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My First Encounter with a Texas Game Warden and Local Police

Some of you may recall that I recently left city life and moved back to the country to get away from the hustle and bustle and focus on my small businesses and family property.

Yesterday, I was working in the shop all day on a project for my mother for Christmas.

My brother and I have a hunting lease no more than 2 miles away from where we live. He decided to go for the evening hunt as we've been trying to shoot a monster buck that frequents the property. I'd guess my bro left the shop around 3:30-4:00 pm to be sitting in time for the feeders to go off at 4:30.

My bro called me at 4:41 pm telling me to call the game processor because he saw one of two cull bucks we've been trying to shoot. I texted him at 4:51 pm that the game processor didn't answer, and he asked me to call again. I texted him back at 4:57 pm that the phone goes straight to voicemail and asked him if he shot one of the cull bucks. He said he hadn't yet.

I called my brother at 6:21 pm asking him where he was because some guy was walking up to the property. (Our 2.35 acres are near a bad part of town.) My brother said he was on his way back home; he was by the power plant down the road.

When he got back he told me what happened. He didn't shoot the cull bucks and left the blind at 5:30. When he was driving down the sendero to leave the property, he saw a big buck eating in the field. The sun was still up! He stopped the truck, got out, aimed, and shot the deer in the neighbor's property. (We have permission to shoot deer in the neighboring field near the property line from the farmer neighbor.)

My bro said he was very confident he made a good shot, but the deer ran off to the left from my brother's vantage point. My brother's vision was only limited to the view down the sendero so he wasn't sure if the deer stayed in the field or if he made it to the the thick brush on our property. He waited about 20-30 minutes before pursuing the deer. At that point, darkness set in. He drove down to the edge of the field and shined his lights everywhere but couldn't find anything. He drove around the field but couldn't see anything.

Now back at the shop, we debated and contemplated and consulted with several more experienced hunters. We have call logs and texts to prove all of this. I was telling my brother that we should wait until morning since it was pretty cool outside and a northern had just blew in that evening.

After a couple hours we decided to go back and see if we could at least find the impact zone or a trail of blood crossing the perimeter field. We needed a flashlight, so we went to the convenient store and bought one. If needed, their surveillance will show us trying out every single flashlight! My bro still has the receipt too I believe.

So, we finally get back out to the lease and try to recreate the shot. We had walkie-talkies and my bro parked where he had taken the shot and guided me to where he estimated the impact zone would be. I'm walking in the field looking for blood, but I didn't find anything. Once I get to where my bro estimates the impact zone is, he comes out to join me in looking for any blood.

After not finding anything, I'm saying let's just go home and come back tomorrow morning. But my bro is adamant the deer is here somewhere. He walks the entire dirt road and still no blood so then he just starts doubling back through the field about 30 yards off the dirt road. He breaks radio silence!

"I found him!"

He was stiff and starting to bloat already. My bro tags him and we drag him back to dirt road, go get the truck, load him on the tailgate, and drive back to the shop.

We're not very experience hunters, and even less so animal cleaners. We've seen it done, and my bro has done it a handful of times. Let's just say we're far from experts.

So, we decided to watch several YouTube videos on the best way to field dress, skin, and quarter a whitetail buck. When we finally decided to start messing with the deer, it was around 10:21 because we took several pictures while it was still strapped to my bro's tailgate.

The deer's jaw was completely stiff shut as we tried to look at the teeth to age the deer. All the legs were stiffed up too, but the deer was still warm when you touched his guts. "He's still warm" I remember my brother remarking.

Midnight rolls around and we finally have the deer's cornhole cutout and zip tied and he's just about gutted completely. We initially tried to pull him up by his neck to use gravity as one method we saw online, but we ran into some trouble getting the anus to release and come out cleanly. So, we decided to lower the deer and string him upside down from his legs as most people do.

Now we got to skin him and it's way after midnight. Our shop is right on the highway and we had the roll up bay door open, all the lights on, the radio blaring some Randy Rogers and guess who decides to show up.

The local police!

They creep up and approach cautiously. I walk out and greet them and say hello and ask what the problem was.

They immediately are concerned with the deer and when it was killed. "So y'all just killed a deer. Like at 7 o'clock?" one of the young officers remarked.

My brother told them what happened and that this deer was shot at around 5:30 pm on our lease just up the road. The ran both of our id's, and of course, we came back clean.

A few minutes later, the game warden showed up...seemingly upset that someone woke him up for this at around 2am. He was on a mission from the get go. It was his opinion that the deer was shot illegally because he was a little warm. He asked for my bro's hunting license. He pulled my brother back to his truck asking him where the gun was. Of course the gun had been put up hours ago like around 6:30 pm! The game warden was feeling my bro's truck to see if it felt warm. The warden was surprised to see that all the tags were filled out completely and correctly.

Then he came back for me to get my version of the what happened. I told him what happened, and he was saying something like, "well, this doesn't look good because the deer is warm." We then got into a minor verbal altercation as we debated when the cold front had blown in. He said the north wind was blowing all day, and I told him that I was working in short sleeves all day and I didn't put my jacket on till this evening. That's when he got mad!

"Are you calling me a liar?"

"No, but you're calling me one."

I kept saying that it would be stupid to be skinning a deer right off the highway with full lights on for anyone to see. We clearly weren't trying to hide anything.

This game went on for almost two hours. The game warden repeatedly said, "If you want to change your story, now's the time while I can help you."

We were adamant at what happened and that there was nothing illegal going on here. You can see he's mad right now.

He then proceeds to cut a big chunk of meat from one of the hind quarters and says he's going to get the temperature and have the lab run some analysis to find out when the deer was shot, and if it came back something other than 5:30 then he was going to arrest my brother. My bro stuck to to the truth.

The cops by this time realized nothing was going on and after I showed them some of my dad's old cars in the shop, they took off.

The game warden went back to his truck with the piece of meat and came back a few minutes later. My bro asked him what the lab said to which the warden replied, "that's between me and the lab." He gave us another chance to change our story, but there was nothing to change.

He grilled us a little more about the property and said that he was going to go by there in the morning. I told him I'd go with him right now, but he declined.

He eventually left and gave my brother the benefit-of-the-doubt that we weren't criminals, poachers, or spot-lighters, promising and threatening to come back if things didn't check out.

I feel completely violated, like I just shot the king's deer. I mean, this guy was a complete joke with zero investigative skills and little-man syndrome. How many people has this guy harassed? How many hours of tax payer dollars has this guy wasted?

He came on to the scene not looking for the truth, but looking for anything that could possibly show the deer was shot illegally. He ignored the facts (phone records, pictures, receipts) and he ignored the basic idea that if we had shot the deer at night (which we wouldn't do), we wouldn't be cleaning him right off the highway at 2 in the morning. His mind is jaded because in that line of profession, with cops as well, they more than most people, have way more encounters with criminals. So they automatically think the worst instead of assessing each situation independently. He never once considered that we were telling the truth. He assumed we were liars and criminals. I won't stand for that.

The game warden ended up giving my brother a ticket for not having completed the hunter's safety course. He said that normally he would take the deer, but he's going to go to the lease tomorrow and check things out. My father called the Sheriff (a good friend of ours) and told him what happened. The Sheriff said we should have called him and to do so next time.

We're going to try to set up a meeting with the game warden to present all the evidence to give him an opportunity to stop thinking we were lying to him. This is a small town. I don't want this guy thinking we lied to him and always trying to pick on us.

What would you have done?

___



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My Two Cents for what it's worth!

Well now I’ve got to put my 2-cents worth in.
After reading all these posts regarding Texas Game Wardens, and mostly negative ones at that, I’ve got to say that some of you don’t know squat about TGW’s. As with any law enforcement, you’ll get some bad ones, GW’s included. Your local city cops are really the worst. But if you’ve seen what a GW has to go thru just to be accepted into the academy, you might realize that Texas doesn’t just let any mook in. It took my son in law 3 years to get accepted, and another 7 months of boot-camp like training spending most of that time away from his wife. After being accepted, numerous background checks were performed. I can say that he is an intelligent person, well respected in his county, a great father and husband. I have actually been on ride-alongs with him to see first hand what he does. A couple of times he spotted people fishing and merely asked if they had they’re license, if they hit their limit, and if they were catching fish with a minimum of weight. Later we ran into a deer hunter unloading his equipment and he checked out ok. They talked for a bit, and he told the hunter that if he ever needed anything or was concerned about poachers, just call him anytime. Many of the old-timer fisherman have befriended him as well.
You see, the thing about GW’s is that they are the elite of Texas LE. They are as respected or more respected that Texas Rangers. They help out in natural disasters often dozens of counties away when called upon. My son in law was sent to north Texas two weeks ago during the horrific ice storm to help stranded motorists all night long till morning came. He slept during the day, ant then went back out at night.
And did I mention that he is an excellent hunter with numerous deer mounts and wild turkey. He’s out there to stop poaching so you have a successful hunting season.
With that said, he’s told me a story or two about a couple GW’s that should have never been accepted, who have abused their status, or just don’t have the people skills. I for one don’t much trust your local beat cops, as well as some county deputies. But GW’s can be
trusted. (maybe with the exception of yours).

I knew game wardens back in the day.

They were out in the woods or on the roads. Doing there jobs. Not trying to be some CSI investigator.

Money talks and dogs bark

Friends

You two guys sound like the kind of people I'd like to have as friends, Very honest with integrity. I think you handled the situation very well, sticking to the "truth"...which, seems to be in short supply now-a-days.
I don't think there is anything else to do...I would not advise anyone to try and be a "friend" with this type of cop/warden. He is not interested in the "truth"...stay away from him.
I think you summed it up very well, when you said he suffered from "little man" syndrome...this means there is nothing you can do to get him to get over his complex....he will always be a dirty stinking rat.
Have you ever heard of a "huntin" accident?

You handled this extremely well.

There are a number of scenarios where you should not speak to the police. This was not one of them. I agree with others here that going out now and attempting to meet the Warden is a high risk / low reward action at this point in time.
Your best bet is any potential chance encounter down the road.

Tyrants only speak tyrant language

These are cowards who waffel between bully and coward. They live in fear that people will stand up to them and use bully tactics to atempt to make their prey fear.

A coward bully like a drunk there is only 2 ways to handle. Either leave them alone run run far away or knock them out. Trying to reason or get on his good side will only be interpreted as guilt and fear by this subhuman kings agent.

sovereign

Wait till you meet the "Federal Wildlife Police"

You will wish for the Texas game wardens back. The Federallys knocked me to the ground my face in the gravel, hand cuffs tightened past the limit, searched my body, searched my bill fold, searched my truck then gave me a ticket for a brake light.
They gave my neighbor a ticket for his little dog had set foot on federal land.

R3ovlUTION charles walker 8322474577

make him

a chocolate cream pie with a little deer drop in it (fiber)
attach note- Merry Christmas Mr. Ranger

go on about your life and have a happy new year to boot (not lick)

sucks that you made an enemy

He is going to be on your ass now. Honestly, the best thing would be to swallow your pride and go and apologize and make friends with him. But I understand if your pride won't let you do that.

This is one of the reasons I prefer bowhunting. Longer season with fewer people in the woods, and it's quiet and doesn't attract attention. But use a bow and not a crossbow :) Game wardens hate crossbows. Nothing says "poacher" like a crossbow.

EDIT: Wait a sec, you guys hunt using feeders? Where is the sport? That's just a step up from hunting a penned up deer. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

Pride? Seriously?

I'm not going to pretend to speak for the writer of this post, but to assert this is about pride is insane!

Have you seen the posts of the hundreds of cops killing innocent people each year. Do you think they got murdered because of their pride? What a ridiculous assertion!

These people cannot be reasoned with, they will not stop, they are fascists trying to build their own little fiefdoms.

What would you have him do anyway, go grovel on his knees to his local SS agent, give him cookies, lick his boots!?

it's up to him

If he wants to take a stand and take on the game wardens of Texas, more power to him. However, if he wants to hunt on his property in peace, that would not be the best course of action.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

What exactly would I be apologizing for?

I actually want to be friends with him, but I'm not going to apologize for doing nothing wrong. We even fully cooperated with him. All he had to do was investigate and follow the evidence where it led. Instead, he had a preconceived notion that a crime occurred, and he looked for anything that could support his theory.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

I didn't mean apologizing for your hunting actions

I meant apologizing for a misunderstanding, or your manners, or whatever you want to make up, to make him feel better about himself. He sounds like a petty guy, so you have to massage his ego a little bit.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

Massage his EGO???

Seems pretty big already.

I think Hitler got his EGO massaged also.

It's like the little creepy kid on the twilight zone episode.

It's goooooooood that you did that Billy, reeeeeeaaallll good.

Needs a kick in the butt if you ask me.

One of the main reasons I want to confront this guy is...

...is that I want to know if indeed there is a test they run on the meat temperature and if so, what time did their lab say the deer was shot. I'm pretty sure he was BSing, but IF there is a test, and it comes back with anything other than the actual time my bro shot the deer, then I feel it's my duty to expose that test. If they're using some inferior test to keep track of the king's deer, it deserves to be exposed so other people don't get screwed over.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

Time of Death Test

RobHino, I found this article from 2005 that states they do have a test. The article can be found here: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2005/jan/ed_5/ . But this is all it really says about time of death testing. "Determining a deer’s time of death can also aid game wardens greatly in an investigation. For that purpose, many wardens carry a special kit containing all the equipment necessary to conduct a series of time-of-death tests."
"Bradshaw is understandably reluctant to provide many details for fear that poachers will attempt to use the knowledge as a tip sheet to help them avoid prosecution."
“I don’t want this to be a training manual to show outlaws how to get around this. I’ll say that we gather temperature information, evaluate the eyeshine and pupil diameter, and apply an electrical charge to assess the deer’s muscle reactions.”

I've never heard of such a test

and if there was one, it would be highly inconclusive. He probably wanted to steal one of your backstraps. Don't confront him, don't talk to him. Just document everything and tell him to talk to your attorney. Then expose him for what he is, a petty little fascist.

Saying to much usually works against the defendant

The Game Warden was trying to scare both of you into confessing. They use these tactics all the time, since he couldn't rattle you boys he probably figured you're telling the truth.

I wouldn't contact him at all, you could possibly implicate yourselves in something totally unrelated. This is way attorneys always say shut up say no more than asked of.

Surviving the killing fields of Minnesota

Todays brainwashing: GMO's are safe

See comment above...

Thanks for the comment, and my posting and commenting history here on the DP will confirm I feel the same way. Please read my comment above.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

I would not have been a dumbass and CALLED the game warden.

How noob are you? You ASKED for this little confrontation when you called them.

Excuse me?!

I didn't call the game warden! We think the cops called him. Perhaps you misunderstood my last paragraph.

We're really good friends with the sheriff, and we were unhappy about the way we were treated by the cops and especially the game warden. The sheriff offered to contact the game warden and try to set up a meeting with the sheriff present to basically try ensure that this doesn't happen again.

Generally I don't answer LEO's questions, but I've never really studied hunting laws and what game wardens can and can't do, so I wasn't as aggressive as I'd normally be on a routine traffic stop.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

He was confused because:

"My bro called me at 4:41 pm telling me to call the game processor"

You meant someone who processes meat. It's a country thang'

Ron Paul on his son Rand Paul:
"he does a lot of things similarly, but I think he does everything better. Than I have done over the years,"

Heh!

The game processor! I'd rather just pay the $60 and not have to do all the dirty work! Don't get me wrong, I want to learn to do the processing, but at this point, I don't have a good clean place to do it nor the equipment.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!

www.RevolutionCarBadges.com
www.NonNetwork.com

For dumbass city folk like Athan...next time use the word....

BUTCHER!

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?

We do our own butchering. Why the hell call the cops?

And yes, I did get confused when you mentioned "call a game warden".
We bring the deer/pig once we bleed him from the neck on site home, hang him up by the feet. Start cutting and removing his internals/cut head/feet/feed to dogs.

thanks for sharing!

thanks for sharing!

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

Whatever you do don't talk to him anymore!

Game wardens are the lowest of the low. They are the keepers of the king's game and they should be avoided always. I've talked to people that have had game wardens walk right in their front door of their house on their property and start walking around inside their house without a knock. When asked what they're doing, they respond "I don't have to tell you, I'm a game warden and can go anywhere".

They seem to think they don't need to follow the constitution.

The best bet is to hunt in the nastiest and rugged terrain where the fat lasy POS won't get out and go. Keep your game covered and out of sight in transport after tagging it. They are not your friends and many of them make it a game to manufacture accusations for innocent people.

this is true

Game wardens are exempt from the 4th Amendment. They don't need no stinking warrant. That's why the DEA loves to bring a game warden along on raids. The game warden can go anywhere and, "oops, look, I was looking for poaching and found some drugs."

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

mountaincat's picture

Hi Rob

We have two fine game wardens and one of the over zealous little snots. I've delt with him for years. He use to check me every time. Eventually he gave it up as a waste of time. Now when I see him, I take pleasure in holding him up as much as I can. Good luck and congratulations to your brother for a fair-chase harvest.

Edit: The magistrate usually has more common sense than this game warden.

I wouldn't meet with the game warden

Remember these are very low-IQ people with SERIOUS anger issues and they HATE being proved wrong. If you want trouble every time you go in the woods, have a meeting and prove the bumbling fools wrong. If you want peace, let them think they won.