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Game Warden Stories: Kayak Bass Cheating, 28 Whitetails Poached, Antelope Bucks Run Over

Here's a look at recent cases conservation officers faced in the field all across the nation.

Game Warden Stories: Kayak Bass Cheating, 28 Whitetails Poached, Antelope Bucks Run Over

Two Virginia game wardens stopped to help this angler boat a large cobia in Chesapeake Bay. (Photo courtesy of Virginia DGIF)

Wildlife officers — or game wardens — face a myriad of incidents when in the field.

These game warden stories range from the serious to the ridiculous.

Compiled from staff and agency reports

Kayak Fishing Cheater Caught

A Texas man was sentenced to jail time and restitution of nearly $3,000 after being caught for cheating in a catch-and-release kayak bass tournament on Decker Lake.


Texas Game Warden say the man used sleight of hand to make his catches look bigger. As part of the tournament rules, anglers in the tournament take photos of caught fish on measuring board; the most aggregated inches wins.


According to officials: “Upon inspection of the violators vessel, a cut tail of a bass was found in the paddle well of the kayak. The violator initially stated he found the cut tail in the reeds and was taking it to shore to turn it in. Later the violator confirmed to have used the tail to place over another bass, using his hand to cover the questionable area, to make the fish look longer on multiple occasions.”

The man also had his his fishing license suspended for a year and was banned from fishing in tournaments in the future.

Read more Texas Game Wardens Field Notes

Lending a Hand with Cobia

Virginia conservation officers Joshua Thomas and Tyler Bumgarner were patrolling the Chesapeake Bay near Mathews County on Aug. 11, when they spotted a man fighting what appeared to be a large fish. It was — a 48-inch long cobia.




The officers kept their distance to give the angler room, but when he asked for help. Luckily, both officers are avid fishermen.

Thomas quickly maneuvered the patrol boat so Bumgarner could jump on the fisherman’s boat. Bumgarner gaffed the large cobia and brought it onboard. They also helped measure and take pictures of the catch.

Read more here


28 Whitetails, 50 Feral Hogs Illegally Killed

Game wardens in Smith and Wood counties in Texas recently put a halt to a massive poaching network that involved 12 individuals accused of poaching at least 28 white-tailed deer and 50 feral hogs and leaving them to rot.

The charges stemmed from an investigation begun in February about a deer being shot and killed off a county road at night. Investigation later found there were many more suspected violations.

By the summer, officers uncovered evidence that the suspects committed more than 600 violations over the past two years — ranging from Class C misdemeanors to state felonies.

Officials say the deer and hogs had been killed on private property at night ,and were shot from public roadways with the aid of spotlights. The cases are pending.

Read more Texas Game Wardens Field Notes

Ignoring the Regs

New York ECO Nathan Doig was patrolling the Beaverkill River in Colchester, including a section closed to fishing from July 1 to Aug. 31 to protect trout during the hottest part of the summer. He found several people ignoring the regulations, resulting in five tickets for fishing without a license, two tickets for taking fish in a closed area, and one ticket for fishing in the area.

Read more DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

Antelope Bucks Run Down in Field

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking information about two antelope bucks that were chased, run over and killed in a farmer’s field near Moccasin in Central Montana. The incident occurred during the Labor Day weekend about five miles northeast of Moccasin.

If you have any info on the incident, call 1-800-TIPMONT. Calls are kept confidential and a reward is possible.

Read more here

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