Game Warden Stories: Antler-Entangled Elk, Car-Finding Sonar, 48 Bundles of Pot

A game warden's work can mean life or death. Texas Game Wardens, who activated personnel in front of flooding rain last weekend, were credited with saving three people caught in their vehicle Saturday near Portland. (Photo by Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Wildlife officers face a myriad of incidents when in the field — these game warden stories range from the serious to the ridiculous.


Antler-Entangled Elk Set Free

Wyoming game wardens saved two bull elk that had gotten entangled while sparring. With the animals unable to get free, wardens tranquilized the bulls, untangled their antlers, and watched them run off after the tranquilizer wore off.Because it's open elk season in Wyoming, the elks were marked with large orange Xs and Call Before Consuming ear tags to alert people the animals had been tranquilized and handled.

Click here to view video by WGFD's Chris Martin

Car-Finding Fish Finder

Side-scan imaging in fishing sonar isn't just for finding lunkers. Last month, a Texas game warden used the technology to look for dumped vehicles on Lake Conroe and found what he was looking for near the Scott's Ridge boat ramp -- a late-model Mercedes Benz reported stolen in June.


48 Bundles of Pot

Game wardens patrolling Falcon Lake in Texas in early August were alerted to a suspicious boat entering Texas waters from the Mexico side of the lake. A fisherman reported seeing the boat and its approximate location. Wardens saw a panga-style boat moving at a high speed toward Texas, then chased it into a backwater cove, three miles from the US/Mexico border.

Game wardens found the boat beached and abandoned, as well as 48 bundles of marijuana weighing 1,100 pounds, that was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol. The boat and motor will be processed as abandoned property by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel and the Zapata County courts.

Click here to read more Texas Game Wardens Field Notes


DNA Result Catches Poacher

New York conservation officers had to wait months to close a deer-poaching case after DNA confirmed the suspect's guilt. The suspect pleaded guilty to killing a 10-point buck on opening day last year, and was fined more than $1,500. Wardens were first alerted of the possible crime by a witness, who reported seeing someone on Nov. 18, 2017, cutting up a deer in the woods near the town of Tonawanda, an area closed to big-game hunting. Officers located the 10-point buck at a taxidermyshop and seized it for DNA comparison with evidence collected at the scene. Nine months later, a match was made and suspect was issued multiple tickets.

Mom and Cub Bears on a Swim

New York conservation officers Shane Manns and Paul Pasciak were patrolling Great Sacandaga Lake when they heard of two bears swimming in the lake. The officers positioned their boat to encourage a mother and her cub to make it safely to the shore.

Read more NY Conservation Police Officer Highlights

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