Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Past Game Warden Field Notes

I found this on the Texas Parks & Wildlife website under the Game Warden Field Notes... they all involved Wise County so I thought I would post them.

We’re not in Kansas any more
A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper working drug interdiction along IH-35 on Dec. 8 in Wise County made a traffic stop and noticed blood and deer parts in the bed of the truck. The trooper contacted Wise County Game Warden Chris Dowdy, who then contacted Denton County Game Wardens Chip Daigle and Daron Blackerby to assist the trooper. The driver at first said he had shot the deer, and then changed his story to blame someone else. After a lengthy interview the driver said he had brought three bucks back from Kansas intending to process them in Texas and return the meat to Kansas. He said he had only two tags, but he did not want to waste the meat of the third deer. The wardens went to the man’s house and located a 6-point buck from Montague County along with the man’s Kansas tags, but only one tag was for a buck. The other was for a doe. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined the investigation and multiple cases are pending.

Unwise poaching in Wise County
Nov. 5, Wise County Game Warden Chris Dowdy and Tarrant County Game Warden David Vannoy were patrolling Wise County on the eve of the rifle season opener. While investigating a call about a possible poacher, warden Dowdy received another call from a landowner about a deer that had just been shot from the road. After the first call was cleared, the wardens responded to the second call. When they arrived, the wardens found two very upset landowners and one dead white-tailed doe. Darkness had not yet fallen, and the wardens figured that the poachers would soon be back for their take. They didn’t have to wait long before the poachers returned. As a pickup truck crept to a stop on the county road, the driver got out and gleefully ran through the field laughing and shouting back to his buddies, “I got it, I got it!” As the driver attempted to return to the truck with the deer, wardens Dowdy and Vannoy surprised the two men and one juvenile. In the truck, the wardens found a rifle, spotlight, headlamps, and beer. Another doe poached from a neighboring county also was found in the bed of the truck. Multiple cases are pending.

Throwing the book at them
On Oct. 10, a Jack County game warden and a Wise County game warden apprehended three subjects at a deer camp for possession of marijuana, hunting deer by illegal means and methods (rifle during archery-only season), failure to tag, two counts of failing to maintain in edible condition, no archery stamp, no hunter education, hunting in closed season and possession of a stolen ATV. The ATV had been stolen in Wise County in 2001. The ATV was returned to Wise County sheriff’s office. Cases pending.

Nope, he’s not impaired
 July 5 a Wise County game warden, while patrolling Lake Bridgeport, arrested a Chico man for BWI and for evading arrest or detention. The man screamed obscenities at the game warden and a deputy, who was riding on the TPWD patrol boat, after being stopped for no lights at night. The subject jumped from his boat into the lake while being towed to shore for standard field sobriety testing. The subject refused all tests and requested a blood sample draw. Cases pending.

Just another day on the job:
Those who thought Texas roads were warden-free on Christmas day had another thing coming. On Dec. 25, a Wise County game warden received a call from the Wise County sheriff’s office regarding a pursuit in progress near his residence. The warden was told that the subject had hit one DPS patrol vehicle and had fled into local pastures. While driving to the area, the warden was informed that a second trooper vehicle had been hit. Shortly after, the suspect vehicle wrecked, and the subjects were arrested. Upon search of the subject’s vehicle, drugs and several items indicating that one of the subjects had been making fake ID cards were found. It was later discovered that one of the subjects had over 90 warrants from New Mexico, and that the driver had several felony warrants, including an armed robbery warrant from New Mexico, which is also where the vehicle was stolen. Due to the damaged DPS units; the warden transported one suspect to the Wise County Jail. Just when the Wise County game warden thought he could return home to grab a bite of some Christmas lunch, he observed a motorcycle traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of US 91/287. Weary of being in pursuit, the subject fled into a residential area where he shortly wrecked. Upon the subject’s arrest, the warden determined the man to be in possession of marijuana and a stolen motorcycle. It was determined that the man had been arrested Oct. 28 inside a ranch where he was found to be in possession of a four-wheeler. Upon the conclusion of the subject’s arrest, the warden finally was able to partake in the Christmas festivities. Both cases are still pending.

Good detective work leads to felony charges:
Nov. 22, a Wise County game warden observed an area known for Thanksgiving Day trespassing. At about 8:45 a.m., two suspects were observed scoping a large grassy pasture with their rifles. The game warden was able to get behind the suspects and detain them. Neither suspect had a valid hunting license. The leader of the two identified himself as a well-known poacher, who has a lengthy criminal record with TPWD. The lead poacher was also found to be in possession of narcotics. He stated that he was only hog hunting and did not need a license. The game warden explained that a grunt call was not required to hog hunt. The game warden requested assistance from a Wise County colleague. While the second game warden was securing the gate, she observed a small blue extended pickup being driven by a female. The game warden believed that this was possibly the vehicle that had dropped off the trespassers. The second game warden was able to locate a container that had methamphetamine in it. When the first game warden returned to photograph the scene, he observed a vulture leaving a wooded area, which he found to be unusual because the area had been observed for several days. The warden later located a cleaning site in the wooded area and a rear half of a white-tailed deer carcass. Believing that this deer had something to do with the blood that was found in the rear of the pickup, a search warrant was requested and granted. One nine-point deer was located at the suspect’s residence. Two days later, a second nine-point deer was found in the next pasture. DNA evidence was collected from the suspects, the vehicle and the scene to determine if the suspects were involved. Bullets were removed from the carcasses to determine if they matched the guns of the suspects. Felonies are pending.

Sure it’s poaching

On Oct. 22, Tarrant and Wise Co. game wardens received a call about trespassers. While the wardens were investigating, they discovered a bucket of deer attractant and noticed signs of illegal hunting. The wardens made contact with an individual in a red Dodge pickup nearby and found that he was in possession of a bow and arrow, camouflage clothing, and a .300 Winchester Magnum rifle, marijuana and methamphetamine. The subject was interviewed and confessed to hunting without landowner consent, but he did not believe that what he was doing was considered poaching. Cases are pending.

Oh, y’all have game laws here?
On Jan. 22, Tarrant and Wise County game wardens teamed-up to patrol southern Wise County for waterfowl hunters. After hearing numerous shotgun blasts coming from a sandpit located about a half-mile from a county road, the wardens entered the property on foot, initiating contact with the hunters. Upon completion of the contact, the wardens found numerous violations including possession of lead shot, exceeding the daily bag limit of redhead duck, and exceeding the daily bag limit of duck. The hunters were found with a total of 17 ducks, five of which were redheads. Appropriate citations and restitution are pending.

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