Texas game warden field notes: Variety of deer violations reported

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Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

From Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports

Hot tamale

A Val Verde County game warden received a call from the Del Rio Police Department about a small SUV that had a white-tailed deer in the back seat. The warden asked the woman about the deer and she said she needed it for tamales she was planning to make the next day. One case filed for possession in closed season and one case of DWI filed by the Del Rio Police Department.

Guessing game

An Ellis County game warden met a new farmer at a gas station who wanted his business card because he was having trouble with dove hunters on his properties. One day, the farmer called the warden with the license plate of a truck with two men inside who were shooting at dove while driving down the road. The warden drove to the location and picked up hulls on the road and proceeded to look for the truck. The truck was spotted just as it was turning into the driveway. After confronting the subjects about their hunt, the warden made a deal with them and said, “I’ll leave, but only if I can’t guess what gauge shotgun is in the gun case in your backseat, and I’ll bet in that camouflage bag there are low brass, Winchester No. 8 shot shells that are red in color.” After puzzled looks and realizing the warden knew more than they thought he did, the two men confessed and multiple citations are pending.

Over limits and over the line

A Williamson County game warden received an Operation Game Thief call about people who were shooting over a property line in Jonah. When the warden arrived at the location, he was unable to locate shooters. He returned to the same area later that evening and heard several shots coming from the property. When the warden contacted the shooter, he found that the man was in possession of 19 mourning doves, four over his daily bag limit, did not have a hunting license, and was in possession of a stolen Remington 20-gauge out of Irving. The shotgun and birds were confiscated and charges are pending.

Aiming for trouble

An Edwards County game warden and a Real County game warden saw a group of people taking fish illegally with a spear gun. When they confronted the group, the wardens found 42 illegally taken game fish. The subjects were issued numerous citations for taking fish by illegal means and methods.

Not so squeaky clean

Two San Augustine County game wardens received information about possible road hunting, including the description of a vehicle seen leaving the area shortly after the shots. The wardens searched the area and on a nearby dirt road discovered deer tracks on the road. Following the tracks, the wardens found a fresh blood-stained scene. Taking into account the totality of the circumstance and the wardens knowledge of local poachers, they hastily went to a residence less than two miles away. Upon arrival, the wardens saw a vehicle matching the description from the scene. The back of the truck looked as if it was freshly washed, but the cleaning was not good enough to hide fresh blood and hair that was still noticeable. The wardens were given permission from the property owner to search the freezer and refrigerator inside the residence. Inside the refrigerator was a bag of still-warm deer meat. The wardens located the suspects and confessions were obtained.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Spotlight shooting

Two Shelby County game wardens received a call in the early morning hours from the local sheriff’s office regarding a traffic stop conducted by state troopers at the Department of Public Safety. The sheriff’s office advised the warden that in the trunk of the car was a live deer. When they arrived, the wardens noticed a .22-caliber rifle, two pellet guns, several flashlights, and a live mature doe in the trunk. After interviewing the subjects and examining the doe, the wardens could tell the deer had been shot with the .22-caliber rifle. The subjects admitted to hunting deer at night and using their car headlights to spotlight and shoot the doe from the roadway. All four subjects were taken to Shelby County Jail.

Corny excuse

While patrolling the Trinity River during the opening day of teal season, Trinity County game wardens heard several shotgun shots coming from the other side of a hill covered in goat weed. The wardens walked in and found two dove hunters. The hunters were very surprised and immediately began walking towards the wardens. When asked for hunting licenses, the hunters were extremely nervous and had a hard time removing their licenses from the pouches. The wardens asked the hunters why they were so nervous and if there was anything they needed to know about. The hunters replied no and said the last time they were checked in this county they were hunting ducks with lead shot and received citations. While the hunters were speaking to a warden separately, the other warden began searching the area by the hunters’ folding chairs. The warden found corn on the ground in the area where they were hunting. The hunters denied knowing anything about the corn. Citations for hunting over bait were issued.

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Will Leschper is founder of The Texas Outdoor Digest. He has been recognized for Excellence in Craft by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. He is Conservation Editor of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters, in addition to writing for plenty of of now-defunct publications.

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