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Texas Game Warden Field Notes

Lawn Enforcement

On Jan. 3, a Newton County game warden completed an investigation into a hunting without landowner consent case. The case involved one subject who thought it was OK to mow two 200+ yard lanes into a neighboring landowner’s property and hunt them. The subject was caught in the act of hunting the neighbor’s property. After all necessary documentation was obtained, the subject was arrested and taken to the Newton County Jail and charged with hunting without landowner’s consent, a Class A misdemeanor. Case pending.

I’m Not As Think As You Drunk I Am

On Dec. 14, a Montgomery County game warden was traveling behind a vehicle that appeared to be having a difficult time keeping his truck between the marked lanes on the roadway, but not enough for probable cause. The warden followed the truck into a gas station parking lot and saw a man exit the truck and fail to put it into park, causing it to roll back about 40 yards before he was able to stop it. Once the vehicle was stopped, the warden approached the man and noticed the zipper on his pants was down, his shirt had spills and stains on it, and there were several empty beer cans inside the truck. An intoxication investigation was completed, and the male was placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated. A blood specimen was taken, and toxicology and the case are pending.

Where They’re Going, They Don’t Need Roads

On Jan. 4, an Angelina County game warden responded to a trespassing complaint regarding two individuals who were found in their Jeep after it got stuck inside the hunting club. The driver was arrested for criminal trespassing and for a warrant issued by the Lufkin Police Department. Upon further investigation it was discovered the Jeep they were driving was stolen from a hunting club in Trinity County and used in the commission of a robbery. Additional charges were filed for theft.

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

On Jan. 6, a Somervell County game warden was checking fisherman on the Paluxy River in Glen Rose when he noticed two individuals put their fishing poles down and walk in the opposite direction of the game warden. As he started to approach the individuals, he noticed one of them start to jog away and duck behind a house. The warden was able to make contact with the other individual who said he did not have a fishing license and his driver’s license was in his father’s truck. The warden followed the individual to his father’s truck to retrieve the license, and during a check the individual was wanted for sexual assault on a child. The warden directed the individual to place his hands on the vehicle, but he refused and started to run away. The warden was able to apprehend the individual without incident and during a search of the individual he discovered marijuana and a marijuana pipe. The other individual was located by the Somervell County Sheriff’s deputies in a vacant lot claiming to be lost and was unable to produce a fishing license. Cases pending.

Plenty of Guts, But No Glory

On Dec. 19, a Gaines/Andrews County game warden received a tip from an anonymous caller about a mule deer that may have been shot illegally on a property about 20 miles southeast of Seminole. The warden contacted the landowner and found a gut pile on his property. The warden then contacted the neighboring ranch that is currently still in their Managed Lands Deer Program season and found an individual had shot a mule deer over their fence line and gutted it on the opposite side. The landowner determined he thought it was an honest boundary mistake and didn’t believe charges were necessary. The deer and head were seized, and the hunter was cited for hunting mule deer out of season and warned for improperly tagging that deer with an MLDP tag. Charges and restitution are pending.

For He’s A Jolly Bad Felon

On Dec. 9, a Gaines/Andrews County game warden received an anonymous tip from a local contact who said that there might have been an illegal deer shot in the past year on a property southeast of Seminole. Upon interviewing four individuals, it was determined there were four mule deer bucks shot on the same property without the consent of the landowner. Through the investigation, it was also determined that two of the three subjects were convicted felons. Three rifles, four sets of small mule deer antlers, and deer meat was seized. Charges include unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, hunting mule deer without landowner consent, various warnings, and civil restitution on four mule deer bucks. Cases are currently pending.

How Shellfish

On Jan. 6, Aransas County game wardens inspected a commercial oyster boat in Aransas Bay. The boat possessed 26 sacks of oysters and the cargo was determined to be 17.3% undersized. The oysters were returned to the water with an estimated value of $1,040.00. The captain and two deckhands were cited for undersized oysters. It was determined the captain had two prior convictions since 2017. The boat was escorted to the harbor and the captain was arrested for an enhanced undersized oyster case. The captain was transported and placed into the Aransas County Detention Facility. The case is pending prosecution.

Racked ‘Em Up

At 1 a.m. on Dec. 25, a Bowie County game warden received information about possible illegal hunting activity on a farm in the northern part of Bowie County. The warden responded to the area and located two white-tailed doe and one feral hog laying near a residence on the farm. A short time later a vehicle drove up and the warden detained two male subjects in the truck after discovering two more white-tailed doe in the bed of the pickup. During a search of the immediate area, the warden located two ice chests containing what appeared to be deer meat. In addition to harvesting the four does, the two subjects also admitted to harvesting the deer in the ice chests a few nights before. Both individuals were taken into custody and booked into the Bowie County Jail for hunting at night. Since then, game wardens have searched several areas of the farm and located additional deer carcasses. The investigation is on-going, and cases are pending.

Up To No Good

On the evening of Jan. 4, a Cherokee County game warden worked an area where several deer had been shot from the road in recent months. Shortly after getting in his “set,” he noticed a truck nearing his location, at a very slow pace and stopping twice. Through his binoculars, he could see a subject exit the vehicles passenger’s side and walk into the pasture where he was located. Using thermal imaging, he could see the subject walking up the hill adjacent to his location. A short time later the subject started shining a light, which led him to believe that the subject was looking for something. The warden approached the subject’s vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. When he approached the driver, he asked the driver what they were up to and the driver replied, “not any good.” The driver informed the warden that his buddy was out in the field looking for a deer he had shot earlier in the evening. The warden had the driver call his buddy and tell him it was in his best interest to return to the truck. Once the warden was able to make contact with the “shooter,” it was determined that he and his wife had been driving by, about 5:30pm, and saw a small buck on the hillside and the subject took a shot at the buck with his .17 caliber rimfire rifle. At the shot, the deer seemed to drop so the subject took his wife home and planned to come back and pick up the deer with his buddy. Despite searching by all parties, including the landowner, the deer was never recovered. Cases Pending.

Some Evidence Floats

On Jan. 7, a Burleson County game warden observed an angler at Yegua Creek in Burleson County putting fish into a bucket near him. The man was later observed handing a fish to a nearby fishermen who started cutting it up with a knife. Upon making contact with the small group, the man picked up the bucket and started to dump the fish out. The warden told him to stop several times while making contact. Several fish floated to the top of the water as they were already dead. The man was detained while the warden used a cast net to get the dead fish out of the water. A total of 16 undersized fish (crappie, white bass, and largemouth bass) were collected. Multiple citations were issued to the man. The other parts of the group received citations for no fishing license and using game fish as bait. All cases are pending.