Crazy Poaching Stories Directly from the Texas Game Warden
1. A Bad Attitude Will Make You a Top Suspect
A Webb County game warden was investigating a deer carcass that had been dumped on the side of an easement road. During his investigation, he came in contact with a landowner who said he had allowed some unidentified friends to come out onto his property some months prior.
The landowner tried to pin the blame on these individuals, but refused to provide contact information for them, and was very short with the warden. This behavior and refusal to cooperate prompted the warden to investigate the landowner, and found he (and his mother) had illegally harvested a 10-point buck previously, and neither possessed a valid hunting license.
The warden subsequently seized both deer and issued both the landowner and his mother separate citations for hunting white-tailed deer without a license.
2. Poaching on Prison Property
Of all places, you’d think poaching would NOT occur on prison property – but not the case in Texas. After suspicions of night hunting by trespassers had been reported, game wardens decided to do some investigating. It wasn’t long before a vehicle drove on the property shining a spotlight out the window.
The wardens initiated a stop after just a few minutes of observing and discovered five individuals in the vehicle, along with two loaded rifles and two spotlights.
Both the guns and the spotlights were seized and the driver and passenger were placed under arrest for hunting without landowner consent.
3. All It Took Was a Phone Call
A tip came into a game warden that a mule deer buck had just been shot on a property in which the caller knew no one had permission to hunt.
The warden was given the license plate of the suspect vehicle and the names of two possible culprits, and thus able to locate a cell phone number for one of the men. The warden made the call, and convinced the man to drive to meet him to turn in the rifle and mule deer buck. The men confessed to hunting the deer without landowner consent and the deer and rifle were seized.
4. Too Little, Too Late
Game wardens got wind of a big buck with an impressive 19-inch antler spread possibly being harvested illegally and began looking into it. It didn’t take long to find the hunter responsible, and they learned he harvested the trophy at 7:40 a.m. on Nov. 12.
BUT, according to dispatch, the hunter didn’t purchase his license until three hours later.
The man confessed to hunting without a license when confronted by the wardens. He was also found in possession of another deer he admitted to taking the previous week.
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5. A DNA Test Speaks the Truth
A warden was on a stakeout of a popular road hunting location when he heard a shot fired less than 100 yards from his position. The warden confronted two men, who informed him they had shot a coyote. The warden found blood, but no animal was retrieved. He collected blood and tissue samples from the scene and submitted them to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s forensic lab for testing.
The test results came back positive for white-tailed deer. The men were charged with hunting deer at night, hunting from a vehicle, and hunting deer with artificial light.
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