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March 26, 2007
Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Mexican fisherman can’t learn his lesson — Several Region V game wardens were patrolling Falcon Lake Feb. 22 when they observed a Mexican commercial fishing vessel in Texas waters. They made contact with this vessel and apprehended two Mexican subjects who were fishing illegally. One of the subjects had been apprehended four times within the past year. Wardens seized the boat, the motor and approximately 1,200 feet of gill net.
Bad gamble begets bad luck — On Feb. 17, a Harris County game warden caught two subjects goose hunting without a valid hunting license or appropriate stamps. The subjects stated that they decided to take the chance of not getting checked instead of purchasing a license. Cases are pending.
Drugs, alcohol and doughnuts — A speeding truck entered the McFaddin Wildlife Refuge Feb. 12, zipping past a Jefferson County game warden. The warden followed the truck onto the beach where he watched it perform doughnuts in the sand for several minutes. When the truck finally returned to the road, the warden stopped the vehicle. The occupants admitted to alcohol consumption, but denied any drug usage. Upon further investigation of the vehicle, the warden was able to locate marijuana hidden in the air vent under the dash. Citations were issued.
Game Warden’s Patience Foils Fisherman’s Plans — A game warden was doing surveillance on Falcon Lake and various points of the Rio Grande Feb. 6 when he noticed a pickup truck packed with people and towing a boat approach an improvised launch site on the Mexican side of the river. Seeing the game warden, the driver decided to wait. The game warden proved more patient. After much kicking of dirt, smoking of cigarettes, and cursing, the driver left without launching the boat.
Who’s filing charges on whom? — An Aransas County game warden received a call Jan. 19 from a local duck hunting guide who was upset with another guide and wished to file hunter harassment charges against his competitor. The warden made contact with both guides, and each decided to file hunter harassment charges against the other. The warden sent both statements and two offense reports to the Aransas County attorney for sorting out.
Teamwork brings down bad guys — A region seven game warden and two Montana wardens cooperated in the investigation of two Texas residents suspected of participating in a Montana poaching ring. The investigation led to a search warrant that turned up approximately 19 elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. Violations spanned a 20-year period. Both Texans are facing numerous charges and fines totaling $20,000.
Suspect gets warden’s welcome — A man who fled to Oklahoma to avoid his arrest returned to a game warden’s welcome in Hardeman County Jan. 23. On a tip, the warden waited for the suspect’s arrival at a relative’s residence. The suspect showed up and was consequently arrested for his connection with stolen deer blinds and feeders.
Oyster boat captain refuses citations — Chambers County game wardens patrolling Trinity and Galveston Bays boarded an oyster boat Jan. 20. While the wardens were inspecting the catch, the boat’s captain grabbed a handful of undersized oysters and started returning them to the reef. The wardens issued citations for the undersized cargo and for the captain’s failure to comply with the inspection. The captain said he would rather go to jail than sign the tickets. The wardens were happy to accommodate his request.
Hunter clears his conscience — After interviewing a 25-year-old resident for an hour, a Newton County game warden listened as a young man confessed to illegally harvesting two deer. He then also admitted to killing a 7-point buck on another property in November, which he tagged as a mule deer. Apparently on a roll, the suspect continued to confess, admitting to possessing both Louisiana and Texas resident hunting licenses and to taking roosting wood ducks the week before without a state or federal duck stamp. Numerous charges are pending.
Fisherman takes ride in flying boat — On January 13, Zapata County game wardens responded to a boat accident on Falcon Lake. An individual participating in a bass tournament was returning to the public ramp at a high rate of speed when the throttle stuck. While the operator was attempting to correct the problem, the boat hit the shoreline and went airborne. The boat hit a vehicle causing minor damage and narrowly missed a bystander. The boat finally landed approximately 58 feet from the water’s edge.
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