Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN, June 26, 2015 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Bird on a Wire
A Shelby County game warden received a call about a red-tailed hawk being shot off a power line. When he arrived he found the hawk, and interviewed the witness. The witness said that he saw a vehicle come to a stop, heard a shot, and saw the hawk fall as the vehicle sped away. A few miles down the road, the vehicle matching the description was found parked at a residence. The rifle was found still in the vehicle.
Two girls learned the importance of life jackets at Falcon State Park. A Starr County game warden got a call from a woman who said her daughter and a friend had drifted out from shore on Falcon Lake in kayaks. She said the wind was blowing them toward the middle of the lake and the girls couldn’t paddle against the wind and waves. Almost immediately after hanging up, the mother called back and said one of the girls had flipped out of the kayak and could barely be seen. The warden asked a state park officer to assist in a rescue and as they launched their boat, the wind was blowing hard and the waves were white capping on the lake. A red life jacket was floating between the waves. As they reached the floating girl, she could barely speak from exhaustion. After helping her into the boat, she said she almost gave up hope of being rescued. The officers then went to the other girl who was still in her kayak and got her safely in the boat as well.
An Atascosa County radio dispatcher said that there were reports of multiple gunshots at a residence in Charlotte. A game warden and a county deputy were the first to respond and found a person dead in the front yard from apparent gunshot wounds. The two men cleared the house and tended to the homeowner, who had multiple gunshot wounds, also. The homeowner was flown by Airlife to San Antonio and the warden stayed behind. Shortly after daybreak four people allegedly involved in the shootout were in custody.
Wardens were suspicious of a vehicle driving on the shoulder of a highway in Potter County. They pulled the vehicle over and discovered open containers of alcohol and the waft of marijuana. Two of the three occupants were minors and the third, on parole, tried to give a false date of birth. He was understandably a little nervous about being found in violation of state laws. He was arrested for giving false information to a peace officer under lawful detention and was later transported to the Potter County Jail. His companions received citations for their illegal acts.
Citations and then Some
A simple fishing license citation spiraled into a third degree felony when a Travis County warden found a man fishing without a license on Lake Pflugerville. When the man handed over his driver’s license, the warden noted that he was a registered sex offender. After probing the records, wardens discovered that the subject had not reported where he lived. The wardens obtained a warrant for arrest with a third degree felony for failing to register.
The (Attempted) Exodus
A small-scale version of The Great Race went down in Travis County. A warden was on duty at Lady Bird Lake and met two men poised to inject suspected narcotics into their arms. The first scrambled over and under fences, fleeing his impending arrest. He left behind his backpack with color copies of his ID, social security card, and monthly calendar of all his appointments. The warden obtained a felony warrant for evasion and the following day other officers found the suspect on IH 35 near Waco in a stolen car. Records revealed this wasn’t his first time to butt heads with law enforcement and he was returned to Travis County to face the evasion and auto theft charges.
The Other Two Shots
A Harris County landowner reported hearing three gunshots. When game wardens arrived on scene they found two men who had permission to hunt hogs and coyotes, but who had killed a buck instead. The wardens found with them a scabbard with the knife missing, along with two hunting rifles and a pistol. The men were taken to the Waller County Jail with misdemeanor charges. Later one of the wardens went back to gather GPS and photo evidence and found a knife that matched the scabbard found earlier and two more deer carcasses, explaining the two other gun shots heard. The evidence was gathered and the wardens added a felony charge of taking game without landowner’s permission.
A game warden was patrolling after the flood in Atascosa County when he heard a radio alert for a car involved in an assault with bodily injury incident. Moments later the warden spotted the vehicle coming his way, so he stopped the woman driving. More officers arrived for backup and an officer arrested her on site for assaulting a man in Jourdanton and for two stalking warrants.
Two are Better Than One
A man was on his boat with a friend when the motor stalled in Copano Bay. The two used an anchor and line to pull themselves to shore, and when the line broke, one of them dove into the water to grab it. Luckily his friend threw a life jacket to him. The boat drifted away and the man was left hanging onto the jacket until Aransas County game wardens arrived to pull him to safety.