Game warden field notes - we are not making this up
The following incidents were compiled from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Dove caught your tongue?
Game wardens from Waller and Harris counties were patrolling in Waller County just before sunset when they heard multiple shots coming from a wooded area.
Making their way through the trees, the wardens observed three dove hunters having a great hunt, but not retrieving the doves that fell into the woods. If they had, they might have discovered the two game wardens hiding in the brush.
After about 30 minutes, one of the hunters announced to his friends, "I am done. I have 23." The wardens looked at one another to make sure they both heard the same thing when the hunter yelled again, "I am done. I have 23 doves." The wardens took his word for it and announced their presence, separated the hunters and discovered one with 20 doves, not 23. The other two hunters were within the daily bag limit.
One of the wardens walked the hunter, who was over his limit, back to the hunter's truck to retrieve his license. At the truck, the warden observed dove feathers that appeared to be from earlier in the day. The warden said to the hunter, "This morning's hunt was good, wasn't it?"
The hunter promptly agreed that it had been really really good, too, and then, realizing what he had done, and said, "Oh, no." He eventually admitted that he had also shot a limit in the morning.
Citations were issued for exceeding daily bag limit and failure to retrieve game.
Picture sez 1,000 words
A Washington County game warden received information from a local cyber crimes unit about a possible hunting violation.
Subsequently, the warden interviewed an individual who had posted a photo on his Facebook page of six cattle egrets that had been killed during a dove hunt on Labor Day. On the subject's Facebook page, it was noted that only three doves had been killed because the egrets had gotten in the way.
The subject stated that he and three other individuals had shot the egrets. The warden obtained information on the other three hunters, as well as the location of the violation, which had occurred in Austin County.
Assisted by an Austin County game warden, statements were obtained from the other three hunters. Citations and restitution are pending on all four subjects.
Smile, you're on Candid Camera
Two Van Zandt County game wardens were contacted by a local ranch owner concerning a unique picture that was taken on his game camera. The photo showed a woman, with a very distinct tattoo, holding a white-tailed deer fawn.
Interestingly, the time stamp on the photo indicated that this woman had been on the ranch property in May on the same date and time the ranch had been burglarized. Several firearms, hunting equipment and a Polaris Ranger were stolen.
The wardens conducted a press conference seeking help from the public in naming the woman in the photograph. The wardens received multiple Operation Game Thief calls that matched the woman in the photo with her name. Information was received about her current location in Smith County.
Accompanied by a Wood County game warden, the wardens went to the location and found the woman. After being interviewed, she confessed to burglarizing the ranch and identified her accomplice. The investigation led to a substantial amount of stolen items being recovered, including three guns and the missing vehicle.
The case was turned over to the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, where burglary of a habitation, trespass and unlawful use of a motor vehicle were filed on all subjects.