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GAME WARDEN NOTES: East Texas man hunts in the nude, deer attacks individual

GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KETK) - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department releases weekly field notes concerning violations and incidents responded to by the Texas Game Wardens.

For the weeks of November 22, 2017, TPWD documented five incidents which occurred in East Texas:

THE NAKED TRUTH

Hunters rely on camouflage clothing to mask their appearance and avoid detection in the field, but an Upshur County man recently took “going commando” to the next level. He was arrested by a Gregg County game warden while hunting in the nude along a state highway. Obviously, he did not have a hunting license on him. The well-known nudist/activist later contested the charges. During the trial, his case fell apart when the warden’s bodycam footage was played to the county judge. After hearing testimony and viewing a few seconds of the undressed violator in action, the judge abruptly stopped the video and walked out ruling in the state’s favor. The activist promptly cancelled all appeals and settled the citations, which included: hunting without a license, shooting across a property line, and disorderly conduct.

CHICKEN HAWK DOWN

On Halloween, a Bowie County game warden received a call in reference to an individual shooting a hawk. The warden responded to the individual’s residence and observed what appeared to be a Cooper’s hawk lying on the back of a vehicle near the suspect’s house. He made contact with the homeowner, who admitted he knew hawks were protected but he didn’t want it to get his chickens. The warden educated the subject on legal and non-lethal options to protect his chickens from birds of prey and other predators. The hawk was seized and the subject received a citation for taking a protected bird species. The case is pending.

REASON #27 TO LEAVE WILDLIFE ALONE

A Titus County game warden responded to a mobile home community where a young white-tailed buck deer reportedly attacked an individual. The deer was well-known in the community after one of its residents had illegally taken possession of it as an abandoned fawn. The well-intentioned person who originally caught the deer could no longer take care of it as a pet so he attached white tags to its ears and released it on a nearby ranch. Absent natural instincts to avoid humans, the deer returned to its “home” except now with a full set of antlers and raging hormones. The game warden captured the deer, removed the tags from its ears, and relocated it to a high fenced game ranch where, hopefully, it will learn to avoid people.

LEAVING A TRAIL

Trinity County game wardens were patrolling Alabama Creek WMA opening weekend of deer season when they noticed a truck parked on the side of the road with three hunters standing next to it. As the wardens approached, the three hunters jumped in the truck and started driving away. The wardens made contact with the hunters and noticed a deer carcass in a game carrier on the back of the truck. While one warden checked the deer and licenses, the other warden walked back to where the truck was originally parked, walked down a trail about 30 yards, and found a dead white-tailed buck hidden in the brush. The three hunters were interviewed and denied shooting the buck, which did not meet the minimum antler restrictions, and further claimed they did not see the deer. The wardens instructed the hunters take them to the area where they were hunting. A K9 game warden was called to assist and, with the dog’s help, wardens were able to track where both deer were shot. Evidence of the shootings was found at two of the hunters’ stands, along with the path used to drag out the dead deer. The wardens also found photos of the harvested animals on the hunters’ cellphones. After three hours of investigating, numerous citations were issued including restitution. Cases are pending.

NEVER FAILS

On opening night of deer season, Nov. 4, Sabine County game wardens deployed an age old tactic for catching road hunters, Bucky the deer decoy. The dummy deer was placed alongside the road in the Moore Plantation WMA within easy range of opportunist night hunters. While waiting, a white SUV slow rolled to a complete stop and the driver took a shot at Ol’ Bucky. Once he realized the deer was fake, he proceeded to drive off. The warden jumped out and ran towards the vehicle yelling “Texas Game Warden” and “Stop.” The vehicle accelerated away from him and was immediately pursued by the other wardens. Local law enforcement from Pinehill and Hemphill located the vehicle on a dead end county road and detained its occupants, a male and a female. A single shot .223 caliber rifle was discovered in the back floorboard with a spent shell casing still loaded in the chamber. The female passenger was cited and released to her mother. The male driver was arrested for evading detention and arrest with a motor vehicle, hunting deer at night, hunting deer with a light, and hunting from a vehicle. All the cases are pending.


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