The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Lost and Found
While patrolling for hunting violations recently, a San Jacinto County game warden came upon a vehicle in the Sam Houston National Forest. The warden approached and made contact with a hunter who said he was waiting for his buddy. He told the warden they became interested in hunting on public lands after seeing it on the Lone Star Law television series, and this was their first time in the Sam Houston National Forest. He had been waiting on his friend for a couple of hours and was worried he might be lost. He led the warden to the location he had hunted and said his friend had been hunting approximately 100 yards from that area. After about an hour of searching, the missing hunter was located in a thicket and safely returned to their vehicle. Both hunters were grateful they were not spending the night in the woods.
Didn’t Stop in the Name of Love
On October 7, game wardens in Presidio and Brewster County were patrolling south on U.S. Highway 67 when they were flagged down by some motorists on the side of the road who were victims of a hit and run. The suspect’s vehicle description was given, and the game wardens headed south in pursuit. State troopers were advised of the accident and were able to obtain a better report of the vehicle after interviewing the victims. The game wardens located a car with a missing driver-side mirror, a traffic stop was conducted, and the driver was arrested without incident just outside Shafter. The trooper working the accident case came to the arresting location to match the chrome from the debris left by the suspect’s vehicle at the accident location. The driver of the truck was charged with accident involving damage to a car, a Class B misdemeanor, and placed in the Hudspeth County Jail. During transport to jail, the suspect freely admitted to being in a hurry to see his girlfriend in Mexico. The case is pending.
Next Time Use the Entrance Gate
A Morris County game warden was patrolling along Interstate 30 near the White Oak Creek Wildlife Management Area boundary when they spotted a vehicle parked along the shoulder next to the Sulphur River. The location is not a legal access entry point for the WMA, so the warden set up along the Interstate to observe the vehicle and, about 30 minutes after sundown; two men came out of the woods carrying shotguns. It was discovered the two subjects had been hunting for hogs and both received citations.
Sharing and Liking His Trophy Buck
On October 13, a Webb County game warden was reviewing a Facebook post of a 15-point deer taken with a bow during a hunt in Laredo. As the warden began looking through the pictures posted online, he verified the hunter’s name and information. He determined the hunter was from Louisiana and had harvested the deer without a hunting license. When the subject was questioned regarding the harvest of the deer, he denied hunting and requested the warden prove he had. After the warden advised him of the photos he had obtained from Facebook, the hunter apologized and admitted to harvesting his trophy deer without a hunting license. Cases have been filed, and restitution is pending.
While patrolling Longhorn Dam on the Colorado River around sunset, a Travis County game warden observed an individual with two gutted largemouth bass, homemade spear gun, and a Hawaiian sling; not a legal means and method for taking game fish in Texas. Upon contact, the individual admitted to using the spear gun to catch the bass and not having a fishing license. He stated he knew it was illegal but said he wanted some bass because it was getting late in the season. Multiple citations were issued, and the fish were seized. Citations and civil restitution are pending.
Overstaying His Welcome
On October 6, game wardens responded to a trespassing call in Concho County from an angry landowner who explained a flatbed trailer, an ATV and two empty bow cases were located on his property. With an idea of who the suspect might be, several calls were made to local businesses, and the individual was found checked in at a nearby motel. They located and visited with the suspect, his girlfriend, and the girlfriend’s brother. The subject, from Mesquite, had been invited to hunt on the property the weekend before but did not have any luck. The landowner, also from Mesquite, agreed to take the suspect on another hunt but explained he had prior commitments the following weekend. The suspect later decided to invite himself to the deer camp that weekend not knowing the landowner’s brother would be there. Cases pending.
Not on the Hunting List
On October 27, a Titus County game warden responded to the White Oak Creek Wildlife Management Area on a report of hunters illegally hunting two different sections while the area was closed for the Special Drawn Hunts. Five hunters were caught in one area trying to hide 14 killed squirrels unlawfully. Two more hunters were found in the second area with an illegally shot deer. Citations are pending.
Left a Game Camera Trail
On October 22, a Smith County game warden received a call from hunters who went to check their game cameras on their lease and found the cameras had been stolen over the weekend. The hunters stated they also saw boot prints leading to and from the cameras. The warden checked the area and was able to follow the boot tracks from the cameras’ location across a fence and down a long private drive that led to a house. After a short interview, it was determined a juvenile relative had taken the cameras the previous day. The cameras were recovered and returned to the hunters. The juvenile was appropriately disciplined by the parents.
Due Processing Catches Poacher
Anderson County game wardens received information that an individual allegedly had stolen four whitetail bucks on property operating under Managed Land Deer permits in Henderson County. The individual took the meat to a local meat processor in Anderson County. After further investigation, alongside Henderson County game wardens, it was found the individual did not possess a valid Texas hunting license. Citations were issued, and civil restitution and cases are pending.
The Grass is Always Greener
Acting on a report concerning suspicious hunting activity near a family farm, game wardens set up surveillance after discovering a hidden hunting blind and baited shooting lane on adjoining properties. Wardens witnessed a male suspect sneak out of a barn on the suspect property with a bait bucket and rifle and walk into the wood line to the blind. After a brief wait, wardens heard a gunshot followed by two additional male subjects coming from the nearby barn to assist the hunter in the field. The suspects were observed dragging a buck back across a ditch line toward the barn. The wardens left their observation point and proceeded to the location of the hunter and friends. Upon arrival, they found a 36-year-old and recovered the rifle he used to poach the deer. Confessions were obtained from everyone involved, including the hunter’s father, and his own 16-year old son. The violator was leaving his grandfather’s property and hunting a blind he illegally set up on a neighbor’s property. He shot across that property, his grandfather’s adjoining property and into a different neighbor’s property, killing a small 7-point buck. This was a real family affair, with four generations of family on the scene: great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and youngest son all present and aware of the illegal hunt. When asked why he did it, the violator stated he was afraid he would be too busy with work to hunt the opening weekend on someone else’s property. Multiple citations are pending.