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Game Warden Field Notes

April 24, 2019 - 00:00
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The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

A Soaring Full Recovery

In October 2018 a Titus County game warden responded to a call of an injured hawk laying in a county road bar ditch. On arrival the warden discovered that the bird was actually a very rare juvenile southern bald eagle that was very sick and could not stand. The bird was transported to Last Chance Forever Bird of Prey Conservancy in San Antonio for extensive rehabilitation. The bird was suffering from a severe case of botulism. After making a complete recovery, the eagle was returned to Monticello County Park in Titus County where it was released back into the wild by conservancy staff in late March.

Oh, Snap!

In the early morning hours of March 30, a Morris County game warden received a text informing him there was a video on SnapChat of an airboat with underage people on it possibly bow fishing and consuming alcohol. The warden remembered a trailer parked at a boat ramp on the north end of Lake O’ The Pines that could possibly be a trailer for an air-boat. He was able to locate the airboat from the shore and waited until the boat arrived back at the boat ramp. The boat was found to be occupied by six males all under the age of 21 and alcohol was found in a cooler onboard the vessel. All occupants confessed to bow fishing as well. Multiple citations and warnings were issued for Minor in Possession of Alcohol, no fishing license, and improper lights on the vessel. All cases are pending.

Busted by the ‘Gram

On March 29 a Real County game warden received an Operation Game Thief wildlife crimestoppers hotline call about a video of someone shooting a turkey off the roadside. The warden contacted the caller and they stated there was a video on Instagram of a male subject shooting a turkey out of a truck window. Upon viewing the video, the warden recognized the area near Barksdale, and referencing images of the individual’s truck and license plate that also were posted to that Instagram account was able to gain the suspect’s ID and address in Laredo. The warden enlisted assistance from a Webb County game warden, who interviewed the subject and his accomplice, and gained confessions to shooting the turkey from a public road. Several citations were issued to both subjects and the cases are pending.

Left the Life

Jacket at Camp

A kayaker learned recently the hard way that a life jacket doesn’t work unless you wear it. On March 30 Bexar County game wardens responded by boat to assist a San Antonio man who was in distress after his kayak had flipped over at Calaveras Lake. A fisherman met the wardens at the boat ramp and pointed to the victim about 100 yards from shore struggling in rough water. Wind gusts were at about 20 mph as both wardens approached the struggling kayaker, who was drifting further into the lake. The wardens observed the man go underwater at one point as they got close, but were able to grab hold of him. After assessing his condition, the wardens secured the kayak and returned to shore. An examination of the kayak revealed a crack in the hull, which may have contributed to the accident. When asked why he wasn’t wearing a life jacket the victim explained that his life jacket was back at the camping site and he forgot to bring it. The man was issued a citation for not having a life jacket while operating the kayak.