Game Warden Stories: Spear Gun on Bass, Turkey Baiters, More

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.

One thing for certain. Many times it involves stupid people doping stupid things.

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

Here are some of those stories (reprinted with permission).

Texas Game Wardens logo

From the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Game Warden Field Notes, May 16

Speared Bass

Comal County game wardens responded to the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels near the Faust Street Bridge on a report of a person illegally shooting bass with a homemade spear gun.

Upon arrival, the wardens observed the suspect in the river with his spear gun and in possession of an undersized largemouth bass that he had caught/killed with the device. The man also did not have a fishing license. Cases are pending.

The Joys of Spotlighting

Game wardens responded to a call in Refugio County about a vehicle spotlighting from the roadway.  With assistance from the caller, the wardens stopped three individuals in a vehicle on a rural road.  After a lengthy investigation and interview, it was found the three subjects were, in fact, out joy riding with intentions of hunting from the road.  Multiple citations were issued.

Net Loss is Net Gain

Game wardens recently retrieved 31 sections of illegal gill net and four illegal crab traps from the Rio Grande River in Cameron County. The illegal net measured over 2,325 yards in length.

The gill nets contained numerous species of fish including: snook, spotted sea trout, black drum, sheepshead, blue catfish, tilapia, carp and mullet. Many of the fish were able to be cut free from the net and returned to the Rio Grande River.

a.k.a Under Arrest

Smith County game wardens were patrolling Lake Tyler when they made contact with a group of individuals fishing in a park on the lake.

One of the individuals identified himself by a name that wardens learned was an alias and tagged with outstanding arrest warrants.

The suspect was arrested without incident, but had an extensive criminal history, including assault on a public servant and assault with a deadly weapon. The subject's warrant was a felony theft warrant out of Smith County and felony evading arrest from Corrigan Police Department.

Baiting the Baiters

On opening day of the spring Eastern turkey hunting season, Red River County game wardens were revisiting areas they had discovered during recent patrols that had been baited with corn.

They observed four separate hunters actively hunting Eastern turkey over bait in violation of state game laws.

One hunter shot a turkey over the bait, but was unsuccessful in finding it. Other hunting license violations were also encountered during these contacts. Multiple cases are pending.

Net Loss

Responding to a tip from an Operation Game Thief call, a Tarrant County game warden caught four men fishing with a cast net and keeping game fish in violation of state fishing laws.

The men were in possession of 130 crappie, 64 yellow bass, 8 black bass, and 37 perch. About 50 of the crappie and bass were undersized. None of the men had fishing licenses. The fish were cleaned and donated. Multiple cases filed.

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