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July 3, 2006
TPWD Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
It’s some kind of animal, and someone killed it — On June 20, a Cherokee County game warden received information from his partner about a deer carcass that had been dumped on a county road. The game warden proceeded to contact a local county constable, who had the person in custody for illegal dumping of televisions and the deer carcass. The game warden interviewed the Jacksonville man, who said he found the deer on his property and just wanted it off his property. The game warden went to the subject’s house and found where the deer had been cleaned and found quartered deer meat in the freezer. The subject told the game warden the meat was from a butchered cow. He later confessed that he did not shoot the deer but let his friend clean the deer at his house. The game warden and constable made contact with the friend. He confessed to shooting the deer, but said he thought the deer was a goat. Cases pending.
The toughest call a game warden gets — As marine safety enforcement officers, game wardens respond to all Texas boating accident calls and numerous drownings and near-drownings. The most difficult of those cases to work are the ones involving children. In mid-June, central Texas game wardens responded to a call about a missing 8-year-old boy last seen on a sand bar in Lake Buchanan. Game wardens, LCRA rangers and area dive teams searched lake until dark with no success. The next day at daylight, the wardens were hampered by storms for a few hours then hit the water with drags. A Department of Public Safety helicopter was called in to assist due to shallow and clear water conditions. The young boy surfaced during the search and was recovered by game wardens Saturday afternoon.
Never was much good at math — On June 16, Aransas County game wardens apprehended a commercial bait shrimp boat with 2,600 croaker over his legal limit of 1,500. When asked how many corake he had, the captain stated that he had exactly 1,500. The game wardens asked him if he was sure, because they were about to count them. The captain allowed as how he might have a few over his limit. Cases pending.
Crowded waterways call for extra care — On June 4, game wardens from Clay and Wichita Counties responded to a boating accident on Lake Arrowhead involving a 5-year-old boy who was swimming next to a boat while holding on to a ski rope. The rope, which was wrapped around the boy’s leg, was caught by another passing boat, causing partial amputation of the boy’s leg just below the knee. The game wardens were within 1,000 yards of the accident and assisted the victim and his family off the lake and to the hospital within five minutes of the accident. The victim’s prognosis for recovery was said to be good.
Lunker citation for poacher — In early June a Coryell County game warden received information about a subject who, although under a license suspension for killing a 200-class white-tailed deer at night, had been participating in fishing tournaments. The subject had fished in a tournament on Lake Belton and won first place, and the game warden found that he was going to fish in another tournament June 11th and June 12th. The Coryell County game warden, along with a game warden from Bell County, both were in attendance at the 2 a.m. tournament weigh-in. The subject gave the wardens a written statement, and a Class A misdemeanor charge of fish while license suspended is pending.
Could be they had too much to drink — Three game wardens stopped a boat on Lake LBJ early in the evening of June 9 and observed 38 empty beer cans in the boat and an extremely intoxicated operator. The subject could not figure out how to put on a suspender PFD and had it on backwards with the collar over his forehead. After assistance from the wardens, the suspect was taken to the bank where he performed poorly on the SFSTs and was transported to Llano County Jail. The passenger was arrested for public intoxication after he was observed to have difficulty just standing in the boat. The operator, the passenger, two dogs (apparently sober), boat, trailer and vehicle all ended up in jail or impound.
That had to be a sinking feeling — On June 5, the Camp County sheriff contacted the local game warden and requested help in the recovery of a vehicle sunk in Lake Bob Sandlin. The proud owner of a 2006 F-150 Ford pickup had driven to his lake house to retrieve a battery charger. He got out of his truck and turned around in time to see the truck race down the hill and into the lake. The truck floated for a short time before it sank approximately 50 feet from shore in 15 feet of water. The game warden was asked to SCUBA dive and connect a chain to the bumper hitch. When the vehicle was pulled from the lake, it was discovered that gearshift was in reverse instead of park. The vehicle had only 5,000 miles on the odometer and a beautiful leather interior.
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