden concluded the deer had been shot and observed as well as a significant blood trail. The warden followed the blood trail back through three residential lots to an adjoining home, where he noticed someone had been baiting deer with corn. Two occupants of the house denied any knowledge of anyone shooting a deer. The warden then called for assistance in gathering evidence and additional statements. During the investigation, both men were steadfast in denying any involvement until it became apparent the evidence pointed to the contrary. One of the men finally confessed, telling the wardens, "I can’t lie to you guys anymore!" He then recounted the story of how he had shot the deer with a crossbow, and the reason he didn’t retrieve the deer was because he did not want to trespass on someone else’s property.
I’d Like to Formally Introduce Myself
Three Webb County game wardens, two LaSalle County game wardens and one state park police officer executed a search warrant at the residence of an alleged poacher. The officers arrived at the suspect’s residence with eight additional warrants for his arrest. As officers entered the home, the suspect attempted to escape by crawling out a bedroom window and into the backyard. Unfortunately for him, one warden was outside the suspect’s window, waiting for just such an occasion and formally introduced himself. The suspect was taken into custody and wardens seized evidence from the residence.
“This One Will Probably Get Me Some Prison Time.”
While patrolling Lake Brownwood, three game wardens filed on a subject for boating while intoxicated for the third time. The individual gave consent for a blood draw and said he already had a court date set for a prior DWI. “This one will probably get me some prison time,” the individual said.
A Shelby County game warden assisted with a search for a local woman whose vehicle got stuck in a small creek. The woman could not identify her location. State troopers, county sheriff’s constables and deputies began a search for the missing woman at 5 a.m., though she had been missing since the night before. Just before noon, the warden found the vehicle on private property in a small creek. The woman was able to keep her car running to keep her warm during the icy cold conditions. She was taken by emergency medical services to a local hospital and released that afternoon.
Caught on Facebook
A Tyler County game warden received information that an individual shot a deer from a major highway in Tyler County. While viewing the alleged poacher’s Facebook page, the warden saw an image of a whitetail buck with no tag displayed in one of the individual’s photos. The warden went to interview a potential witness in the Angelina County jail. While there, the warden noticed the alleged road hunter was also being booked in jail. After interviewing the witness and suspect, the warden obtained a confession. In addition to killing the deer depicted on his Facebook profile, the man also had no hunting license at the time of the crime.