Officers face a myriad of incidents in the field — these Texas Game Wardens stories range from the serious to the ridiculous.
Regularly, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department posts "Game Warden Field Notes," an online roundup of recent law enforcement stories directly from reports in the field.
The following items are re-published here with permission.
The Naked Truth
Hunters rely on camouflage clothing to mask their appearance and avoid detection in the field, but an Upshur County man recently took "going commando" to the next level.
He was arrested by a Gregg County game warden while hunting in the nude along a state highway. Obviously, he did not have a hunting license on him. The well-known nudist/activist later contested the charges.
During the trial, his case fell apart when the warden's bodycam footage was played to the county judge. After hearing testimony and viewing a few seconds of the undressed violator in action, the judge abruptly stopped the video and walked out ruling in the state's favor.
The activist promptly cancelled all appeals and settled the citations, which included: hunting without a license, shooting across a property line, and disorderly conduct.
Rage Against the Bass Boats
Game wardens received a call alleging an intoxicated person was waving a gun at passing boats. While responding, they received a second call that the suspect's behavior seemed to be escalating.
He was very agitated and either aiming a gun, or acting like it, as boats passed.
The wardens launched their patrol boat and located a very intoxicated fisherman anchored in the middle of the channel. He stated he was upset that bass boats had passed him and caused his boat to shift.
The suspect was not observed operating the boat so he was arrested and charged with public intoxication. No gun was found.
Chicken Hawk Down
On Halloween, a Bowie County game warden received a call in reference to an individual shooting a hawk.
The warden responded to the individual's residence and observed what appeared to be a Cooper's hawk lying on the back of a vehicle near the suspect's house. He made contact with the homeowner, who admitted he knew hawks were protected but he didn't want it to get his chickens.
The warden educated the subject on legal and non-lethal options to protect his chickens from birds of prey and other predators. The hawk was seized and the subject received a citation for taking a protected bird species. The case is pending.
Reason #27 to Leave Wildlife Alone
A Titus County game warden responded to a mobile home community where a young white-tailed buck deer reportedly attacked an individual.
The deer was well-known in the community after one of its residents had illegally taken possession of it as an abandoned fawn. The well-intentioned person who originally caught the deer could no longer take care of it as a pet so he attached white tags to its ears and released it on a nearby ranch.
Absent natural instincts to avoid humans, the deer returned to its "home" except now with a full set of antlers and raging hormones.
The game warden captured the deer, removed the tags from its ears, and relocated it to a high fenced game ranch where, hopefully, it will learn to avoid people.
On Nov. 6, a Karnes County game warden received a phone call about a local resident that had killed a white-tailed buck deer and was not planning on tagging the deer.
The warden found posts on Facebook of the suspect with the deer, and verified the individual did not have a valid hunting license.
During a brief interview, the suspect told the warden he had purchased a license and tagged the deer.
The warden then informed the hunter that he had already verified that he did not have a license. Hunting without a valid hunting license was filed and the 10-point buck was seized.