Game Warden Field Notes
Last updated 2/9/2021 at 6:04pm
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement reports.
A Polk County game warden was contacted by a woman on social media asking if he had any meat to donate for her family of six. The warden donated deer meat and after getting to know the family, learned the dad was a disabled veteran and hadn’t been hunting in over 10 years since before the military. The warden then reached out to local landowners and got a hunt donated for him and one of his children at Rocky Creek Ranch. The veteran took his eldest daughter of 13 on her first hunt and during the hunt, the warden found out his kids were from the same town the warden grew up in. Small world, great memories.
Recently, Polk County game wardens reached out to local landowners to find ways to give back to their community through the outdoors. The decision was made to organize a disabled veteran and youth hunt. A drawing was held on social media to select qualifying participants for the hunt, which in turn created great support from local businesses and community members. A father (retired Navy veteran) and son (first time hunter) were selected to participate in the hunt. The father and son joined Game Wardens on the Simon Peter Bend Ranch for an amazing hunt. Both hunters and the landowner were thrilled about the experience, and now plan to keep in contact with one another. Moye’s Processing donated full processing of the meat, and McQuilkin Taxidermy donated a full shoulder mount of the deer. A big thank you to Scott and Toni Cochran-Hughes for the Texas hospitality and amazing meals, as well as fully supporting our nation’s heroes.
A Cass County game warden was contacted by a landowner about a man he caught on his game camera carrying two rifles. The warden recognized the person and contacted the suspect’s brothers to confirm the location of the suspect and to help set up an interview. Wardens interviewed the suspect, who admitted to hunting from the roadway and shooting a pig. The pig ran onto a hunting lease and the suspect admitted to searching for the pig on the lease with both guns. Charges Pending.
Cass County game wardens received a call from a couple of duck hunters who were unable to get back to land from the Sulphur River. Wardens responded with a flat bottom boat, attempting to locate the hunters. Both hunters were located and transported to paramedics, who were waiting nearby. One hunter was hypothermic due to exposure to the cold water and the other was checked out and later released.
A Cherokee County game warden came upon a hunter on a tractor attempting to dump the carcass of a doe deer. The subject stated that he was not aware that doe days had closed on Nov. 29. Upon questioning, it was determined that the subject’s friend who was back at camp had also had some success that morning and had taken a buck. Upon arrival at the camp, the warden discovered an untagged buck that also failed to meet antler restrictions. Cases pending.
A Real County game warden received a call from a group of people who were trying to fish on their own property. The caller stated while they were fishing, they were peppered by shot gun pellets and were seeing a lot of dove flying in the area. The warden arrived at the location and met a truck leaving the property, asking the driver if he had been hunting. The driver said he had been dove hunting and killed seven birds. The warden informed the hunter that dove season in the Central Zone ended on the 14th. The hunter was cited for Hunt Dove in Closed Season and his birds were seized and donated. Case pending.
A Webb County game warden and Duval County game warden completed an investigation on an individual who had entered a deer into the local Muy Grande Deer Contest. The individual who shot the deer was from out of state and did not possess a license. She then bought a license five hours later after entering the deer into the contest. The deer scored 172 5/8 Boone and Crockett Score. Cases and Civil restitution pending.
While checking duck hunters along the Frio River, a game warden contacted a boat containing four duck hunters. The “so-called” guide stated he did not have a hunting license, identification and failed to have enough PFD’s for his hunters on board. While inspecting the ducks, one hunter attempted to awkwardly pick up a pile of decoys and move it away from the warden. When the warden asked the hunter what was under the pile of decoys and why he tried to move them in such a weird manner, the hunter stated he found a large alligator skull on the bank. He attempted to hide it as he was unsure if it was legal for him to possess. The hunter was informed he could not possess the skull which was found on the Daughtry Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Multiple cases were filed for hunting without a license, insufficient PFD’s and illegal possession of an alligator. The alligator skull is expected to meet or exceed the record for the largest alligator documented on the Choke Canyon.
A Lubbock District game warden received a call regarding hunters being on the Dimmit Playa WMA in Castro County. The Dimmit Playa WMA is a drawn only hunt property and the informant that called was a hunter who had won the drawn hunt and was currently scouting the property for the upcoming weekend. The informant told the warden that when he arrived at the Dimmit Playa there was a pickup parked at the gate of the property. As he got closer, he noticed three hunters firing shotguns inside the property. The Castro County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched and arrived on scene first due to logistics. After interviewing the suspects, the sheriff discovered they had killed five pheasants. The warden coordinated with the sheriff and all five pheasants were seized and civil restitution was filed. The suspects were also cited for the following violations: Taking or Possessing species from a Wildlife Management Area, Failure to have an Annual Public Hunting Permit and a No Upland Game Bird Endorsement Violation.
Wardens were patrolling in Childress County for state law violations when they observed a vehicle with a Louisiana license plate traveling East on a rural highway. A traffic stop was conducted and during the initial contact with the driver, the warden’s pointed out that there was a small purple box with a marijuana leaf insignia on it that appeared to have "THC" written on the box. Warden’s had the driver exit his vehicle and questioned him about his trip across the U.S. During the investigation, the driver admitted to having some marijuana and THC edibles inside the vehicle. A probable cause search of the vehicle yielded several containers of THC wax, THC edible candy, marijuana and several drug paraphernalia items. The driver was booked into the Childress County Jail without incident and charged with possession of a controlled substance PG2 4<400G, possession of marijuana less than 2oz, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
A Williamson County game warden received an Operation Game Thief call regarding a buck shot out of season. The warden contacted the hunter who admitted to shooting a small four-point whitetail deer on Jan. 9. He said it was unintentional and thought it was a spike. The hunter was asked for his hunting license and he went inside his house to retrieve it. When the hunter gave it to the warden, he noticed the harvest log was not filled out and upon inspection one buck tag was missing. The warden asked to see the tag since the hunter stated he processed deer at home. The hunter took out the tag from his shirt pocket and gave it to the warden. The tag was not filled out and the dates were not cut out. Citations were issued.
A Bastrop County game warden attended a youth program hosted by a local church. The program is called, The Outdoor Zone, and the motto is “No Child Left Inside”. This program encourages kids to spend more time outdoors and they meet monthly to learn about outdoor activities including hunting, fishing and camping. They focus on boys from single parent homes, but any child is welcome to participate. This month’s program consisted of four activities; how to use a compass, how to cook with a Dutch oven, building a fire, what a game warden is, and why they do what they do. They really enjoyed all the activities, however, learning about game wardens was voted their favorite activity. Some even mentioned that they would like to become a game warden. The Operation Game Thief trailer was a big hit and may have played a role in their voting.