The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden law enforcement reports.
Out (of it) for a Swim
A Tarrant County game warden received a call from the sheriff’s department reporting an overturned kayak in the middle of Benbrook Lake and the displaced paddler in distress. It was determined the individual was delusional and told the Benbrook Fire Department he didn’t need any help. Responders tossed the man a life jacket and convinced him to put it on, but as the warden attempted to grab the individual and place him in the patrol boat for his safety, the subject took the life jacket off and swam away from the boat. After refusing another life jacket, the individual swam to the shore. The warden and the firemen attempted to restrain the individual but he ran back into the lake and swam back out. The warden boarded his boat and used it to push the subject back to the shore where numerous Benbrook police officers and Tarrant County sheriff’s deputies restrained him. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
True Confessions of a Gator Poacher
A Freestone County game warden recently received information on some alligators allegedly killed on the Trinity River. After conducting several interviews of potential suspects, the warden got confessions from all parties involved in the killing of one alligator and the live-capture of another from the Trinity River. One of the subjects gave the location where the alligator that had been shot and the warden was able to find the alligator remains. Also, during his investigation, the warden was able to obtain information on an alligator that was killed in August of 2015. He was able to gather information on this alligator and obtained confessions from those parties as well. (Cases and civil restitution pending)
Smile, You’re on Candid Game Camera
A Tyler County game warden received a call from a hunting lease representative that a lease member, who was hog hunting, observed two male subjects riding an ATV down a shooting lane. The complainant also stated that he had approached the subjects, escorted them off the lease and was concerned that they had taken a game camera, but that he did not see them in possession of the game camera when he made contact. The warden returned to the hunting stand area and was able to follow the violators ATV tracks down a county road to a house about a mile away. Contact was made, and initially, the subject denied taking the camera, but finally came clean during the interview. The subject advised they were concerned their picture was taken and decided to take the camera. The subject then took the warden to the location where they had dumped the camera. The warden received statements from both subjects and recovered the stolen game camera. (Charges for theft of property and trespass charges are pending)
No Self Control
Sabine County game wardens received information about an individual who allegedly shot a white-tailed buck deer in July, well out of season. An investigation led to a search warrant, which resulted in the seizure of a velvet set of antlers scoring close to 115 inches on the Boone & Crockett scoring system, knives used to process the deer, an ice cooler of meat and another set of antlers off an illegal buck, having an inside spread of less than 13 inches, that was harvested during last year’s deer season. The subject admitted to shooting the deer while hog hunting and said he couldn’t pass on a buck with velvet antlers. The suspect was arrested and several citations issued. (Cases pending)
Netting an Off Duty Arrest
A Bexar County game warden was fishing with his family at Braunig Lake when he noticed four men from a distance working a gill net in a cove. He contacted a fellow warden on duty to inform him of what was going on. After arriving at Braunig, both wardens watched the men continue to work the net. The warden on duty made contact with the subjects and quickly recovered the illegal equipment, while the other warden went back to fishing. (Multiple cases pending)
Back to the Grind
During a routine water safety check of a boat on Canyon Lake, a Comal County game warden observed a large silver grinder in plain view on the seat. The passengers were asked who the grinder belonged to and when no one claimed it the warden radioed for another patrol boat to provide assistance during a search of the vessel for additional contraband. During the search, several other drug paraphernalia were located on the boat: numerous plastic bags of marijuana, several glass pipes, a wooden “dug-out,” one-half of what appeared to be an ecstasy pill, another unidentified pill, and two large grinders. Five citations were issued to five individuals for possession of drug paraphernalia and one was arrested on three outstanding warrants totaling $6,800 in bonds. Additional cases are pending while drug analysis is conducted on the two unidentified pills.
No Sale, Just Jail
Travis County game wardens received a tip that someone was selling gulf shrimp roadside in Dripping Springs. After corroborating the information and making contact, it was determined that the subject didn’t have the required retail truck dealer’s license, was flagged for violent tendencies and was wanted in Aransas County on a second degree felony warrant. With the information provided, the wardens educated the subject on the requirements to sell aquatic product, placed the subject in custody and transported same to Hays County jail. (Case pending)
Costly Joy Ride
Williamson County wardens were patrolling on a county road when an ATV with two riders passed them at a high rate of speed heading the other direction. They turned around and caught up to the pair on the ATV, both minors, and got them stopped. They did not have any safety equipment and were told they could not operate the ATV on the road. Wardens located the VIN and verified that it was a stolen vehicle from 2014. The operator said it was his friend’s ATV so the wardens told him to get his friend to come get them. While waiting for the friend to show up, one of the wardens contacted the documented owner, who verified it was his ATV and arrived with paperwork to prove it. The friend finally showed up with his girlfriend, also both minors, and stated the ATV was his. He said he paid $1,000 to a friend in 2014 and has had it since. When asked for his friend’s name and information, he said he only knew his name but did not have any contact information. Wardens then detected the smell of alcohol on the breath of one of the individuals and asked how much he had to drink. He replied, “None, I don’t drink.” The warden asked for a breathalyzer sample, which registered above the legal limit. At the conclusion of the roadside investigation, the operator of the ATV received two citations for operating the ATV on the roadway and without safety equipment, all four minors received minor consumption citations and the original owner got his stolen ATV back. The investigation continues concerning the actual theft of the ATV. (Cases and investigation pending)