Wardens encounter poachers, lame excuses

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

  • Willie the Decoy 
    Two Henderson County game wardens and two Cherokee County game wardens were patrolling for night hunters because calls were received from landowners about road and night hunting on a farm-to-market road in their area. Willie, the decoy deer, was put into action and the wardens barely had time to set up the decoy before the first shots rang out. One of the subjects said he was just shooting to get the deer to run back into the woods. Cases pending.
  • Just ‘Looking at Animals’
    A Leon County game warden received a call from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office about a driver of a green vehicle who shot a deer from the road. The warden met with the person who called the sheriff, who said he was sitting in his deer stand when someone drove by, stopped, shot, drove down the road, turned around, and shot again. Then, the suspects got out and drug the deer from the property, loaded it up and drove off. Although the man was unable to get a license plate number, the warden contacted the local police department thinking that the truck would be heading in their direction. The Mart Police Department found the truck with fresh blood in the bed and two loaded shotguns in the cab. The warden arrived at the suspect’s residence in Mart, where evidence was collected and the shotguns and deer were seized. The man, his two sons, and his young daughter were on a Sunday drive “looking at animals” when the violations occurred, the father said. Cases pending.
  • Getting Schooled
    A McLennan County game warden received a call from a hunter to help locate a deer he shot while bowhunting. After further investigation, the warden found that the deer was shot on China Spring Independent School District property and the hunter had been hunting on this property for some time without permission from the ISD. The large white-tailed buck had been seen on a few trail cams in the area and was being hunted by many in the area. The deer was found on an adjoining landowner’s property a week later.  Citation issued.  Charges pending.
  • Ruffled Feathers 
    An Austin County game warden made contact with two hunters at a campsite after hearing a gunshot. The hunters claimed they did not see or shoot anything, but after the warden mentioned hearing a shot, the suspects changed their story and said they shot at a coyote with a shotgun. The warden looked around the area and found fresh dove feathers on a four-wheeler. The hunters were persistent that they only shot at the coyote. After further conversation, the hunter claimed he thought it was still dove season and admitted to shooting a dove. Citations were issued and the dove was seized.
  • A White-Tailed Lie
    An Austin County game warden responded to a call at a local residence where a shot was heard. As he approached the house, he saw three men standing outside the garage looking at him. Two other men soon came out of the garage and shut the door. The men claimed they did not shoot anything and that they were not hunting. After talking with the men and hearing conflicting stories, the shooter was identified and the warden found a white-tailed doe hidden in the garage. Citations were issued, and the deer was seized.
  • Smoking Through a Storm
    While on patrol during a winter storm in Callahan County, a game warden and deputy stopped to assist a man whose pickup truck had slid off the icy roadway, ending up on its side in a ditch. When the door was opened, a strong odor of marijuana escaped the vehicle.  After a lengthy interview with the driver in 10-degree weather, the man pulled a bag of marijuana out of his pants.  The man was transported to jail and was charged with possession of marijuana and driving with a suspended license.
  • Tag, You’re It
    A Polk County game warden filed a citation on a local man for killing a white-tailed buck in Polk County and tagging the deer with his wife’s license. The man explained to the warden that he had already killed a buck in an adjacent county and thought that if he used his tag on the deer in Polk County, he would be “tagged out.” The warden pointed out that he misunderstood the antler restriction bag limit and found that he was not “tagged out” after all. Citations and warnings were issued to the man and his wife for hunting/allowing to hunt under the license of another, failure to tag white-tailed deer, and failure to complete harvest log.
  • Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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