Game Warden Stories: River Death, Failed Illegal Entry, Snagger Caught
July 17, 2017
There's no doubt the Texas Game Wardens, as well as any wildlife officers in any state, face a myriad of incidents when in the field — 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.
Here are some of those stories (republished with permission).
From the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Game Warden Field Notes, July 14
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Failed Illegal Entry
Game wardens were patrolling the Rio Grande by boat when they observed five individuals swimming across the river in an attempt to make illegal entry into the United States. Upon seeing the wardens, the individuals turned back for the Mexican shoreline. Four of the five successfully returned to Mexico, but one struggled on the U.S. side of the river. The individual was unable to stay above water and began actively drowning. The wardens rescued the individual and pulled him aboard their vessel. The individual was brought back to the boat ramp and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol.
Bucked Off and Busted
A Montgomery County game warden responded to a reported boat accident on Lake Conroe where a personal watercraft operator had hit a wave, was ejected from his jet ski and could not pull himself back on. When the warden was asking the operator about the accident, he believed alcohol could be involved. After a complete investigation, the operator was arrested for boating while intoxicated. The case is pending.
On the evening of July 2, Val Verde County game wardens responded to a call for help on a medical emergency from canoers that were paddling the Devils River. The group of 12 paddlers were reporting a death of one of the group along a very remote section of the river. The wardens coordinated with State Parks personnel to get the County Sheriff's Evidence/Crime Scene Unit and the justice of the peace to the location. Due to the remote area of the incident, the coordination for extraction of the deceased, the 11 remaining paddlers, their equipment and canoes and transport of all personnel turned into a 12 hour operation. The 25-year-old victim had died of natural causes.
Stuck in the Mud
Harris County game wardens were patrolling an area for reported poaching activity. At dusk, they spotted a truck trespassing along a power line easement on county property. The truck attempted to drive away and the wardens split up and moved to intercept it at one of two exit points further ahead of the vehicle. After dark, the truck and its occupants were located near the easement stuck in the mud on a flood control levee. After discharging a 12 gauge shotgun in an effort to signal others, the suspects were detained. Subsequent interviews revealed the subjects were trespassing and hunting hogs on county property without landowner consent. A 12 gauge shotgun, ammunition and a flashlight were seized. Charges are pending.
Snagged in the Act of Snagging
Smith County game wardens were patrolling by truck around Lake Palestine when they observed a man in the water at an old boat ramp using a metal pole with a large treble hook affixed to one end trying to catch flathead catfish. After making contact, citations were issued for fishing with illegal means and methods and no fishing license.
Game Warden Stories publishes occasionally on Game & Fish. The accounts above are shared here with permission.