Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN, December 29, 2016 – The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Less Bragging, More Tagging
A Titus County game warden wrapped up an investigation about a subject with an untagged deer in the back of his truck in the small town of Talco in northeast Texas. The guy had been bragging about this being his second deer of the day. The warden contacted the suspect and discovered he had fraudulently obtained a free active-duty military hunting license and killed two white-tailed deer bucks. Citations and warnings were issued for two untagged deer, no hunter education certification and taking an illegal white-tailed buck that did not meet the antler restriction minimum requirements. Investigation continues about possible trespassing.
Eyes on the Road
A retired game warden notified a Titus County warden about a vehicle that was seen road hunting. The suspect was located in Daingerfield where he gave a full confession for shooting at and missing a doe from the roadway. Citations and warnings were issued for no hunting license, shooting from a public road and hunting without landowner’s consent.
Best Hunt Goes Bust
The White Oak Creek Wildlife Management Area staff notified a Titus County game warden about possible illegal duck hunting after the noon cutoff. The warden made contact with two men in possession of 10 mallards and a wigeon. Both stated this was their very best hunting trip of the year. The warded issued citations and civil restitution to both subjects for not having the required annual public hunting permits and for hunting ducks after noon on the WMA. One subject was also issued citations for no hunting license and no hunter education certification.
After fleeing Bowie County sheriff’s deputies attempting to serve a warrant, a miscreant well-known to northeast Texas game wardens was spotted a week later in the backseat of a passing vehicle by a Red River County game warden on patrol in a remote hunting area near the Sulphur River. He followed the vehicle into an open area and conducted a traffic stop. The subject stated he was tired of running and went willingly. The subject was arrested on warrants for felony probation violation and evading arrest.
A Bowie County game warden patrolling U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public hunting land noticed a truck parked on the side of the road and a man wearing hunter orange lying face down in the woods. Fearing the man might be injured, the warden stopped to render aid. The man didn’t respond when the warden called out, but once he got within 5 feet of him, the man sat up. The man stated he was hiding so people would not know where he was hunting. A quick check of the man’s criminal history revealed he was a felon and he was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
On the Road Hunting
Game wardens responded to a call from a Foard County landowner concerning two men hunting from a vehicle on a county road. Upon arrival they discovered a local Foard County sheriff’s deputy had the two subjects stopped in the middle of a county road. The wardens interviewed both individuals separately and they confessed to renting a car in Tennessee and driving to Texas to hunt quail. They indicated that since they didn’t have a hunting lease they were just driving around and shooting quail from the rural public roads. A search of their vehicle uncovered 13 quail in a suitcase in the backseat of their rental car and numerous empty shotgun shells and boxes. The wardens learned that the suspects were staying at a hotel in Vernon and that there were about 15 more illegally taken quail back at their hotel room. After conducting a consensual search of the hotel room, the wardens ended up seizing over 100 quail packed away in an ice chest, all of which allegedly were killed from a public roadway. The game warden issued citations and took both subjects into custody for arraignment. Cases are pending in addition to civil restitution.
A Cochran County game warden responded to a trespassing complaint on opening weekend of mule deer season and discovered three New Mexico hunters who reportedly believed as long as the property didn’t have a "No Trespassing” sign it was legal to hunt there. They were also hunting deer with the five day special non-resident license, valid only for small game, and none of them had completed a hunter education course. All three were charged with hunting without landownersconsent. Cases pending.
But I Left a Deposit for the Deer
A landowner’s agent in Bailey County discovered a bank deposit slip on a dirt road on their property that appeared to contain blood and deer hair on it. The agent was not familiar with the person nor the company listed on the deposit slip. A game warden was notified and using the information on the deposit slip, made a trip to the company address in neighboring Parmer County. Upon his arrival, the warden noticed a truck with blood on the tailgate parked in front of the business. A closer look revealed a bag of guts and an untagged eight point mule deer buck head in the bed of the truck. The warden spoke to the vehicle’s owner and, during the interview, he admitted to shooting the deer. He said he didn’t know who the landowner was and that the deposit slip belonged to him. In addition to citations for possession of an untagged deer and not having completed hunter education, charges were filed for hunting without landownerconsent. Cases and restitution pending.
Calling Shotgun, Literally
A Bailey County game warden received a complaint about alleged road hunters. During the search, the warden got a call that a vehicle matching the description had been stopped by a county sheriff’s deputy at a major highway intersection and was being detained. The warden interviewed the two subjects in the vehicle who admitted to hunting quail from the roadway, which they claimed to believe was legal. Charges were filed for hunting from a public roadway and discharging a firearm from a public roadway, as well as possession of a small amount of marijuana. Cases and restitution pending.
Game wardens conducted an interview of a poaching suspect regarding a large white-tailed buck that had been seen regularly in northwestern Grayson County. The suspect lives less than a mile from where images of the huge deer had been captured on a game camera. Apparently, this individual was in possession of a set of antlers that closely resembled the famed buck, although he claimed to have killed the deer in southern Oklahoma. During the interview, the suspect initially denied any wrongdoing, insisting that he killed the deer on public hunting land in Marshall County, Oklahoma. Once the wardens executed a cellphone search warrant they had obtained before the interview, the suspect changed his story. He admitted to shooting the deer off a public road on property he did not have permission to hunt, did not have a hunting license and killed the big buck with a rifle in a county that allows use of archery equipment only. The deer, a 25 ½-inch wide, 19-point buck with a gross Boone & Crockett score in excess of 200, was seized. Numerous cases and civil restitution are pending. Investigations into additional offenses in Texas and Oklahoma are ongoing.
Evidence Concealed in the Oven
Game wardens were checking a group of hunters leaving a winter wheat field in Crosby County during the opening weekend of mule deer season and noticed evidence of blood and turkey feathers in the bed of their pickup. The wardens learned that a dad and his two teenagers had killed six turkeys and failed to tag any of them. The wardens accompanied the group to a nearby residence where the hunters were staying for the weekend and inspected the untagged turkeys, one of which was cooking in the oven. The father was cited for possession of two untagged turkeys and the wardens showed the young hunters how to properly tag the birds. Cases are pending.