Game Warden Field Notes

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement reports. Images of individual field notes are available upon request from the TPWD press office.

You Never Even Called Me by My Name

While patrolling Cedar Creek Lake, Anderson and Henderson County Game Wardens investigated a potential Boating While Intoxicated case. The violator gave consent for a blood sample resulting in an arrest. The wardens assisted with returning the boat to shore since the other occupant was not familiar with operating a boat. Once on shore, one warden walked into the boat ramp parking lot. A vehicle sped into the lot and parked in a handicapped space. The driver then yelled an obscene greeting at the warden, who thought maybe the driver failed to recognize his uniform in the dark. The warden turned on his flashlight to ensure the driver saw his badge. Sitting in the passenger seat, the driver’s son commented on his mother’s regretful choice of greeting. The warden conducted sobriety tests and determined the driver, now belligerent, was intoxicated. The local police department arrived and transported them to a hospital, where the driver consented to a blood specimen. The test determined that along with her intoxication, she was also suffering from low blood sugar. Her sugar level was treated, and she was placed in jail for a DWI.

Boat Over Troubled Water

After a long period of heavy rainfall in Trinity County resulting in high water, swift currents and excessive debris, a Trinity County Game Warden received a call from dispatch regarding a boater who was sinking in a nearby river. The warden spoke with the distressed boater and advised him to put on a life jacket immediately. He then called the local fire department for backup. The boater dropped an accurate pin for his location, and the warden quickly found him hanging on the top bow of a vertically floating vessel, half submerged. The warden pulled up to the vessel, allowing the boater to jump in. The vessel then completely submerged. However, the warden successfully tied the boat’s bowline to a nearby tree stump, saving the vessel, which was later towed to a local boat ramp. Together, the warden and boater recovered an ice chest with fish and a couple of fishing poles. The boater explained that there were a lot of floating trees in the swift water. While he was fishing, a huge floating tree came over his motor, pushing the back of the vessel underwater. The boater was very appreciative and tired.

Playing Possum

A Karnes County Game Warden received a call from a witness who discovered a man lying on the ground next to a dead deer. The complainant found the man after hearing a shot from a nearby county road and yelled at the man to ask what he was doing. The man stood up and ran into the brush. Wardens coordinated with sheriff’s deputies and witnesses to identify the subject. When interviewed, the subject indicated that, after partaking in a couple of beers, he shot the deer illegally for food. The warden issued a citation and restitution fee. The deer was donated to the witnesses for food.

Riding Shotgun

While Potter and Deaf Smith County Wardens patrolled the Canadian River Off-Highway Vehicle Area, they received information from multiple parties about adult males off-roading and shooting rifles illegally near the hiking trails around Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Rosita Creek Flats. Walking through the flats, the wardens located three adult males who displayed multiple anti-police tattoos and clothing. One of the individuals carried two rifles, an AK-47 and a .308 caliber, as well as paper targets. Some of the individuals were from out of state; the wardens additionally observed that their vehicle did not display a Texas OHV decal. Upon checking with the Potter County Sheriff’s Office, the wardens learned that one was a convicted felon with outstanding warrants for various charges. The wardens arrested the individual without incident. A National Park Service Ranger arrived on scene and issued a federal citation to the individual who had been illegally target shooting. The owner of the vehicle also received a citation for failing to display proper decals required by law.

Never Split the Party

A Williamson County Game Warden responded to multiple reports of two men spearfishing and keeping a large quantity of fish. The warden contacted the individuals as they were exiting the woods and returning to their vehicle. During their conversation, he noticed they did not have any fish or spears in their possession. He learned that the reporting party threatened the men with calling the police. Nervous about police interference, they said they released the fish and stashed their spears in the woods. The warden followed the men into the woods to retrieve the spears.  During their walk, one of the gentlemen walked slowly while the other walked further ahead at a quicker pace.  Realizing that they were trying to split up, the warden ran to catch up to the man furthest away, catching him with two spears in his hand and a bag with 70 speared and gutted fish including sunfish, bluegill, Rio Grande cichlids, fresh-water drum, undersized black bass and channel catfish. Neither man possessed a fishing license. The warden issued multiple citations.