Texas Game Wardens Busy in the Water, Woods and Fields

Recent field notes reveal water rescues, hunters' misadventures

Feb. 10, 2017

Texas game wardens regularly publish field notes in which officers deal with everything from poachers to stranded boaters.

Recent field notes reveal water rescues and some interesting hunters' misadventures. Always good stuff.

The latest from Texas game wardens:

Keep the Beard

A Sutton County game warden was checking a deer camp during the special white-tailed deer late season when he discovered a Rio Grande turkey beard in the same cooler as an axis deer that had been killed. When asked the whereabouts of the rest of the turkey, one hunter said that it had been hit by a car on the county road and all they took was the beard. After asking if they could show the warden where the turkey was hit, the other hunter in camp said it was in the back pasture. The story quickly fell apart from there and one hunter finally admitted to shooting the turkey the previous day and taking only the beard when he realized the season had closed two weeks prior. The hunter showed the warden where he had shot and dumped the turkey carcass. Cases and civil restitution are pending.

Jet Ski to the Rescue

A Denton County game warden was notified by the Denton County Sheriff’s Office of a capsized kayaker on Lake Lewisville. The kayaker was about 300 yards offshore being pushed further away by wind and current. The Lewisville Fire Department and Little Elm Public Safety boats were called in to rescue the boater but the warden took immediate action and was able to use a Jet Ski to reach the victim. The victim was transported to Denton Regional Hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

Improvised Exit Strategy

Lamar County game wardens responded to a vehicle accident where a truck jumped the guardrail on Hwy. 271 and plummeted more than 50 feet into the Red River. The wardens were able to execute a successful water rescue by tying a rope to the vehicle door and pulling it open with their boat, freeing the motorist. Paris Fire Department and two citizens aided in the rescue. The victim was air lifted to Dallas with lower leg and back injuries plus hypothermia.

Swooping in for the Bust

An Operation Game Thief call in Harris County alerted game wardens of an individual selling a falcon  on Craigslist. After several phone conversations, a warden arranged a meeting and purchased the Cooper’s hawk for $200 as another game warden swooped in for the bust. Charges have been filed for the illegal possession and sale of the hawk and a separate investigation of the suspect’s quail raising operation is still underway.

View from the Kitchen Window

Comal County game wardens got an Operation Game Thief call about an individual shooting white-tailed deer near Canyon Lake from a kitchen window at night. During questioning, game wardens started to find discrepancies with the individual’s story. When asked how an artificial light affixed to a deer feeder near their home had gotten broken, the subject’s wife said that a deer "bowed up" and broke the light; indicating an instinctive defensive reaction by the animal to having been shot. In addition, before their visit the wardens conducted a quick scan of the subject’s Facebook page and found an image posted of a 9-point buck. However, during a check of the subject’s hunting license, the wardens noted the date of the Facebook post did not match up with what was noted on his harvest log. The suspects eventually confessed to killing the deer with a .22 caliber rifle, through a cut in the kitchen window screen, underneath a feeder with an artificial light. They had also killed a doe under the feeder. The antlers from the 9-point buck were seized, as well as the meat from the buck and doe. Cases and restitution are pending.