Game warden field notes

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife law enforcement reports.

Bare Necessities

While patrolling near Lake Sam Rayburn, a Sabine County game warden noticed a naked man running across the road from the water into a makeshift tent. The man soon emerged wearing an oversized pair of pants. The warden then contacted dispatch, who advised that the subject was wanted on three felony warrants out of Sabine County. The man’s actions and demeanor led the warden to ask a female subject with the man for consent to search their vehicle but was denied. A canine officer was called and upon arriving to the scene quickly alerted to the presence of narcotics. Meth, along with the man’s wallet, was located inside a pair of pants in a bookbag found in the bed of the truck. He was arrested and taken to Sabine County Jail. The case is pending.

Having a Baaaad Day

Game wardens were conducting water safety patrols of Lake Amistad when they encountered a baby goat in the water near shore. The goat had fallen into the lake and due to a broken leg was unable to get back out. The game wardens found the goat in the nick of time and saved it from potential starvation or drowning.

Grin and Bear It

A Titus County game warden and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist responded to a call about a black bear that had been photographed from a homeowner’s back porch. This was one of five bears that had been photographed in the northeast Texas region this season alone.

Pier Pressure

Two Polk County game wardens were patrolling Lake Livingston when they began watching a vessel as it approached a boat ramp nearby. Onboard, the male operating the boat switched places with a female subject before switching again once they approached the dock. When the wardens contacted the male subject, they detected a strong smell of alcohol. A standard field sobriety test was conducted, and the male was arrested for Boating While Intoxicated. His charges were enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor due to this being his second intoxication offense. Charges are pending.

Whiskey River

While patrolling the Neches River, a Hardin County game warden stopped a small aluminum boat for not displaying navigation lights. Three men were in the boat, one of whom was passed out on the floor of the boat. The warden performed a water safety inspection and in addition to there not being enough life jackets on board, the warden found beer cans and whiskey bottles strewn about the boat. The boat’s operator admitted that he had consumed several beers, and had taken a couple of shots of whiskey, prior to operating the boat. The warden conducted a standard field sobriety test once the subject was on shore. The man operating the boat was placed under arrest for Boating While Intoxicated and then booked into the Harden County Jail. His case is pending.

Up to the Gills in Trouble

After observing signs of possible illegal gill netting activities along the Nueces River, game wardens patrolled the area for two days before observing two men launching a small paddle boat into the river. The men had no fishing poles but instead had two large buckets with lids. The wardens walked the shoreline, following the boat for over a mile, obtaining video of the individuals actively gill netting from the concealment of brush. The men attempted to hide the gill nets in the buckets upriver, prior to loading up the boat. Once the boat was loaded, one of the subjects returned to retrieve the buckets. Wardens contacted the men and found 200 yards of gill net along with six large alligator gar. The boat and illegal fishing devices were seized. Multiple cases were filed including Over the Daily Bag Limit on alligator gar, Illegal Means and Methods and Insufficient Number of PFDs. One of the men had been caught by wardens before for the same violations.

Tell Tailed Sign

After an initial complainant of a Felon in Possession of Firearms and Taking a Deer in Closed Season, a Williamson County game warden obtained a search warrant on a local residence. Assisted by wardens from Travis County, Bell County and Milam County, the team executed the search and secured the house. They located a .410 shotgun with 15 boxes of ammo, meth, three deer antlers and deer meat in the freezer. A white-tailed deer carcass was also dug up in the backyard of the home. Two of the wardens received information of the suspect’s possible location along with a description of the suspect’s girlfriend’s vehicle. Wardens intercepted the vehicle and conducted a field interview. The girlfriend confessed that she had dropped her boyfriend off nearby and that he had recently shot a white-tailed deer and a feral hog. The Williamson County warden obtained a felony arrest warrant for the suspect and the case is still under investigation.

Noodle Over It

Hill and Bosque County game wardens were hidden among trees while patrolling the Brazos River when an airboat approached. The two occupants, a male and a female, stopped along the shoreline to swim. One of the wardens watched the subjects with binoculars and it appeared that the two may have been noodling. The subjects then left the airboat, returning to the shoreline just below where the wardens were staged. Once the male subject walked back into the water, it became evident that he had a pole with a hook on it. The wardens approached and the man dropped the pole but admitted that he was noodling. Charges for illegal means and methods were filed.

On the Fence

A Colorado County game warden received a call of a large alligator that had climbed the fence of a residential home and made itself comfortable in the backyard. The game warden, along with a DPS Trooper, were able to capture and relocate the alligator to a safe place outside of town.

Guard Gator

In Cameron County, game wardens received a call regarding an alligator that was roaming around inside a detention center facility. A facility staff member had reportedly stepped on its tail while exiting his vehicle in the parking lot. With the assistance of the facility staff, the wardens were able to safely relocate the almost 11-foot-long alligator.

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