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Spring Breakers begin turkey season a little early, and other wild reports from this month’s Texas Game Warden Field Notes

Texas sunset
Texas sunset (Pixabay)

The following notes were compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife law enforcement reports and published in a release. Here are some of the wildest reports:

Spring Breaking the Law

A group of spring breakers celebrating their time off at a house in Concan decided to begin spring turkey season a little early. One March morning, a Uvalde County game warden was contacted by an individual who had seen several boys use turkey calls to call up a gobbler. One of the boys killed the turkey and retrieved it from the brush. The warden, along with a Real County game warden, arrived at the house and contacted the boys. When asked about the turkey, the guilty party readily cooperated, admitted what he had done and showed wardens where he had hidden the bird.

The Scope of the Problem

A Freestone County game warden was contacted by a landowner who said he allowed a man to hunt feral hogs on his property but had killed a deer in addition to the hog. The landowner explained that while driving his property, he found a fresh hog carcass, along with a fresh white-tailed doe. The landowner asked the hunter what happened and was told that he “accidentally shot the doe when he was shooting at a hog.” The warden contacted the man, who admitted to shooting the doe, saying his “scope was off.” Charges include hunting a white-tailed deer in closed season, failing to take hunter education and hunting without a license.

Bad Idea, This is

A Hays County game warden received an image from a cellphone game camera showing a man and woman trespassing and digging an archeological Native American burial site. The warden went to the property and found the couple in a large hole previously dug by trespassers. Before the warden could say anything, the man stood up immediately and said he wasn’t digging for arrowheads and hates diggers. The couple were husband and wife out on a date. They were both detained in handcuffs and separated at the front and back of the warden’s vehicle. The man admitted that he had a glass pipe in his pocket that he uses to smoke CBD oils. After a quick examination, the Baby Yoda glass pipe revealed small, clear and white crystals that looked like crystal meth. The warden placed the pipe on the hood and went to the back of the vehicle to speak with the woman. She said she didn’t know the property was private, despite walking past multiple no-trespassing signs. The warden then walked back to the front of the vehicle and noticed the pipe was no longer on the hood. The man said he didn’t know where the pipe went. Several feet in front of the vehicle, the pipe was found broken in half in the middle of a fresh footprint. Upon further examination of the hole where the couple was found, the warden found a small hand saw and freshly disturbed dirt. The woman’s purse contained several gray rubber gardening gloves, each containing four Native American artifacts. The San Marcos Police Department took the couple to the Hays County Jail. While en route to jail, the man said he believed he had the coronavirus. He leaned forward against the partition and aggressively coughed toward the officers. Both subjects were charged with criminal trespass and Antiquities Code violations. The husband was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and harassment of a public servant. Cases pending.

Look Out Below

A Freestone County game warden arrested a suspect in an ongoing investigation that began in February relating to hog hunting from a helicopter. A husband and wife were working cattle on their property when a helicopter began to hover over their property and shoot feral hogs. The husband waved his arms at the helicopter and it flew off. After the investigation, it was clear that the helicopter owner did not have a landowner authorization permit for the property in question. Charges were filed for using an aircraft to manage wildlife without having a landowner authorization permit.

This is Hawkward

A Hardin County game warden was at the Beaumont District Office when he received a call from the manager of the local Office Depot store. The manager said they had a small hawk flying around inside the store and couldn’t get it to leave, even though they had the front and back roll-up doors open. The warden recruited a licensed falconer who was experienced in handling and trapping birds of prey to help him catch the hawk. After the falconer arrived on scene with a hawk trap and some live bait, they soon discovered that although the bird resembled a hawk, it was in fact a large nightjar or “nighthawk,” which feeds on insects, rendering the trap idea useless. Undeterred, the warden and his falconer friend resorted to the old game warden standby — a ladder and a net. After what resembled a scene from America’s Funniest Home Videos, they were able to finally corral the bird in a back hallway and catch it in the dip net. It was released outside, where it flew off unharmed. The manager of the Office Depot store was very grateful that the bird was removed and would not be setting off the alarm system after closing.