Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN, March 17, 2015 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Up to No(se) Good
A Travis County game warden and K-9 partner, Ruger, were requested by the Jonestown Police Department and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office for a canine sniff search of a vehicle. The vehicle had been stopped for a traffic violation and was deemed stolen. Ruger alerted and indicated to the presence of controlled substances. While searching the vehicle, officers found about 1 gram of methamphetamines, a glass meth pipe, a scale with residue, potential stolen phones and SIM cards, birth certificates and documents with other individuals’ social security numbers. Charges were filed for possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substance and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Further investigation of the potential stolen phones, SIM cards and sensitive documents is ongoing. Cases pending.
The Delta County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance their game warden after burglary suspects fled from a deputy. The deputy was unable to continue pursuit of the suspects due to the condition of the road, but the warden was able to locate the suspects’ vehicle, which had become stuck in the mud. With the assistance of a Department of Public Safety helicopter and a Texas Department of Corrections K-9 team, the subjects were found clinging to the inside of an abandoned well. The well was covered by a cedar tree and appeared to be about 20 feet deep. A large amount of methamphetamines was also located a few yards from the vehicle.
Poachers See, Poachers Do
A Harris County game warden responded to an Operation Game Thief tip about a man seen walking around with a rifle in the Addicks Reservoir. When the warden arrived, he spotted a vehicle and tracked footprints that led well inside the reservoir. After waiting in the brush alongside a nearby path, the warden heard a shot fired in the distance. Nearly 40 minutes later, the subject came down the path and was subsequently apprehended. After the warden spent some time questioning and investigating, two of the man’s friends also poaching in the reservoir, turned themselves in without incident. Cases pending.
Five of a Kind
While a Starr County game warden was on patrol, he came across an open gate leading to a ranch and decided to investigate. Upon entering the ranch, the warden spotted two vehicles and five people dressed in camouflage, standing around a hunting blind. At first the individuals said they were working on the ranch, but, after some questioning, admitted they were hunting. The warden followed the hunters down to where one of the hunters had shot an eight-point buck and helped the hunter load the deer. After further inspection, however, it was found that the hunter had marked the deer with a tag that expired in 2012 and also did not have a valid hunting license. The buck was seized and the meat was donated to a local family. Cases and civil restitution pending.
A Webb County game warden received a call from a landowner who believed someone poached a deer on his ranch. The warden arrived at the ranch and began to investigate the area. There, he found evidence of a deer being shot, a fence being cut and a deer dragged under the fence. The warden then went to the adjacent property to see if anyone was at the deer camp and to begin looking for evidence. There was no contact made at the camp, but the warden saw evidence of a deer that was recently processed at the cleaning station. The material used to repair the cut fence was also at the camp. After investigating further and talking to landowners plus the hunters leasing the property, one of the men said he had shot the deer on the neighboring property and cut the fence to retrieve the dead deer. Multiple cases pending.
A Perfect Match
One evening, a La Salle County game warden set up on a back road near Los Angeles, Texas, where poaching activity was known to take place. Around 8:30 p.m. a slow moving truck made its way past the warden while shining a bright light. After following the vehicle for a short distance, the warden initiated a traffic stop. The two people in the car had a loaded rifle lying across their laps. A set of fresh deer antlers was also discovered in the bed of the truck. The two occupants were taken to jail for several Class A violations. A few days later, a deer carcass was discovered on a nearby ranch. The deer antlers from the truck bed matched perfectly. It was also discovered that one subject was a convicted felon. Felony charges are pending.
Three Strikes, You’re Out
When a frustrated rancher in La Salle County discovered his neighbor trespassing on his ranch, for the third time, he decided he needed to call the local game warden. Unlike the previous two times he had trespassed, this time the neighbor notified the rancher of his intent to enter the property. The neighbor said that he had crossed the fence the previous evening while hog hunting and shot a hog. The hog was too heavy to drag back, so it was left behind. The neighbor thought he could make it right if he called and told the rancher about what he had done. Charges pending.
Two Calhoun County game wardens spotted a skiff oystering in closed waters. As the wardens moved in, one of the occupants threw the oyster dredge overboard, along with himself. When the warden was able to get the man back in the boat, both subjects were arrested. Multiple charges pending.