The latest roundup of poaching stories includes busted offenders, open investigations and illegal sales of striped bass.
Game & Fish posts poaching news updates occasionally on this website.
Busted Text Says ‘Cop Got Us’
A Wheeler County game warden noticed a vehicle shining a light from a county road coming from Oklahoma into Texas. Once the vehicle passed, he followed and heard two shots fired.
The warden stopped the vehicle and separated the two female occupants. They denied knowledge of any weapons in the vehicle or any shooting from the road.
The warden retrieved a rifle from the back seat with a spent cartridge still in the chamber as well as ammunition, two cans of beer, a head lamp with the red light still on, and a cell phone with a text displayed on the screen that read “Cop got us.”
Adamantly denying any involvement of shooting, the two stuck with their story of being the only two occupants of the vehicle.
More Poaching Stories
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- Poaching News: Backyard Bucks, Hunting Over Bait, Headless Deer
- Jail Time, Big Fines Possible in Nighttime Poaching Case
- Go Fund Me Campaign Establishes Poaching Case Reward
After further investigation, it was found that two other subjects had gotten out at some point and made it back into Oklahoma.
Charges of Class A hunting from a vehicle were filed on both females and the passenger also received a public intoxication citation.
The warden is currently working with Oklahoma game wardens for possible illegal hunting from the same group near the state line.
Read more from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
RPV: Recreational Poaching Vehicle
Comal County game wardens investigating a complaint about the possible illegal killing of a white-tailed deer on the west end of Canyon Lake discovered the animal’s abandoned carcass.
An area resident walking his dog had spooked an individual who was in the process of cleaning the deer, and the suspect fled the scene with just the deer’s head and tenderloins.
The resident recognized the man cleaning the deer and was able to provide a name and the location of the suspect’s RV. The wardens made contact with the man and after a few questions, the individual admitted to killing the deer from his RV using a .22 caliber rifle; it is unlawful to hunt deer with a rimfire cartridge.
The man denied keeping the deer’s head and antlers, but during subsequent interrogation confessed to having stashed the head in a nearby tree.
The 63-year-old man stated he had never seen a deer that big, and felt compelled to shoot it before someone else did.
The man was cited for hunting deer with illegal means and for waste of game. The man also faces civil restitution on the 14-point white-tailed buck deer. The cases are pending.
Read more from Texas Parks & Wildlife’s “Game Warden Field Notes”
Illegal Fish in Chinatown
New York conservations officers issued numerous tickets to two men at a Chinatown market for allegedly selling illegal striped bass.
On Nov. 15, officers Brendan Dickson and Adam Johnson found two men with black plastic bags containing 28 striped bass for sale, all apparently caught in the East River (the limit is one per day).
Tickets issued: Taking of undersized striped bass, taking over the limit striped bass, taking food fish without a food fish permit, taking striped bass without a striped bass permit, fishing without a marine registry, and illegal sale of untagged striped bass.
Reward in North Rim Poaching
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering up to $8,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of yet another suspected poacher.
The case involves a mule deer buck found dead near near Mount Logan on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (in Unit 13A). It is suspected to have been killed sometime between Nov. 17 and 19.
A lawful deer hunt started Nov. 17 in Unit 13A, but evidence at the scene indicates the buck was possibly poached and edible portions of the animal were left to waste.
“This crime was obviously not the behavior of ethical, responsible hunters,” AZGFD Wildlife Officer Luke Thompson said in a news alert. “We’re asking anyone who may have been in the area or has knowledge of the crime to come forward with information on this case. Poaching is a crime against all Arizonans and will not be tolerated. One tip could be all that’s needed to bring a poacher to justice.”
Anyone with information about the case can call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 and provide case number 17-004571 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/ogt.
Suspected Poacher Arrested
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department said the suspect who allegedly poached a mule deer buck near Pinedale earlier this month has been charged, thanks to tips from the public.
The buck was killed on Nov. 12 along Boulder Lake Road; the mule deer hunting season in that area closed Oct. 6.
“I would like to send out a huge thank you to the individuals from local and surrounding communities who assisted in bringing this case to closure,” South Pinedale Game Warden Jordan Kraft said in a news alert. “We often rely on tips and information from the public regarding wildlife violations and this case is a good example of the public and Game and Fish personnel working together to protect Wyoming’s wildlife.”
Officials continue to investigate another suspected poaching northeast of Buckskin Crossing near Long Draw. That mule deer buck was killed Nov. 9 or 10 (during closed season) and only its antlers were removed.
Anyone with possible information on the second incident should call the Pinedale Game and Fish office at 1-800-452-9107, the STOP POACHING hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847) or the South Pinedale Game Warden, Jordan Kraft, at 307-367-2470. A reward of up to $5,000 is possible.