Officers face a myriad of incidents when in the field — these game warden stories range from the serious to the ridiculous.
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports. (Re-published with permission)
With That License? A Jackalope, Maybe
A Presidio County game warden was checking a hunting camp for game law compliance during the second day of pronghorn antelope season when he came upon an out-of-state hunter who had harvested a pronghorn.
The hunter did possess a valid pronghorn permit. But, upon inspection of his hunting license, it was discovered that the hunter only purchased a Non-Resident Five Day Special Hunting License ($48).
This license is valid for hunting small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, but not a pronghorn. A Non-Resident General Hunting License ($315) is required to hunt all big game animals in Texas.
The hunter was cited for hunting without a valid license, received a warning for no hunter education certification, and the pronghorn was seized. The citation and civil restitution for the pronghorn are pending.
Looks Like It’s Back to Jail
On Oct. 1, at about 9 p.m., a Hunt County game warden received a call from a landowner about shots being fired from a county road near her home. The warden responded and soon located a truck with a spotlight being shined from the window.
He stopped the vehicle and a brief investigation revealed the subjects inside were the ones shooting from the roadway. The warden seized three spotlights, two semi-automatic rifles and cartridge casings as evidence.
As the warden was issuing citations to the group for hunting from a roadway, another vehicle pulled alongside. When the warden attempted to make contact with the occupants of the second vehicle, the driver shifted into reverse and began to flee.
The warden was able to stop the fleeing vehicle a short distance away and an investigation turned up methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
A computer check revealed the male and female subjects inside the vehicle had both recently been released from prison. The couple were arrested on drug-related charges. The cases are pending.
It’s Not What You Think
A Montgomery County game warden responding to a possible intoxicated driver call found the subject passed out behind the wheel with his truck in park, motor running, and his foot fully pressing the accelerator in the middle of the road.
It was apparent that the driver had been that situation for some time as the vehicle’s engine was overheating. The warden turned off the truck engine and began speaking with the driver.
The driver kept falling back asleep after answering questions, leading the warden to conclude this was a potential medical emergency.
The warden radioed for EMS, who determined the man was having a diabetic episode. The driver recovered quickly after being treated by the medics.
No Tailgating Allowed
Game wardens were patrolling the Sam Houston National Forest when they noticed a restricted area had the lock cut and gate swung open.
Upon further investigation, they found several people camping in the restricted area preparing for opening day of bow season. Several citations were issued.
While exiting the area the wardens noticed another vehicle in a restricted area. Upon contact with that driver, the wardens discovered the subject had outstanding warrants for his arrest and was in possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and transported to Montgomery County jail. The case is pending.
No Fishing Means No Fishing
A Robertson County game warden responded to a trespassing call from a landowner reporting a subject on his property riding an ATV loaded with fishing gear.
The landowner, who has ponds stocked with fish on the property, confronted the trespasser and told him to leave, but the individual refused.
Upon arrival, the warden found the landowner but no trespasser. After learning the game warden had been called, the man reportedly gathered his fishing gear and fled the scene.
The landowner stated that he wanted to pursue any charges.
While the warden was talking with the landowner, local police radioed they had stopped a man riding an ATV illegally on a public roadway a short distance away. The warden responded to that scene and made contact with the subject.
After a short interview, the man admitted to riding down a public road and entering into the landowner’s property through an open gate that was clearly marked with a no trespassing sign. He claimed he was innocent because he had not yet fished on the property that day.
After obtaining a non-consent affidavit and a written statement from the landowner, the subject was placed under arrest for criminal trespass and also charged with operating an ATV on a public roadway. The cases are pending.