Game Warden Field Notes
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement reports compiled the following items.
A Polk County game warden was contacted by a woman on social media asking if he had any meat to donate for her family of six. After getting to know the family, the warden presented deer meat and learned the dad was a disabled veteran and hadn’t been hunting in over ten years since before the military. The warden then reached out to local landowners and got a hunt donated for him and one of his children at Rocky Creek Ranch. The veteran took his eldest daughter of 13 on her first hunt, and during the hunt, the warden found out his kids were from the same town the warden grew up in: small world, great memories.
Recently, Polk County game wardens reached out to local landowners to find ways to give back to their community through the outdoors. They decided to organize a disabled veteran and youth hunt. A drawing was held on social media to select qualifying participants, which created generous support from local businesses and community members. A father (retired Navy veteran) and son (first-time hunter) were elected to hunt. The father and son joined Game Wardens on the Simon Peter Bend Ranch for a fantastic hunt. Both hunters and the landowner were thrilled about the experience and now plan to contact one another. Moye’s Processing donated its work, and McQuilkin Taxidermy donated a full shoulder mount of the deer. A big thank you to Scott and Toni Cochran-Hughes for the Texas hospitality and excellent meals, as well as fully supporting our nation’s heroes.
A landowner contacted the Cass County game warden about a man he caught on his game camera carrying two rifles. The warden recognized the person and got the suspect’s brothers to confirm the suspect’s location and help set up an interview. Wardens interviewed the suspect, who admitted to hunting from the roadway and shooting a pig. The pig ran onto a hunting lease. The suspect admitted to searching for the pig on the lease with both. Charges are Pending.
Cass County game wardens received a call from a couple of duck hunters who could not get back to the Sulfur River’s land. Wardens responded with a flat bottom boat, attempting to locate the hunters. Both hunters were found and transported to paramedics, who were waiting nearby. One hunter was hypothermic due to exposure to the cold water, and the other was checked out and later released.
A Cherokee County game warden came upon a hunter on a tractor attempting to dump a doe deer’s carcass. The subject stated that he was not aware that doe days had closed on Nov. 29. Upon questioning, the warden determined that the subject’s friend, who was back at camp, had also had some success that morning and had taken a buck. Upon arrival at the base, the warden discovered an untagged buck that failed to meet antler restrictions. Cases are pending.
A Real County game warden received a call from a group of people trying to fish on their property. While fishing, someone peppered the caller with shotgun pellets, and he saw a lot of dove flying in the area. The warden arrived at the location and met a truck leaving the property, asking the driver if he had been hunting. The driver said he had been dove hunting and killed seven birds. The warden informed the hunter that dove season in the Central Zone ended on the 14th. He cited the hunter for Hunt Dove in Closed Season, and his birds were seized and donated. Case pending.
A Webb County game warden and Duval County game warden completed an investigation on an individual who had entered a deer into the local Muy Grande Deer Contest. The individual who shot the deer was from out of state and did not possess a license. She then bought a license five hours later after entering the deer into the contest. The deer scored 172 5/8 Boone and Crockett Score. Cases and e Civil restitution is pending.
While checking duck hunters along the Frio River, a game warden contacted a boat containing four duck hunters. The “so-called” guide stated he did not have a hunting license, identification and failed to have enough PFD’s for his hunters on board. While inspecting the ducks, one hunter attempted to awkwardly pick up a pile of decoys and move it away from the warden. When the warden asked the hunter what was under the pile of decoys and why he tried to move them weirdly, the hunter stated he found a large alligator skull on the bank. He attempted to hide it as he was unsure if it was legal for him to possess it. The warden informed the hunter he could not keep the skull found on the Daughtry Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The warden filed multiple cases for hunting without a license, insufficient PFD’s, and an alligator’s illegal possession. The alligator skull should meet or exceed the record for the largest alligator documented on the Choke Canyon.
A Lubbock District game warden received a call regarding hunters being on the Dimmit Playa WMA in Castro County. The Dimmit Playa WMA is a drawn only hunt property, and the informant was a hunter who had won the drawn hunt and was currently scouting the property for the upcoming weekend. The informant told the warden that when he arrived at the Dimmit Playa, someone had parked a pickup at the property’s gate. As he got closer, he noticed three hunters firing shotguns inside the property. The Castro County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched and arrived on the scene first due to logistics. After interviewing the suspects, the sheriff discovered they had killed five pheasants. The warden coordinated with the sheriff, and the warden seized all five pheasants and filed civil restitution. The warden cited the suspects for the following violations: Taking or Possessing species from a Wildlife Management Area, Failure to have an Annual Public Hunting Permit, and a No Upland Game Bird Endorsement Violation.
Wardens were patrolling in Childress County for state law violations when they observed a vehicle with a Louisiana license plate traveling East on a rural highway. After a traffic stop, the warden’s pointed out a small purple box with a marijuana leaf logo on it that appeared to have “THC” written on the box. Warden’s had the driver exit his vehicle and questioned him about his trip across the U.S. During the investigation, the driver admitted to having some marijuana and THC edibles inside the car. A probable cause search yielded several THC wax containers, THC edible candy, marijuana, and several drug paraphernalia items. The driver was booked into the Childress County Jail without incident and charged with possession of a controlled substance PG2 4<400G, possession of marijuana less than 2oz, and drug paraphernalia possession.
A Williamson County game warden received an Operation Game Thief call regarding an ebuck shot out of season. The warden contacted the hunter, who admitted to shooting a small four-point whitetail deer on Jan. 9. He said it was unintentional and thought it was a spike. They asked the hunter for his hunting license, and he went inside his house to retrieve it. When the hunter gave it to the warden, he noticed he had not filled out the harvest log, and upon inspection, one buck tag was missing. The warden asked to see the tag since the hunter stated he processed deer at home. The hunter took out the tag from his shirt pocket and gave it to the warden. He had not filled the tag out, and the dates were attached. Citations were issued.
A Bastrop County game warden attended a youth program hosted by a local church. The program is The Outdoor Zone, and the motto is “No Child Left Inside.” This program encourages kids to spend more time outdoors, and they meet monthly to learn about outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, and camping. They focus on boys from single-parent homes, but any child is welcome to participate. This month’s program consisted of four activities; how to use a compass, cook with a Dutch oven, build a fire, what a game warden is, and why they do what they do. They enjoyed all the activities. However, learning about game wardens was voted their favorite activity. Some even mentioned that they would like to become a game warden. The Operation Game Thief trailer was a big hit and may have played a role in their voting.