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2012-01-05

Not quite 'Jaws,' but close, or 'This was no boating accident!'

Contributed

Brazoria County Game Warden Scott Jennings received notification last March that a commercial fishing vessel had arrived at Freeport with an eight-foot short-fin mako shark.
The crew said the shark leaped into the stern of their boat while they were weighing anchor. Once on board, the fish flipped over their heads, landing forward beside the center console.

The crew also told Jennings that at one point they had considered abandoning the boat to the shark.

Since they couldn't safely remove the shark from the boat without harming it, they telephoned National Marine Fisheries Service Agent Charles Tyer and arranged to purchase a federal highly migratory species permit so that they could legally land the shark.

Game wardens inspect fish markets
Game wardens, assisted by Asst. Chief Robert Goodrich, Lt. Fred Ruiz and Lt. Andy Ozuna, recently conducted a two-day inspection of retail fish dealers in San Antonio.

Six teams inspected licenses and invoices at more than 60 businesses during the two-day operation. The wardens issued 15 citations to dealer who had no retail fish dealer license, no finfish import license and for not having proper paper work necessary for protected finfish. Five warnings were also issued.

Very expensive buck

In March, Dimmit County Game Warden Gene Fernandez wrapped up a six-day investigation on a case involving an out-of-state oil field worker who shot a big nine-point buck at an RV park on the Nueces River in January.

The man not only shot the buck at night with a light and without landowner consent, he had also used a .17-caliber HMR rim fire rifle, had no valid Texas hunting license and tagged the buck with a tag he "got from a friend."

After speaking with several witnesses who saw the deer just after it had been shot, the warden received a phone call from someone else who told him the head had been taken to a taxidermist in Louisiana, but that one of the subject's family members was going to pick it up and destroy it. Before that happened, Fernandez contacted a Louisiana Fish and Game agent who retrieved the head and cape.

The same day, Fernandez received a call from the suspect, who said he was on his way down from North Texas to meet with him. With help from a Laredo-based US Fish and Wildlife Service agent, the subject was interviewed and gave a statement.

Fernandez and the Dimmit county attorney filed two Class A misdemeanors, hunting at night and hunting with a light; and two Class C charges of hunting without a valid license and illegal means and methods. The case was also referred to USFWS for a possible felony Lacey Act violation.

The violator pled guilty to all the charges on March 17, had his .17-caliber HMR scoped rifle forfeited to the state, as well as having his hunting license denied for the next five years in Texas and all the other Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact states. He also will be making restitution for a buck that scored 132 5/8. The incident will end up costing the violator roughly $10,000.