Wildlife officers face a myriad of incidents in the field — these Game Warden Stories range from the serious, like poaching cases, to the ridiculous.
What follows is a roundup of recent incidents, cases and results of the work of game wardens do across the country.
DNR Officers Nab Break-In Suspects
Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers arrested two men wanted by local police in connection with a Saginaw County crime spree. The responders included off-duty and newly graduated officers.
According to a news release, officer Will Brickel received to a call from the Shiawassee River State Game Area about a truck seen in a section off-limits to vehicles. Brickel alerted on-duty officers Joe Myers and Adam Beuthin, who responded to the area.
Brickel, who went to the scene despite being off-duty, saw two men walking and when he approached them, they ran into the woods. The three officers were able to close in on the suspects, who gave up after a short chase. Beuthin, who graduated from the DNR Conservation Officer Recruit School in December, took the suspects into custody without incident.
The officers discovered the truck to be stolen and men to be suspected in at least 30 breaking-and-entering cases. They were turned over to the Chesaning Police Department.
Facebook Advertising Really Works
On April 3, Texas Game Wardens received an Operation Game Thief crime stoppers call alleging an individual was trying to sell an alligator on Facebook. Wardens quickly determined the man was actually looking to sell the rifle pictured in his post, not the alligator, which still begged the question: “Where did he get the gator?” Wardens continued the investigation and learned the individual harvested the alligator illegally in San Jacinto County. During an interview on April 13, wardens gained a full confession. Charges and restitution were filed.
More on Poaching
- 636 Over the Limit: Crappie Poaching Cases Reported
- Youths Witness Poaching, Dumpster Diving for Clues, Beer Busted
- 278-Inch Buck Taken In North Texas Poaching Case
- Man Convicted, Sentenced for Shooting at Wildlife Officer in Poaching Case
Malicious Arrow Attacks on Deer
UPDATE: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reported Thursday afternoon they were able to safely remove arrows from two deer. Read more here
Oregon officials are investigating who’s behind the discovery of live deer found with arrows stuck through them earlier this week. Remarkably, the injuries were not considered immediately life-threatening.
Oregon State Police shared photos of the deer in a news release and said a reward has been offered for information that helps find who’s responsible. Police said wildlife troopers and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife were called to Shady Cove, located in southwest Oregon, to investigate the incident on April 27.
The troopers and ODFW responded in an effort to investigate and possibly tranquilize the deer to be able to remove the arrow. Information learned was that the deer was able to feed and walk around. They were unable to locate the deer. A trooper responded later that evening and found not one, but two deer that had arrows protruding from them. The injuries to the deer did not appear to be life-threatening.
State police said there might be a third deer also running around with an arrow stuck in it. Officials were hopeful they’ll be able to tranquilize the deer to remove the arrows; they had not gotten close enough for the tranquilizer dart to be effective.
On Monday, police said the reward had been increased to $2,000, including $1,500 from a local chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association. The arrows used in the attacks were not hunting arrows and officials called the acts malicious.
“Poaching wildlife and damaging habitats affects present and future generations of wildlife, impacts communities and the economy, and creates enforcement challenges,” police said in the news release.
If you have any information that might be helpful in the investigation, you are asked to call the TIP (Turn in Poachers) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or by calling Oregon State Police at 541-776-6111.
Striper Season Opener Has Wardens Busy
The recent opening of the New York striped bass season has attracted illegal angling. According to a New York Department of Environmental Conservation news release, officers were busy catching suspected poachers even before the season began.
On April 13, during a routine patrol along the Hudson River (April 1 opening day), an officer noticed two men walking along railroad tracks, with one carrying a plastic bag and the other carrying fishing poles. In the bag were 18 illegally caught stripers. “The officer explained to the subjects that they are only able to keep one fish a day of the species,” the agency said.
On the 14th, two officers had just started an overnight shift for the opening of the marine striper season (April 15), when they saw four fisherman on Staten Island catching stripers and hiding them in the sand. Eleven striped bass were found, 10 of which were under the 28-inch minimum.
In Kings County, the officers seized three more stripers from four other men before the midnight opening. An hour later, as the season opened, the officers stopped three anglers in Queens County who had already caught 24 undersized fish, and another who was trying to hide the striped bass he had just caught.
Finally, in Bronx County, three more busts led to nearly 20 more seizures. In all, the two officers wrote 30 summonses for fishing violations and confiscated 57 illegal fish, which were either released alive or donated.