Confessing Poacher, Warden Impersonator, High-Water Rescues
October 24, 2017
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.
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports. (Re-published with permission)
No Tag, You're It
A game warden responded to an Operation Game Thief call from Houston dispatch about a possible deer tagging violation. An anonymous caller reported a hunter had harvested a spike white-tailed deer on a Managed Lands Deer Permit lease, and left without properly tagging the animal.
The warden was able to locate the hunter at a friend's house where he was skinning the deer. After further investigation, the hunter admitted to not tagging the deer because he wanted to save the tag for a later time. Citations were issued and the case pending.
A game warden in Grimes County received a call from an individual who wanted to sit down and talk about multiple deer that he had taken illegally in recent years across multiple counties.
During the interview, the individual admitted to three deer he had killed in Brazos County and multiple burglaries in several different counties.
He also admitted to being a felon and was in possession of three different firearms during the time that the deer were taken.
All cases linked to the burglary incidents have been turned over to the respective county investigators and charges of felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm are being pursued in Brazos and Grimes counties respectively. All cases are currently pending.
High Water Rescues
During a late September flood event in South Texas that saw more than 12 inches of rainfall overnight, game wardens in Dimmit and LaSalle counties assisted with high water rescues and evacuations from ranches involving nearly 250 individuals.
A majority of the individuals were oil field workers that had been surrounded by the high water and, in one instance, a crew of 46 workers were having to get on top of their vehicles. With the cooperation of the U.S. Border Patrol, Dimmit County Sheriff's Office, Dimmit County Commissioner's heavy equipment and surrounding fire departments, nearly 100 individuals were rescued/evacuated from the ranch.
On the LaSalle County side of the ranch, another 60-plus individuals were also evacuated. Wardens also responded to another call on a ranch that bordered Dimmit and LaSalle counties and used three airboats to evacuate nearly 80 oil field workers.
Crank Caller Not a Warden
Game wardens in Bell and Travis counties received calls from an individual inquiring if wardens were investigating a boating accident. Since there were no other officers in the area on duty that day, and no reported accidents, they assumed someone might be impersonating a game warden.
The wardens tried unsuccessfully to make contact with the individual who made the inquiry, and after tracking him down discovered an acquaintance of his had made the call as a prank
The wardens were provided with the names of two people involved. They tracked one of the persons involved, and advised that his phone was used to impersonate a game warden and make the call.
He claimed he was unaware of the incident until the following day. The wardens then tracked down the suspect who admitted making the frightening phone call, who admitted to impersonating a Texas game warden.
The suspect also used the actual name of a state police officer. An arrest warrant was obtained for the suspect for a single felony count of impersonating a public servant. The case is pending.