100's of Illegal Doves Seized, Hunting Over Bait, Bagging Buzzards: Game Warden Stories

Officers face a myriad of incidents when in the field — these game warden stories range from the serious to the ridiculous.

Regularly, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department posts "Game Warden Notes," an online roundup of recent law enforcement stories compiled directly from reports in the field.

(Re-published with permission)

game warden stories

From the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Game Warden Field Notes Sept. 29

Struggles with Dove Math

A game warden was on patrol opening day of dove season in Bee County and, while checking a group of hunters, found numerous violations. 

When the warden contacted one individual with a pile of 14 dove on his truck who was still actively hunting, the hunter stated he needed one more bird to finish out his 15-bird daily bag limit. 

"What's in the bag?" the warden asked, pointing to the man's game bird bag.

He then reluctantly produced one dove from his game bag. When the warden asked him if he had any more birds, the math-challenged hunter sheepishly withdrew three more from his bag. Cases were filed for exceeding the daily limit on dove. 

360 Divided by 8 Equals Zero

Webb County game wardens on patrol encountered eight hunters who seemed to be having great success based on the amount of shooting that they were doing. Upon contacting the individuals, one of the wardens walked into the field and immediately noticed large amounts of milo scattered throughout the field. 

Baiting fields to attract migratory game birds during hunting season is illegal, as is hunting dove over bait.

An inspection of one hunter's vehicle revealed two empty bags of milo feed in the truck bed. After speaking with all eight hunters, they admitted to knowingly hunting the baited area, as well as placing the bait the previous day.

The wardens subsequently seized approximately 360 mourning and white-winged dove and cited eight hunters for various hunting and baiting violations. Civil restitution is pending. All edible resources were donated.

140 Doves Seized

Webb County game wardens checking dove hunters in the northern part of the county during opening weekend in the South Zone received information about a large group possibly hunting on a particular ranch.

Upon entering the ranch, contact was made with the landowner's son, who stated that he did not have any knowledge of any hunters being on the property. As they continued into the ranch they immediately noticed that there were multiple Mojo's in the field next to the landowner's residence.

The wardens approached the field and subsequently noticed three hunters riding around on an UTV. While contacting the hunters, the wardens noticed large amounts of bait scattered throughout the field, as well as a half empty bag of "Wild Bird Food" within 50 yards of them.

During the contact, the hunters admitted to placing the bait the previous day and apologized for their wrongdoing.

The wardens subsequently seized approximately 140 mourning and white-winged dove and cited six hunters for various hunting and baiting violations. Civil restitution is pending. All edible resources were donated.

Bagging Buzzards

Game wardens were working South Zone dove hunters near El Campo when they received a call from a local hunter claiming that he had seen several subjects in an adjacent field who had shot and killed vultures. 

The wardens made contact with three individuals who initially denied shooting anything but dove. After a brief interview, and several lies later, the suspects finally confessed to shooting and killing two vultures and revealed the birds' location.

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