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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2008-07-29                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
July 29, 2008
TPWD Finalizes Dove, Teal Seasons
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department finalized the early season migratory game bird regulations, which includes dove and teal seasons for 2008-09. Texas hunters will see a 16-day September teal season and no changes to the South Dove Zone segments.
The North Zone runs Sept. 1-Oct. 30, with a 15-bird bag and not more than two white-tipped dove; the Central Zone is Sept. 1-Oct. 30 and reopens Dec. 26-Jan. 4, with a 12-bird bag and not more than two white-tipped dove. Possession limit is twice the daily bag.
This year, the South Zone dove season is Sept. 20-Nov. 9, reopening Dec. 26-Jan. 13 with a 12 bird bag and not more than two white-tipped dove. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.
The Special White-winged Dove Area, which now encompasses land west of I-35 and south of U. S. Highway 90, opens to white-winged dove afternoon-only (noon to sunset) hunting Sept. 6-7 and 13-14 and reopens Sept. 20-Nov. 9 and again from Dec. 26-Jan. 9. The daily bag limit during the first two weekend splits is 12 birds, not more than four (4) mourning dove and two (2) white-tipped dove. The daily bag limit during the remainder of the Special White-winged Dove Area is 12 birds, not more than two (2) white-tipped dove. Possession limit is twice the daily bag.
Teal season is Sept. 13-28 with a daily bag limit of 4 birds. Possession limit is twice the daily bag.
Hunters should note the dove and teal season dates and bag limits are not included in this year's Outdoor Annual of hunting and fishing regulations. Information will be available in the Early Season Migratory Game Bird Digest supplement, available Aug. 15 on the TPWD Web site and wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
A proposed dove season rule that would have removed one week of hunting opportunity from the end of the first season segment in the South Zone and added it to the end of the second season segment was not approved. Although public comment was supportive of the proposed amendment, the department has decided to retain the traditional structure because of other considerations resulting from public comment.
"Public comment received by the department indicates a growing concern among hunters, landowners, outfitters, and local businesses that economic factors are increasingly affecting hunting habits or will affect them in the future," said Mike Berger, TPWD wildlife director. "The department therefore made the decision to leave the traditional season structure in place for the current year while launching an outreach effort to determine if the traditional and historic dove season structure should be altered for future seasons."
In keeping with hunter and landowner preferences, dove seasons have traditionally been opened on the earliest day legally allowed under frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, irrespective of which day of the week the date fell. Under federal law, dove hunting in the United States cannot begin before Sept. 1.
Sept. 1, as opening day of dove hunting in Texas, has been part of the state's hunting tradition ever since the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was signed. Treaties with Canada and Mexico established the framework for the taking of all migratory game birds, including dove.
"This year, Sept. 1 falls on Labor Day, a Monday, which is a good thing because it's a holiday for many Texans, and like having another Saturday," said Vernon Bevill, TPWD game bird program director. "The bad thing is, the next day isn't Sunday, it's back to work Tuesday."
Similarly, this year's South Zone dove season opener falls on Saturday, Sept. 20. Traditionally, dove season in South Texas has opened on the Friday after the 20th unless the 20th is a Saturday. Federal frameworks currently prevent opening the South Zone before the 20th.
Berger said recent public comment received by the department indicates a strong preference for seasons to open on a Friday, so as to create a three-day hunting opportunity to open the season. Recent public comment also indicates a preference for the 60-day/15-bird configuration in the South Zone.
"A recurrent theme was the concern that increased consumer costs, particularly transportation costs related to energy prices, make anything less than a three-day opening weekend economically unjustifiable," said Berger. "Similarly, proponents of the 60-day/15-bird configuration stated that economic considerations would cause them to curtail the number of times they could go hunting, leading them to prefer a higher daily bag limit. In the past, hunters and others have expressed an aversion to delaying the opening day until the first full weekend, preferring the earliest possible opener."
Hunters looking for a place to hunt dove should consider TPWD's public hunting opportunities. According to Linda Campbell, TPWD public hunting program director, the department manages more than 50,000 acres of dove hunting units. Hunting access to these areas is available with purchase of a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit, available Aug. 15 wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
A map booklet detailing locations and additional information about the 143 public dove hunting units is included with the Annual Public Hunting Permit and will be available on the TPWD Web site beginning Aug. 15. A permit is not required to access the map booklet information online.
TPWD dove program coordinator Jay Roberson anticipates an above average hunting season for doves this fall, based on habitat conditions. "We had a pretty dry spring and doves do well in those conditions," he noted. "The birds weren't responding last year to predictions of good food availability and many doves stayed to the north. I'm guardedly optimistic this year."
Roberson reported hearing of good numbers of doves across South Texas and anticipates hunters should have good success if they can identify flight patterns. Conditions are expected to change in the weeks heading into the season, particularly in the wake of recent weather resulting from Hurricane Dolly.
---
On the Net:
2008-2009 Hunting Seasons: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/nonpwdpubs/media/outdoor_annual_2008_2009.pdf
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 ] [AR]
July 29, 2008
TPW Commission Slates Annual Public Hearing for Houston
AUSTIN, Texas -- For the first time in nearly a decade, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will hold its annual public hearing outside of Austin. The August 20-21 meeting will be held at the Houston Zoo.
"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department prides itself on being a field organization," said TPW Commission Chairman Peter M. Holt. "Most of our employees work outside of the Austin headquarters. Not surprisingly, that's also where most of our stakeholders are."
Holt noted that interested citizens often make the drive to Austin from far-flung corners of the Lone Star State. He said that taking the annual public hearing -- in which citizens can speak to commissioners about any issue related to the department -- on the road is one way to make government more transparent and responsive.
"With the price of gas right now, holding our meeting in the populous southeastern area of the state seems like a good, common-sense move," Holt said. "If this proves to be useful and we have good participation, we'll look at going to other areas of the state in the future."
While the August meeting agenda has not yet been finalized, the department's fiscal year 2009 budget will be voted on, as will the 2009 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation. Also on the agenda is funding for numerous outdoor, park and recreation grants, including some for the Houston area.
TPW Commission committees will begin meeting Wed., Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. at the zoo's Brown Education Center. The public hearing will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The full commission meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday. Directions to the meeting -- as well as an agenda when it is complete -- are available on the TPWD Web site.
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/meetings/
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
July 29, 2008
TPWD Discounts Online Entries in Big Time Texas Hunts
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Lone Star State boasts some of the finest hunting anywhere in the country, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Big Time Texas Hunts offer hunters a chance to experience the best of the best.
Tommy H. Bridgers would agree. Last year, the 65-year-old steel plate fabricator from Duncanville was selected the Big Time Texas Hunts winner in the Texas Grand Slam category.
"They advertise this as a hunt of a lifetime and I would agree," exclaimed Bridgers upon returning from three days of hunting desert bighorn sheep in the rugged mountains of West Texas. "This was probably the most physically demanding hunt I've ever been on, but it was also the most rewarding. I would never have the resources to buy a desert bighorn hunt, so I got mine the lucky way!"
The Big Time Texas Hunts program offers the opportunity to win one or more top guided hunts with food and lodging provided, as well as taxidermy in some cases. The crown jewel of the program is the Texas Grand Slam hunt package, which includes four separate hunts for Texas' most prized big game animals -- the desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. There are several quality whitetail hunt packages available, as well as opportunities to pursue alligator, exotic big game, waterfowl and upland game birds.
Entries for the Big Time Texas Hunt drawings are $10 each and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold or by calling 800-895-4248. They may also be purchased online this year at a discounted price of $9 each. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may purchase, and entries may be given as gifts for others. Purchasers must be 17 years of age or older.
"This is something I've participated in over the last five years, but I never gave it a thought that I'd win," said Bridgers. "It has really added a new aspect to my hunting and just goes to show sometimes good things happen."
Proceeds from the Big Time Texas Hunts are dedicated to providing more public hunting opportunity and to funding wildlife conservation and research programs in Texas.
Here's a summary of the Big Time Texas Hunts offerings:
--The Texas Grand Slam -- This truly is the hunt of a lifetime. The bighorn sheep hunt is very exclusive; TPWD issues only a handful of permits a year. The bighorn sheep hunt takes place on a West Texas Wildlife Management Area. The other three hunts included in the Texas Grand Slam will be on some of the most exclusive private ranches in the state. The winner may also bring along a non-hunting companion to share in this awesome outdoor adventure.
--Texas Whitetail Bonanza -- 10 winners will each get to experience a high-quality white-tailed deer hunt, something legendary to Texas on popular ranches known to produce big bucks. Guide service, food and lodging are provided on these 3-5-day trips during hunting season. Each winner can also bring along a companion to hunt as well.
--Texas Gator Hunt -- One winner and a guest will enjoy a rare and unique three-day trip pursuing alligators at the J. D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area on the Gulf Coast. Each hunter may harvest one alligator. All necessary equipment, expert guides, lodging and gator hide removal are included. The winner and guest will also be treated to an airboat tour of the marsh to view alligators.
--Texas Waterfowl Adventure -- One winner and as many as three invited guests will win a series of three exciting waterfowl adventures. The hunts are located on some of the best waterfowl areas in Texas. Trips include a Coastal Prairies guided hunt for snows, blues and white-fronted geese; a guided duck hunt in the Coastal Marshes; and an East Texas hunt for wood ducks and mallards.
--Texas Exotic Safari -- Two winners will experience the thrill of hunting African exotic game right here in Texas on the Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area in the Texas Hill Country. Each winner can take two exotic species, including, gemsbok, scimitar-horned oryx and impala. Hunters may choose to shoot modern rifle, muzzleloader, archery or crossbow. Winners can also bring along a companion to hunt a management exotic. Food and lodging will be provided at the scenic Mason Mountain WMA lodge. Taxidermy service will be provided for the two winners. Proceeds go to benefit wildlife conservation and research on Mason Mountain WMA.
--Texas Big Time Bird Hunt -- One winner along with as many as three hunting buddies will enjoy a unique package of upland game bird hunts: two days of quail, two days of pheasant hunting in the Panhandle and two afternoons of dove hunting. There will also be a two-day guided spring turkey hunt for two included in the package. Food, guide service and lodging are included on all bird hunts, and pointing dogs are provided for quail and pheasant hunts.
--Texas Premium Buck Hunt -- This is the ultimate deer hunting experience-an opportunity to harvest a trophy white-tailed buck in the rugged South Texas brush country. One winner and a guest will enjoy the finest deer hunting trip that Texas can offer. Professional guide service, food and high quality accommodations are included to provide each hunter comfort as well as great hunting.
The deadline to apply for this year's Big Time Texas Hunts is Oct. 15. Winners will be announced in November.
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/public/btth/
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
July 29, 2008
Texas Sporting Clays Association offers youth shoots
AUSTIN, Texas -- The crack of gunfire at the range and the competitive spirit among shooting enthusiasts might be a bit intimidating to young rookie shooters, but the Texas Sporting Clays Association wants to ensure it ushers in this new generation of competitors.
The association is offering its Bob Brister Youth Shoots, a series of six clay shoots that are aimed at introducing youngsters to the sport.
The shoots will be held at various target ranges throughout the state.
The shooters will compete in the "Hunter Class" in two categories -- Sub-Juniors for participants ages 8-16 years and Juniors, for shooters ages 17-21 years. They will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals.
Winners of the two classes at each shoot will be eligible to attend the next Scholastic Clay Target Program State Shoot, an event supported by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The events are open to young shooters who are not presently members of the Texas or National Sporting Clays Shooting Association. They will be scored separately from the youth shooters who are already registered with either association.
Each shooter will receive a free membership into the Texas Sporting Clays Association as well as an official membership card into the National Sporting Clays Association. Participants will also receive the quarterly "Sporting Clays Magazine."
TPWD also has partnered with National Shooting Sports Foundation to the foundation's Scholastic Clay Target Program, a program that gives school-aged children opportunities to showcase their shooting skills and earn state and national recognition in addition to learning safe firearms handling.
The Texas Sporting Clays Association held its pilot shoot at the American Shooting Centers in Houston in July. The remaining five shoots will take place in Austin, Beaumont, Dallas, Kerrville and Midland.
Calendar of shoots
--August 24 -- Windwalker Farms in Midland
--September 14 -- Elm Fork Shooting Complex in Dallas
--October 12 -- Hill Country Shotgun Sports in Kerrville
--November 23 -- Capitol City Trap and Skeet in Austin
--December 20 -- One in One Hundred Gun Club in Beaumont
For more information on the Bob Brister Youth Shoots, contact Jeff Foster at jfoster1@tmisales.com or (512) 413-8707.
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 ] [AR]
July 29, 2008
Rural and Inner-City Youth Big Winners in TPWD COOP Grant Round
AUSTIN, Texas -- Students and families from rural communities and inner cities will experience a taste of Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments' programs and facilities, some for the first time, as a result of the latest round of Community Outdoor Outreach Program grants.
"This is the first time we've had so many rural communities to participate in the Community Outdoor Outreach Program, said Darlene Lewis, program director. "We recognize there is as much need in the smaller communities as in our larger cities and it's nice to see more communities taking advantage of this program."
Lewis attributes the increase to the TPWD's effort to conduct grant writing workshops around the state, promoting the program and offering technical assistance to applicants.
Twenty-one sponsors will receive funding to get kids and their families outdoors:
--(Austin) Austin Independent School District -- Kealing Middle School's program will allow students and their families to participate in a series of day camps which will increase awareness of outdoor education, nature and recreation while focusing on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills testing components. ($49,760)
--(Austin) Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas -- Outdoor mentoring programs are planned as well as group activities which will include wildlife photography, hunting, orienteering, camping and more. ($30,000)
--(Austin) Boys & Girls Club of the Capital Area -- Students participating in the after school program at Bedichek Middle School will get a chance to experience fishing, camping, rock climbing and more. ($11,796)
--(Austin) Lifechangers, Inc. -- 450 8th and 9th graders and their families will learn about the environment, TPWD sites and get to fish, hike and study plants. ($49,800)
--(Austin) Pflugerville ISD -- Students at Westview Middle School and their families will experience a series of day camps which include challenge course activities as well as lessons about endangered species, camping etiquette and plant identification. ($49,900)
--(Boerne) Friends of Cibolo Wilderness -- "Kids on the Creek" program will allow San Antonio area school districts to participate in Project Wild and other outdoor service learning projects. ($47,960)
--(Corpus Christi) Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries, Inc. -- This is the first time this location in the Nueces Delta will be available for open water use by youth and other groups. Ten overnight camping trips are planned and activities include canoeing and fishing. ($36,314)
--(Corpus Christi) Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi -- Funding for this program will be used to support five one-week outdoor/environmental summer camps and three one-day kayaking events for nearly 300 participants. ($20,374)
--(Corsicana) Boys & Girls Clubs of Navarro County -- 150 students will visit state parks where they will learn about plant and wildlife identification, forestry and horticulture, and hike, canoe and fish. ($14,964)
--(Dallas) Episcopal Diocese of Dallas -- 150 students in the Dallas area will attend a 4-day Environmental Stewardship camp. Among the programs and activities listed are Project Wild, archery, mountain biking, astronomy and angler education. ($49,388)
--(Hideaway) Partners in Ethics and Character Education, Inc. (ECE) -- More than 57-hundred students will attend Adventure camps to learn survival skills, hiking, rock climbing and more. ($23,568)
--(Houston) Houston Arboretum -- Students from Kindergarten through the 7th grade will get hands-on experiences about our natural resources in this 155 acre classroom. Funds will be used to help cover transportation expenses and to buy equipment and supplies. ($42,150)
--(Houston) Jr. Anglers & Hunters of America Inc. -- Some 3,000 students will participate in outdoor activities at community centers, parks and urban bayou areas. ($49,968)
--(Houston) Nature Heritage Society -- Year-round programs in environmental education and outdoor recreation will be offered to 550 students around Houston. ($29,750)
--(Livingston) Abundant Light of Livingston -- 250 students will experience the outdoors learn about conservation and the preservation of natural resources. They will also fish, camp and learn about the cultural resources in Livingston. ($39,290)
--(Mabank) Mabank ISD -- This program will provide outdoor recreational opportunities to rural, low-income students from surrounding communities. ($38,095)
--(Mason) Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Assn. -- 6th and 7th graders will get to participate in an old fashion trail ride leaving out of Old Ft. Parker near Groesbeck. They will participate in period games, experience the life of the pioneers and learn Dutch oven cooking. ($12,707)
--(Rogers) KIDFISH -- More than 30 fishing events are planned around the state to allow children an opportunity to fish as well as learn about ethics, conservation and having fun. ($50,000)
--(San Antonio) Kayak Anglers Society of America -- "Heroes on the Water" will bring the rehabilitative aspects of kayak angling to veterans and their families who have suffered injuries while serving our nation. ($50,000)
--(White Oak) White Oak ISD -- Student groups will take their classrooms outdoors, partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Nature center to conduct water experiments in the wetlands area and virtual walking tours. ($49,992)
--(Zavalla) Lake Sam Rayburn Nature Center -- 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students will participant in ACTS (Angling, Canoeing, Testing and Stewardship). They will be mentored by TPWD aquatic biologists, a professional fisherman and fishing volunteers to learn about water safety, a healthy fishing environment and lakeshore littering issues. ($29,047)
TPWD staff have scheduled grant-writing workshops around the state. They include:
--San Antonio -- August 13, 2008: 9am -12 noon at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, 10750 Pleasanton Rd, San Antonio, TX. 78221
--Houston -- August 19, 2008: 1pm -- 4 pm at the Houston at the Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons, Houston, TX 77027
--Bandera -- August 26, 2008: 9 am to 12 noon -- Silver Sage Activity Center, 803 Buck Creek, Bandera, Texas.
--Grapevine -- September 10, 2008: 9am-12 noon at the Bessie Mitchell House / Botanical Garden, 411 Ball Street, Grapevine, TX 76051
Currently, there is $1.25-million available for grants for the next biennium with deadlines Oct. 1 and Feb. 1. To find out more about the grants, contact TPWD at 512-389-8224 or rec.grants@tpwd.texas.gov
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/grants/trpa/#coop
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Aaron Reed, 512-389-8046 ] [AR]
July 29, 2008
Game Warden Field Notes
The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
The bandit wasn't the one in the cage -- July 16, a Grayson County game warden followed-up on a complaint about a feed store in Van Alstyne that had a baby raccoon in a cage. The game warden went to the business and was able to locate the animal. The suspect, who had held the animal for two months, was cited for possession of a fur-bearing animal without a permit.
Any age the right age for first fish -- Also July 16, a game warden hosted a fishing event at Heritage Park City Lake for five residents from Pittsburg Assisted Living. An 88-year-old woman was sitting in her wheel chair on oxygen when she caught the very first fish on her life. A 79-year-old woman also caught her very first fish. The next day, the game warden hosted another fishing event at the lake for four residents of Mt. Pleasant Assisted Living. A man with a disability caught his first fish in many years. Many fish were caught and a good time was had by all.
Jumping the Gun -- During a day patrol July 14, Galveston County game wardens filed on a commercial Gulf shrimp boat captain for a violation of the Gulf closure. The boat was caught dragging a trawl approximately six miles off of the Jefferson and Galveston County shoreline. During the early morning of July 15, while patrolling aboard the Captain Murchison, Galveston County game wardens filed on a second shrimp boat captain for the same violation. Some 2,546 pounds of shrimp were seized from the second vessel and sold for $5,092. Cases pending.
Efficient, maybe; legal -- not really -- July 13, a Brazoria County game warden filed on two individuals for taking fish by illegal means and methods. The two men had set a gill net along the south shoreline of Christmas Bay. A wade fisherman ran across the net while he was fishing and reported it to the game wardens. The two suspects were located relaxing in a nearby duck blind, and were in possession of an ice chest full of fish, including several redfish and speckled trout, already taken from the net. Cases pending.
Other things not to do when intoxicated -- Right before closing, a customer walked into the TPWD Waco District Office to renew his boat registration. An administrative technician noticed that the customer appeared to be impaired. In fact, while at her window the customer almost fell asleep while standing. The technician asked for the customer's driver's license and told him that she would return after making a copy. During this time, she contacted the Department of Public Safety office, which is located next door, and asked that a trooper come over. A trooper arrived within minutes. After a brief discussion with the customer, he was arrested for DWI and transported to the McLennan County Jail. Case pending.Falcon fish thieves thwarted -- On July 11 at approximately 8:45 p.m., a Zapata County game warden and a Webb Country game warden were patrolling Falcon Lake when they noticed a Mexican boat enter Texas waters and set out gill nets. The Mexican boat finished setting their nets and headed north out of sight. Both game wardens decided to follow them to see where they were going. After a short boat ride, they observed the Mexican boat setting more gill net in the back of a cove in Texas waters. The game wardens pursued the Mexican boat but the occupants were able to beach it before they could get to them. As the wardens approached the beached boat, they noticed that it had run aground and the motor was about 4 feet up on the bank. The game wardens tied the patrol boat to some brush and waded into the water and spent the next hour and 15 minutes pulling the boat out of the mud and back into the water. The boat and motor were seized along with approximately 2,200 feet of gill net.
Munchies strike at the worst times -- July 11, a Newton County game warden observed a vehicle driving extremely erratically. After finally stopping, a Newton resident exited the vehicle with no shirt on and with blood covering his face and chest. The subject advanced on the game warden's patrol vehicle where he was quickly placed into custody. A small bag of suspected marijuana was recovered from the vehicle. While transporting the subject to the jail, he attempted to eat the baggy by retrieving it with his mouth from the console of the patrol truck. The subject was charged with DWI, possession of marijuana, tampering with physical evidence and assault on a public servant.
Sort of, almost the right idea -- July 10, a Hays County game warden received an Operation Game Thief complaint reference a fawn deer being tied to a porch at a residence near San Marcos. On arrival, the game warden saw the fawn in question. As he walked towards the residence, a man exited the house to meet him. The game warden asked about the fawn, and the man said: "Just a minute." He went back into the house, returned with his wallet then handed the game warden a valid hunting license with a deer tag missing. He pointed to the fawn where he had attached a deer tag, and told the game warden he wanted some tender venison for Labor Day. Case pending; fawn relocated to a rehabilitator.
The next generation of anglers -- On July 8, Calhoun County game wardens hosted a Kidfish for local students with disabilities. Twelve children in all enjoyed a morning of fishing and a hot dog lunch. Thanks to a local fish farmer, 300 donated catfish were stocked in a city lake to help improve the fishing. One game warden got a little wet when one of the boys decided that wade fishing would be more effective. Thankfully, the mud slowed the boy down a bit, so he didn't get too far.
Excuse me, did you lose something? -- July 6, while patrolling Cedar Creek Lake, a Cherokee County game warden began to hear screams near his location; however there were no signs of a boat in the area. The warden began to scan the area and finally noticed two young girls floating in the middle of the lake. The little girls were so small they could only be seen between waves. The scared little girls were safely plucked out of the water. It was determined that the girls had fallen off a tube while being towed by their grandfather on a PWC. The PWC and the driver were located approximately 1 mile away. After being educated on the dangers of towing skiers without a mirror or an observer, the girls were taken to the bank. Case pending.
Nope, he's not impaired -- July 5 a Wise County game warden, while patrolling Lake Bridgeport, arrested a Chico man for BWI and for evading arrest or detention. The man screamed obscenities at the game warden and a deputy, who was riding on the TPWD patrol boat, after being stopped for no lights at night. The subject jumped from his boat into the lake while being towed to shore for standard field sobriety testing. The subject refused all tests and requested a blood sample draw. Cases pending.
Sometimes a day at the lake is no picnic -- While patrolling Lake Meredith July 5, game wardens from Hutchinson, Moore and Dallam Counties responded to an assault call at Fritch Fortress Campground. A male had physically assaulted his wife and male friend. When the wife called 911, the male took off down a cliff. After a short manhunt by national park rangers and the wardens, the subject was spotted swimming across the lake to Horseshoe Island. The wardens got back in the boat, picked up the park rangers, and proceeded to Horseshoe Island. The subject was spotted among the crowd that was camping on the island and arrested by the rangers and wardens. The subject was placed in Hutchinson County Jail on charges of assault, public intoxication, and evading.
A regular pharmacy -- During the 4th of July weekend Denton and Callahan County game wardens arrested a Dallas man for possession of marijuana. In addition, eight grams of cocaine, five grams of methamphetamine, quart of GHB, numerous drug paraphernalia and several hundred dollars were seized on the boat. After a two-week investigation, in conjunction with the Denton County Narcotics Division, multiple narcotic dealers were identified and will be charged. Multiple felony cases are pending.
Only 11 days too soon -- On Independence Day, Jefferson County game wardens were patrolling the Gulf of Mexico for illegal shrimping activity. At 9:30 p.m. the wardens made contact with a shrimp boat in the act of pulling four nets. The boat was seven miles offshore in Texas waters. The boat was boarded and taken to Sabine Pass and the captain arrested for shrimping in closed waters. The total catch of shrimp, 6,943 pounds, was sold for $10,414.
Another preventable tragedy -- Also on July 4, Denton County game wardens received a call regarding the drowning of a three-year-old girl in the swim area of Little Elm Park at Lake Lewisville. The girl apparently drowned while her father, who had been drinking, walked away and left her unattended. A man walking in the water felt what he thought was a stick and discovered it was the little girl when he lifted it out of the water. The man and other witnesses began CPR. The child was pronounced dead at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth.
Nice tarpon, but ... -- San Patricio County game wardens came across some interesting violations one weekend in July. The wardens were checking fishermen on the Nueces River and discovered a subject with a 30-inch tarpon. As unusual as it was to find a tarpon in the river, things just got better. They noticed some marks on the tarpon's head and found the subject in possession of the undersized fish to be sitting on a bag with 75 feet of gill net. As the wardens finished that contact, another subject came walking down the bank and proudly showed off the catfish he had caught. The only problem was he caught them in a cast net. Shortly after that, the wardens waited for the last boat to come into the boat ramp. An oversized, untagged red fish was discovered in the boat.
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