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DRAGNET, TEXAS GAME WARDEN EDITION

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Rapid Rescue
Early last month, game wardens were patrolling for illegal fishing nets on
Kickapoo Creek when they received a call about a man whose kayak had capsized in the Trinity River. The situation was life-threatening due to the hazardous
conditions on the river and cold temperature of the water. The wardens quickly
responded and launched their boat on the Trinity River. They traveled about
a mile upriver, spotting the subject clinging to a submerged drift stump in the
middle of the river. The wardens quickly recovered the man and secured him
in a PFD. They also recovered the man’s daughter, who was stranded on the
river bank. Both victims were transported to safety and released after a medical
examination.

Phoning for Backup
Game wardens set up a whitetail buck decoy in Trinity County after receiving
reports of road hunting activity in the area. After about an hour, a truck stopped
in the road and quickly backed up. Wardens watched the operator hide the vehicle and make a phone call. A few minutes later a second vehicle approached
from the opposite direction. The second driver exited the truck with a rifle and
loaded it. The hunter fired two shots at the decoy before he was stopped by
game wardens. Multiple cases for hunting white-tailed deer from a public roadway were filed. Wardens collected one shell casing for evidence and were unable to find the second casing. K9 game warden Blitz was brought in and found
the second casing within minutes.
Poaching in Progress
On Dec. 9, a Brazos County game warden responded to poaching in progress call. A Brazos County sheriff’s deputy detained the individuals trying to
leave the property. Upon arrival, the warden questioned each of the suspects
concerning their activity on the property. The two suspects found on the property admitted to hog hunting and not knowing whose property they were on. It
was also revealed there was a third suspect involved who was hiding on the
property. GPS trackers were discovered upon investigation, providing the exact
route they traveled to hunt the hog and track their dogs. A hog carcass was
located on the property. The landowners were contacted, and cases for hunting
without landowner consent are pending.

The Rest of the Story
Late night on Dec. 5 a Uvalde County game warden received a call about
possible shots being fired from the public road. The warden responded to the
area and observed a vehicle stopped on the road with one subject standing in
the road. The warden activated her red and blue lights and made contact with
the vehicle. There were two male subjects in the truck and a freshly shot buck in
the back. After a brief discussion, one of the subjects admitted to shooting the
buck from the highway after he supposedly hit the buck with his truck. He also
admitted to shooting a porcupine from the road. With assistance from another
warden, they were able to find the porcupine but couldn’t find any evidence that
the buck was hit by the truck. The shooter was arrested for hunting deer from
the public road. The next morning, one of the wardens was traveling the same
road and saw a dead buck in the trees next to a wheat field approximately a
half-mile from where the porcupine was shot. He called the other warden and
they determined that the buck was shot with buckshot. The two subjects from
the night before had a shotgun in the truck. The wardens made contact with the
second subject and he admitted to shooting the buck three times with buckshot.
Cases pending.

Left at the Scene of the Crime
A Gonzales County game warden investigating a complaint about illegal
dumping of deer carcasses discovered an agriculture tax exemption identification card next to a set of tire tracks at the scene. The warden knew of a deer
camp near the dump site and traveled to that location. Upon entering the camp
and introducing himself, the warden shook hands with the owner of the tax ID
card. The hunter told the warden that he had shot a nice buck and after a brief
inspection for tagging compliance, the warden asked where he had discarded
the carcass. The hunter admitted to dumping it on the county road. The warden
then advised the hunter that he had left something with the carcass that he
would like to return to the hunter. The Texas AG Exempt Tax ID card was rightfully returned, and a citation issued for illegal dumping of the carcasses.

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