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Jan. 31, 2005

TPWD Game Warden Field Notes

The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

It's Only Good if You READ it — A Schleicher County Game Warden checked seven hunters from Georgia who had 12 deer in their camp. When the checking was over and the ink dried, the warden had written 13 citations and warnings for exceeding the limit on white-tailed buck deer, improperly tagged deer (mule deer tag on whitetail), untagged deer, and other tagged violations. The warden offered to give the hunters some Outdoor Annuals, but they stated that they had the books and had not read them. The hunters left a total of $2,400 with the local justice of the peace. Restitution is pending.

Too Bad, So Sad — A Midland resident arrested by a Sterling County Game Warden had his day in court. The subject pleaded guilty to the charge of hunting deer at night, and the judge assessed the maximum fine of $4,000 plus cost of court of $211. The subject's license will be suspended for a year, and he will pay $1,575 for restitution. The court allowed the subject to keep his .270 Weatherby magnum rifle. *Note: The landowner also voided the corporate lease the subject had in the amount of $22,000 with no refund.

"Field Dressed" — Wardens were checking a hunting camp right after dark. When the occupants of the camp came out to greet them, the wardens were somewhat concerned that one of the male hunters was wearing a dress or skirt. Being the professionals they are, they continued with the contact and found that the hunter had been successful in killing two turkeys, one of which was untagged and the other was improperly tagged. While receiving his citation, the Tarrant County hunter asked the wardens, "How do you like my new hunting dress?" They replied that it was nice, but it might be a little cool. The hunter replied that the wind did cause some problems. The dress turned out to be a "camouflage kilt." The hunter's wife stated that this was the new fad in hunting apparel, and she had bought the kilt for him.

Cooking Up Trouble — Lampasas and Burnet county wardens responded to a landowner complaint of four people trespassing in their river cabin. The wardens parked away from the cabin and approached on foot to watch what was happening at the location. The officers observed all the windows of the cabin covered by blankets and loud talking from inside. A woman from inside the cabin attempted to drive away and was stopped while the wardens caught three males leaving out the back of the cabin. All signs of a meth lab were present so the Narcotics Team from Lampasas was called. Numerous scales, lab equipment, chemicals, a handgun, and a large amount of methamphetamine were found in and around the cabin. Four adults were arrested and charged with manufacture of meth., possession with intent to distribute, and felon in poss. of firearm. This was the second-largest meth lab bust in Lampasas County.

Hide and Seek, You Lose — A Wood County Game Warden went to a location south of Hainsville when he received information in reference to late duck hunting the day before. The warden arrived and the shooting started and continued for an hour. The hunters exited the marsh an hour later. Two men and one woman stopped to rest about 20 yards in front of the warden when one of the men stated, "I wonder if the game warden got tired, gave up and left." At that point the warden turned on his light and said, "No, I'm still here." Charges pending.

The Imposter — Nacogdoches County Game Wardens concluded an investigation regarding a citizen complaining that a man claiming to be a game warden pulled her over. A local man was charged with a felony count for impersonating a public servant.

They DO Make Game Wardens Like That!!! Uvalde County Game Wardens observed a vehicle driving slowly down a farm to market road. The vehicle came right in front of where the wardens were sitting and shined a light into the brush. The wardens weren't sure if it was a police spotlight due to the position of the light; the vehicle drove to the Zavala County line and turned around. The vehicle approached the same location and lit up the night again; this time the wardens heard two shots; the vehicle repositioned and shot again. A short pursuit ensued, and the vehicle was stopped in Zavala County. After the wardens secured the scene and put the subjects into handcuffs, one of the subjects asked the female warden, "Maam, y'all aren't going to call the game wardens on us are you?" The warden informed the subjects, again, that they were the game wardens. Three individuals were then transported the Uvalde County Jail. Cases pending.

Tragedy — Mason County Wardens Jerry Gordon and James Nixon responded to a fatality hunting accident in Mason County. The wardens had just checked the camp a few minutes before the incident occurred. The initial investigation showed that the victim's rifle was laid on the back seat of a pickup, and he had started throwing clothes, bags, etc. on top of the gun when something apparently struck the trigger causing the rifle to fire, striking him in the chest. Further investigation is being done by DPS Ranger Joey Gordon and Mason County SO.

Hefty Price to Pay — A Coleman County Game Warden was patrolling a county road when he observed a green car driving around in a pasture. When he made contact, he found the subject to have two felony charges against him while in possession of a .22 caliber rifle. A search of the vehicle turned up a freshly killed set of antlers that Boone & Crockett scored 148. The subject was also hunting on the property without landowner's permission. After using good investigative skills, Randall filed charges of no hunting license and hunt deer with a rimfire rifle. The restitution for the 148-deer will be $4,683.10.

2005-01-31


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