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Game Warden Field Notes

The following items compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

Struggles with Math
A Game Warden was on patrol opening day of dove season in Bee County and, while checking a group of hunters, found numerous violations. When the Warden contacted one individual with a pile of 14 doves on his truck which was still actively hunting, the hunter stated he needed one more bird to finish out his 15-bird daily bag limit. “What’s in the bag?” the warden asked, pointing to the man’s game bird bag. He then reluctantly produced one dove from his game bag. When the Warden asked him if he had any more birds, the math-challenged hunter sheepishly withdrew three more from his bag. The Warden charged him with exceeding the daily limit on dove.

Hogging the Squirrels
Game wardens were working the Cooper Wildlife Management Area on the Delta/Hopkins County line, checking teal hunters when they heard several shots and people hollering in the river bottom. The wardens located a small vehicle and decided to wait for the owner to return. As they waited, they heard more shots and hollering. A subject eventually returned to the car and retrieved several water bottles. Officers made contact and determined the hunter was attempting to conceal the location of his hunting buddies. A search of the vicinity uncovered three subjects hiding in the woods in possession of five dead hogs. A search of their bags revealed several squirrels wrapped in plastic bags and a subsequent search of the vehicle’s trunk revealed several more squirrels concealed in plastic bags. One of the hunters had a warrant out of Dallas County for driving while intoxicated. Charges are pending for hunting/possessing squirrels during a closed season.

Brought to Bay
A Hunt County Game Warden was on patrol when he heard over the radio that a Greenville police unit was in pursuit of a fleeing vehicle. The suspect driving the vehicle was a wanted fugitive in Oklahoma. The fleeing vehicle eventually wrecked on a gravel road in southern Hunt County. The suspect evaded officers and disappeared into nearby woods. A perimeter was set up by numerous officers in the area. The warden responded along with a prison search dog team. They mounted on horseback, and the Warden and officers from a prison followed the search dogs into the woods where they located the suspect hiding in a tree. They took the suspect into custody, and the Warden escorted him to a waiting Greenville PD squad car.

360 Divided by 8 Equals Zero
Webb County game wardens on patrol encountered eight hunters who seemed to be having great success based on the amount of shooting that they were doing. Upon contacting the individuals, one of the wardens walked into the field and immediately noticed large amounts of milo scattered throughout the area. Baiting fields to attract migratory game birds during hunting season is illegal, as is hunting dove over bait. An inspection of one hunter’s vehicle revealed two empty bags of milo feed in the truck bed. After speaking with all eight of the individuals, they admitted to knowingly hunting the baited area, as well as placing the bait the previous day. The wardens subsequently seized approximately 360 mourning and white-winged dove and cited eight hunters for various hunting and baiting violations. Civil restitution is pending. All good edible resources were donated.

Good Catch
A Morris County Game Warden observed two people fishing on Big Cypress Creek and made contact to check for compliance. Neither subject had a fishing license. An ID check revealed a warrant against one of the individuals for organized crime out of Upshur County. While getting the warrant order confirmed, a Lone Star Police Officer arrived on scene for backup. While being patted down for the officer’s safety, one subject was in possession of five grams of methamphetamine and prescription drugs in his pocket. They transported both subjects to the county jail. They conducted the inventory on the vehicle and found an additional 20 grams of methamphetamine along with a digital scale. The citations and charges are pending.

Fetch Him Up, Rex!
While checking men fishing at a local community lake near Greenville late one afternoon, a Hunt County Game Warden approached an individual who suddenly dropped his equipment and fled into the nearby brush. Rather than pursue the man into the brush in total darkness, the warden called the Greenville Police Department and requested K-9 assistance. A K-9 officer arrived shortly accompanied by his dog, Rex, who shortly after picking up a scent trail convinced the fugitive to come out of hiding. An investigation revealed the man was heavily intoxicated and was in possession of syringes and other drug paraphernalia. He had also been fishing without a license and driving with a suspended license. They arrested the man, and the cases are pending.

Bagging Buzzards
Game wardens were working South Zone dove hunters near El Campo when they received a call from a local hunter claiming that he had seen several subjects in an adjacent field who had shot and killed vultures. The wardens made contact with three individuals who initially denied shooting anything but doves. After a brief interview, and several lies later, the suspects finally confessed to shooting and killing two vultures and revealed the birds’ location. They issued citations for killing protected non-game birds and restitution is pending.

Apologies Accepted; Tickets Issued
Webb County game wardens checking dove hunters in the northern part of the county during opening weekend in the South Zone received information about a large group possibly hunting on a particular ranch. Upon entering the ranch, they made contact with the landowner’s son, who stated that he did not have any knowledge of any hunters being on the property. As they continued into the ranch, they immediately noticed that there were multiple Mojos in the field next to the landowner’s residence. The wardens approached the area and subsequently saw three hunters riding around on a UTV. While contacting the individuals, the Wardens noticed large amounts of bait scattered throughout the field, as well as a half-empty bag of “Wild Bird Food” within 50 yards of them. During the contact, the hunters admitted to placing the bait the previous day and apologized for their wrongdoing. The wardens subsequently seized approximately 140 mourning and white-winged dove and cited six men for various hunting and baiting violations. Civil restitution is pending. All good edible resources were donated.

Beached
Game Wardens were patrolling South Padre Island near beach Access 6 in the early hours of Sept. 23 when they noticed an individual operating a vehicle recklessly. Upon trying to conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle led them on a pursuit on the beach southbound towards Access 5. The vehicle swerved in and out of vehicular and foot traffic on the beach while reaching speeds of more than 70 miles per hour. The vehicle finally came to a halt when it hit a sand berm at the Access 5 exit. Two individuals, both minors, were taken into custody and transported to the juvenile detention center. They filed three state jail felonies and a Class B misdemeanor. The cases are pending.

Long Way from Home
While on patrol in Brewster County, a Game Warden stopped three men walking along Highway 118 approximately three miles south of Alpine. Two of the men were from Honduras, and the third was from El Salvador. Border Patrol was informed and took the three men into custody.