People who break the law, like students who don’t get their homework done, seem always to be creative in their excuses and their alibis.
That seems to be especially true of hunters and fishermen, who run afoul of the authorities, if we are to believe the periodic reports I get to read from news releases issued by the folks at Texas Parks and Wildlife.
I enjoy their magazine. I relish watching their weekly television program. And every once in awhile, I get a real laugh over some of the investigation reports of the game wardens. They are serious business, of course, but to me their jobs must be really fun.
For instance, the latest story comes from Cochran County, which is near the Texas-New Mexico border.
The officers made contact with occupants who were parked in a bar ditch just off the highway. They had a rifle sticking out the window of their truck and admitted to shooting at feral hogs, which they insisted was OK, because they were in New Mexico and the wardens were out of their jurisdiction.
Asked how they determined their location, the guys pointed to the yellow centerline of the highway, which they believed was the state line separating the two states.
Charges of hunting on a public roadway, in Texas, are pending.
Closer to home, the wardens in Harris County were monitoring a development property for illegal hunting. They met two individuals emerging from the woods, riding a UTV, carrying rifles, with blood on their clothes. Like their West Texas friends, they claimed to have hunted feral hogs.
They were questioned separately, and one was required to name the time of day the hog was killed.
He opened his cellphone to display a text message string with the other suspect, but while thumbing through texts, looking for the time, he scrolled upon a photo of a large 8-point buck his friend had sent him. At that time, both confessed to poaching a deer, with no tags, no license, and no permission to hunt.
Officers seized the head and meat and issued multiple citations.
All the modern gizmos famous on CSI are apparently also available to our game wardens.
A warden in Red River County was told by some men hunting on a road that they had shot a coyote.
The warden discovered blood, but no animal. He collected blood and tissue samples and sent them to the TPW forensic lab. The results came back for white-tailed deer. The case is pending for hunting deer at night, from a vehicle and with artificial light, all of which are illegal.
The moral of this story is twofold. Don’t hunt deer without the proper permission. And if you do, come up with better stories than these guys.