As crazy as it gets for game wardens

As crazy as it gets for game wardens

Being a Texas game warden is not all that easy. In fact, from one day to the next, the job is totally unpredictable. How crazy does it get? This is what wardens have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

Outlaw hunters with a spotlight, guns, drugs and wounded deer

A Matagorda County game warden was on patrol in the College Port area when he observed a vehicle spotlighting and the driver shoot from a public road. As the warden started to approach the vehicle, another truck appeared and dropped off an individual in the field where the shooter had fired. Both vehicles drove away; the warden called another warden for backup, followed the vehicles and was able to stop both. With the aid of thermal imaging, the wardens located and apprehended the individual in the field. The onsite investigation revealed that the suspect had wounded a whitetail buck but was unable to find the deer. Drug paraphernalia was discovered in the suspect’s vehicle, along with a spotlight, a .22 caliber hornet rifle and a spent shell casing.

Gone hog wild with guns, alcohol

A Bowie County game warden saw a vehicle moving slowly down a county road. A short time later, the vehicle stopped in the middle of the roadway and the occupants began shooting at a herd of feral hogs that were crossing the road. The warden caught up with the vehicle and the four occupants were found with a .22 rifle and several alcoholic beverages. Multiple citations were issued for hunting from a public roadway, driving under the influence of alcohol – minor, possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, and minor in possession of alcohol.

Dumbfounded by stupidity

Further evidence that some people just don’t learn from their mistakes, a Titus County game warden was having a conversation in a parking lot on the White Oak Creek Wildlife Management Area when he was interrupted by a man who asked the warden out of the blue if he wanted to inspect his hunting license. The warden recognized the man as a convicted felon he had filed charges on twice before for possession of a firearm and obliged the request. The warden then discovered the felon was once again in possession of a firearm, a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition. The man also had two freshly killed cat squirrels in his vehicle. A criminal history check identified at least six felony convictions and the suspect was arrested for a third time for felon in possession of a firearm.

Spotlighters are easily tracked

A Morris County game warden on patrol observed a truck in the middle of a pasture spotlighting the area, which he knew was off limits to hunting. Upon making contact with the two men in the vehicle, the warden noticed two dogs fitted with GPS tracking collars in the bed of the pickup and a handheld GPS unit on the dashboard next to a spotlight. The men received tickets for not having hunting licenses and were later arrested after the landowner filed criminal trespass charges.

Tricked by the game warden

While patrolling for illegal dove hunting activity, a warden came upon several trucks parked near a fence line bordering a pasture and a group of hunters nearby. After checking the group for compliance, the warden noted all the hunters were close to their daily bag limits and asked if there were more doves flying in the morning or in the afternoon. The group proudly answered the morning was much better and that they had gotten easy limits of birds in the morning. Realizing they had just admitted to what’s commonly called “double dipping,” taking a daily bag limit during a morning hunt and then another during an afternoon hunt, one of the men asked innocently, “Wait, is that allowed?” Charges were filed and 60 birds were seized.

Felon with gun goes back to jail

While on patrol and checking on dove hunters, a game warden noticed a group had placed a feeder in the center of their decoy spread. As the warden was preparing to issue tickets for hunting migratory game birds over a baited area, he discovered one of the hunters did not have a hunting license and was a felon in possession of a firearm. That individual was arrested. Gear and 40 dove were seized.


Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.