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Columns July 25, 2017  RSS feed

Game Warden Field Notes

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

You Can Run, but You Cannot Hide

A Tarrant County game warden was patrolling Eagle Mountain Lake by boat when he approached two bank fisherman in a small cove to check fishing licenses. After announcing his presence, the warden observed one suspect turned and walked back to his truck disregarding all verbal commands to stop. There was no place to bank the boat due to the steep bank, so the warden continued verbal commands for the suspect to come back to the boat. The suspect put his fishing pole and something else out of his pocket into his truck, then bent the front license plate upward so it could not be read. As the warden searched the bank for a place to tie up his boat, the suspect opened up his driver side door and reached all the way across the truck for something. The warden jumped off his boat and drew his weapon but instead of the suspect coming out of the truck, he jumped in and drove off. The warden was able to get a positive ID of the back license plate and several days later successfully executed an arrest warrant, but not before fighting off the suspect’s dog with pepper spray followed by a short standoff at the front door. Charges include felony evading arrest, fishing without a fishing license, failure to allow inspection, failure to produce ID and driving while license is invalid.


Game wardens had just finished patrolling the Brazos River and were headed to the boat barn to call it a night when they noticed a man standing alongside the roadway peering into the bar ditch. The wardens made a Uturn to check on his welfare. The man was standing beside a motorcycle that was laid over on its side in the ditch. The man adamantly denied he was involved in a wreck and had merely parked his motorcycle in the ditch, where it had fallen over after the kickstand failed. He claimed he crossed a median and two lanes of traffic to park it there and would like for the wardens to help him right his motorcycle. The wardens’ keen investigative skills were not buffaloed by the man’s explanation of events and clear signs of intoxication. Field sobriety tests were given to the suspect and he was subsequently arrested for driving while intoxicated. Cases are pending.

Remote Recovery

On the evening of July 2, Val Verde County game wardens responded to a call for help on a medical emergency from canoers that were paddling the Devils River. The group of 12 paddlers were reporting a death of one of the group along a very remote section of the river. The wardens coordinated with State Parks personnel to get the County Sheriff’s Evidence/ Crime Scene Unit and the justice of the peace to the location. Due to the remote area of the incident, the coordination for extraction of the deceased, the 11 remaining paddlers, their equipment and canoes and transport of all personnel turned into a 12 hour operation. The 25-year-old victim had died of natural causes.

Running from the Law

Game wardens were checking bank fishermen in Delta County when they encountered a subject whom they had arrested recently on drug possession and weapons charges. During a pat down search of the subject, drug paraphernalia was found in his pants pocket. When the wardens attempted to arrest the subject, he violently resisted and assaulted both wardens. The wardens were able to subdue the suspect and take him into custody. However, while waiting for a transport unit from the Greenville Police Department to arrive, the subject fled on foot while handcuffed. Wardens gave chase and captured the subject, who was attempting to hide near a fence. Multiple felony charges were filed against the subject.

Stuck in the Mud

Harris County game wardens were patrolling an area for reported poaching activity. At dusk, they spotted a truck trespassing along a power line easement on county property. The truck attempted to drive away and the wardens split up and moved to intercept it at one of two exit points further ahead of the vehicle. After dark, the truck and its occupants were located near the easement stuck in the mud on a flood control levee. After discharging a 12 gauge shotgun in an effort to signal others, the suspects were detained. Subsequent interviews revealed the subjects were trespassing and hunting hogs on county property without landowner consent. A 12 gauge shotgun, ammunition and a flashlight were seized. Charges are pending.

Caught on Camera Stealing Cameras

A Grimes County game warden responded to a call from a landowner stating he had captured video of an individual stealing game cameras and battery packs off his property. After reviewing the video evidence, the warden was able to link this case to an investigation earlier this year regarding the same individual. The suspect was found to be awaiting trial in the Brazos County Jail for burglary of a habitation. The warden made contact with the Brazos County district attorney and handed over all information regarding the suspect on this case. New charges of criminal trespassing and theft are currently pending.

Snagged in the Act of Snagging

Smith County game wardens were patrolling by truck around Lake Palestine when they observed a man in the water at an old boat ramp using a metal pole with a large treble hook affixed to one end trying to catch flathead catfish. After making contact, citations were issued for fishing with illegal means and methods and no fishing license.

Bucked Off and Busted

A Montgomery County game warden responded to a reported boat accident on Lake Conroe where a personal watercraft operator had hit a wave, was ejected from his jet ski and could not pull himself back on. When the warden was asking the operator about the accident, he believed alcohol could be involved. After a complete investigation, the operator was arrested for boating while intoxicated. The case is pending.

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