Area game wardens stay busy, sometimes get lucky

(Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept./file)
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ELLIS COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) Two recent state game warden cases in an area county show sometimes good luck trumps hard work when it comes to making a case against a violator.

In two recent cases in North Central Texas it was plain bad luck on a violator's part that brought a quick end to his enterprise.

In one case an Ellis County game warden was sent to speak with a ranch manager about two men shooting onto private property from a county road.

As the warden was responding, the ranch manager and another farmer chased the suspects as they fled and he told the warden when the vehicle turned from the highway onto a private road.

The private road just happened to be the game warden's driveway.

When the warden confronted the man and his 17-year-old son, both from Fort Worth, the man claimed he was giving his son gun safety pointers.

"After the warden issued a citation for discharging a firearm from a public roadway, and provided a brief primer on firearms safety, the father asked, 'Did I really pull into your driveway?' The warden nodded and smiled. 'That was kinda convenient,' replied the man," a release issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said.

And in another Ellis County case an illegal hunter's lost knife led to his identification.

An Ellis County game warden began an investigation for hunting on private property without landowner consent and during his initial investigation saw video evidence of a hog being shot underneath a feeder.

The suspect's identity was not visible in the video, but when the warden visited the scene, he found a bloody knife the hunter had left behind.

An investigation of social media sites led the warden to a suspect, a 17-year-old, who had posted photos of hogs he'd killed on a social media website.

When the warden talked with the boy's father, the man confirmed his son and some friends had shot two pigs the previous weekend and while cleaning the hogs, his son had lost a knife.

The warden showed the knife he'd recovered to the father and the man identified it as his son's knife.

"The next day the boys gave a full confession," TPWD's news release says.

The cases are pending, as is a case of animal cruelty in Limestone and Leon counties.

Game wardens say a man used fireworks to torture a living but previously injured raccoon and then posted the video or photographic evidence on a social media site.

"The suspect was recently arrested and placed in the Limestone County jail after arrest warrants accompanied indictments by a Limestone County Grand Jury.

And in Freestone County a game warden, very shortly after releasing a boat following a boat check, "discovered an illegal gill net near where she first made contact with the group."

The Dallas area fishermen were cast-netting for tilapia and running jug lines on Lake Fairfield.

"After hauling in the 500-foot net, the warden made her way back to the Dallas anglers to ask about the gill net," the TPWD release says.

"As she re-approached, the group quickly pulled up their jug lines and sped off toward the boat dock."

A state park police officer arrived as backup as the warden found the men at a boat ramp and they confessed to having placed the net out earlier in the day.

"Citations were issued for the illegal net and for taking game fish by illegal means/methods.

"Numerous largemouth bass and tilapia caught in the net were released back into the lake," the release said.