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TX: Game Warden cases: Gators, poachers and peoples’ poor judgment

May 2012

From Blog.Chron.com

In TPWD law enforcement Region IV, which covers the coastal counties from the Louisiana border to Matagorda, wardens responded to 174 calls concerning nuisance gators during April.
 
Notable calls included:
 
Titus County Game Warden Jerry Ash received information April 22 from a local landowner that his neighbor had two dead raptors hanging from a tree.
 
Warden Ash went to the area and discovered two dead great horned owls strung up by their feet.
 
The warden contacted the property owner who admitted shooting both birds.
His excuse was that the owls were killing his free-range chickens and guineas.
 
Warden Ash informed him that the owls were protected and suggested putting the chickens in a pen.
 
Citation and civil restitution issued.
 
...
 
Tarrant County Game Warden Patricia O’Neill received a call April 24 from a citizen reporting two men keeping undersized fish at Eagle Mountain Lake.
 
Upon arrival at the lake, Warden O’Neill observed for a few minutes as the two individuals continued to catch small fish and place them in a large ice chest.
 
When Warden O’Neill finally approached the men, they did not seem nervous at all, for both of them had a fishing license.
 
When Warden O’Neill inspected the ice chest, she was surprised to see it half full of undersized crappie.
 
The men received multiple citations for the possession of 50 undersized crappie and for 1 undersized black bass.
 
After receiving an education on how to use the Texas Outdoor Annual, the free booklet listing fishing regulations including size and bag limits, the two returned to fishing.  Case pending.
 
...
 
Trinity County Game Wardens Sam Shanafelt and Randy Watts interviewed a man April 29 about killing a turkey in his pasture.
 
Earlier in the week, Warden Shanafelt received a call that this man had killed a turkey on his property before the spring turkey season opened.
 
The man admitted to using a .22 rifle to shoot and kill an Eastern turkey hen on his property a couple of weeks before the season opened.
 
He then discarded the turkey in the ditch alongside the highway.
 
When asked why he shot the turkey, he replied, “It was making my property look bad.”
 
Wardens searched the ditch where the turkey was discarded and eventually found the remains.
 
Citations and warnings for killing or possessing a hen turkey, illegal means and methods, and waste of game were issued, and civil restitution filed.
 
Polk County Game Wardens David Johnson and Ryan Hall on May 3 filed on three subjects in the Trinity River downstream from the Livingston Dam for exceeding the daily bag limit of white bass.
 
The three were found in possession of 101 fish over their limit.
 
Citations were issued and cases are pending.

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