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Columns May 15, 2018  RSS feed

Game Warden Field Notes

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

Hunting for the Right Story

A common retort by game wardens when they know they’re being played, “It’s your lie, buddy, tell it however you want.” Such was the case when wardens were called to investigate an alleged hunting accident that occurred in the Sam Houston National Forest. Game wardens responded to a Houston hospital to question a subject who claimed to have shot himself in the leg while target shooting. His buddies were out hunting deer at the time, he said. The wardens observed numerous inconsistencies in the man’s testimony, and Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies were called in to interview the subject as well. Pressed further, the man then claimed he was shot during a drug deal that went bad. Inconsistencies with the new story led to more questioning and yet an- other tale about how the gun belonging to a girl he had picked up. It had discharged while he was showing her how to use it. Finally, the man admitted the gun was his and he accidentally shot himself while sitting in his car in the hospital parking lot. Although not nearly as entertaining as previous versions, the story ending remained the same. The man, a convicted felon, was arrested for being in possession of a firearm and transported to the Harris County Jail.

Tampering with Evidence

An Atascosa County game warden received a complaint about possible illegal hunting and the theft of a game camera.

The warden opened an investigation and developed a person of interest. On April 27, the warden made contact with the suspect at his residence in Charlotte. The suspect admitted to hunting hogs on the complainant’s property without permission, and taking the game camera because he feared it had captured evidence of his trespass. The case was turned over to the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office and the stolen game camera was returned to its owner.

Easy Trail to Follow

Usually, game wardens have very few clues to go on when they discover deer remains dumped alongside a roadway. Fortunately, a recently wrapped up investigation in Live Oak County gave them an easy trail to follow. Last September, wardens were made aware of several deer carcasses and other items dumped in a bar ditch. Among the discarded animal parts, wardens discovered blood-stained clothing and a backpack. Inside the backpack were check stubs belonging to an individual who resided near the area in Chambers County. Wardens interviewed the subject, who eventually admitted that he and another person shot several whitetailed deer over several nights. One particular buck, a huge 17-pointer, they shot after entering a high-fenced ranch. Wardens recovered the buck’s antlers, which scored 176 3/8 B&C, and made numerous cases against both subjects. Over a period of three nights, it was determined that eight deer (four doe, three fawn, and one buck) were shot from, and loaded into, their truck. They confessed to shooting at and wounding many more deer that were not recovered. Charges for hunting without landowner consent, hunting from a vehicle, hunting at night, hunting with artificial light, and failure to retrieve or keep in edible condition were filed and both subjects arrested.

Some Folks Never Learn

In the early morning hours of April 12, a Briscoe County game warden on patrol spotted a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. After clocking the vehicle at over 90 miles per hour, the warden initiated a traffic stop. The warden ran the subject through Hale County Dispatch and learned that his license was not valid and he had multiple convictions for driving while license invalid. A subsequent inventory search of the vehicle, prior to impounding, uncovered a variety of narcotics and drug paraphernalia. The subject was transported to Hale County Detention Center and charged with third degree felony possession of controlled substance and Class A misdemeanor possession of a prohibited weapon, along with other violations.

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