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Columns November 7, 2017  RSS feed

Game Warden Field Notes

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

Rapid Recovery

On Oct. 5, a Johnson County game warden was patrolling when a call came over the radio of an inmate escaping. He responded to the area and quickly spotted the escapee. As soon as the convict spotted the game warden truck, he turned and ran into the brushes. The warden advised dispatch of his position and gave chase. After about 10 minutes searching the field, the warden discovered the escaped inmate lying in brush under a tree and was able to take him into custody.

Heat Seeking Road Hunter

A Delta County game warden was patrolling an area for road hunters when he observed a truck traveling very slowly on a county road near agricultural fields. As the truck approached the warden, it quickly turned around and started driving away. After making contact, the warden observed the operator of the vehicle was in possession of a rifle equipped with a thermal imaging scope. After a lengthy interview, and presented with tire track evidence of his offenses, the driver admitted to driving down the road with the gun out the window looking into the field for hogs. Cases pending.

Right Suspects, Wrong Vehicle

Game wardens are trained observers and possess an uncanny ability to recollect detail. Those skills helped a Houston County game warden solve a recent road hunting case. While investigating a complaint about some late night illegal deer hunting near Ratcliff, the warden overheard radio traffic about occupants in a Jeep discharging firearms from the road near Austonio. The warden responded and encountered a truck in the area with a couple of guys “just riding” around. They had no weapons in the truck and were sent on their way. The warden and a deputy sheriff were searching the area for evidence of illegal road hunting activity when the warden remembered that one of the guys in the truck, who he had recognized from previous contacts, owned a Jeep. He made a phone call to the guy’s wife who confirmed that he still owned the Jeep and also told him where his buddy in the truck lived. The warden and the deputy arrived at the buddy’s house and located the two guys as well as the Jeep in question. The guys admitted to hunting hogs and shooting at beer cans in the road. Cases are pending.

Another Timely Rescue

During a flash flood event on Sept. 27, Webb County game wardens responded to a water rescue call for an elderly couple off Las Tiendas Road near Laredo. The wardens were able to launch an airboat in the ditch and run seven miles up the creek and across pastures in order to reach the stranded people. By the time the wardens reached the home, the water was waist deep inside and moving swiftly around the home. Three people were evacuated, and four U.S. Border Patrol agents who had attempted to walk to the house were also picked up.

A Big Splash

On Oct. 7, Webb County game wardens responded to a call for assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol and Laredo Police Department on a vehicle splashdown in the Rio Grande River. The Laredo PD had attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle possibly loaded with narcotics and a short pursuit ensued. While fleeing from police, the driver intentionally drove into the river in an attempt to flee to Mexico. The driver was apprehended and taken into custody. The wardens were able to assist in retrieving the vehicle from the river and subsequently discovered 415 pounds of marijuana located in the back seat and rear compartments.

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