The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department publishes some of its more interesting events compiled from TPWD law enforcement reports each month or so. These reports are usually good for a laugh and sometimes even provide a good lesson or two. As I noted in a previous article, usually those lessons contain good advice on what not to do, though.

I’ve summarized a couple of other particularly noteworthy events from notes released in the June and July 2019 field notes below. Interestingly enough, neither episode involves any social media mishaps or alcohol use, which makes them somewhat unique among noteworthy game warden encounters.

Nothing To Be Afraid Of

A Government Canyon State Park police officer responded to a 911 call from a person who was hiking in the park and had a frightening encounter with an animal. According the woman, an unknown animal had been following and growling at her, so she climbed a tree and called 911.

The police officer was able to get in touch with the woman on her cellphone and let her know that he was on his way. She responded that she thought that there was a wild hog nearby and she could hear it “growling” at her. The woman sent the officer her exact location with her phone and he found her a few minutes later in the tree that she and a male companion had taken refuge in.

After arriving on the scene and determining the two people were safe, the officer determined that the “growling” the man and woman heard was actually not a wild animal that was about to attack them at all. Instead, it turned out to be vehicles crossing rumble strips on a nearby road.

Wild hogs do indeed cause all sorts of problems and, while they’re not normally dangerous to humans, they do cause a few injuries to humans and their pets each year. So, it’s certainly plausible that a couple of hikers could have a frightening encounter with one in the woods.

However, it’s probably best to confirm that there is actually a hog threatening you before calling 911 and asking for help.

Peeling Back The Onion

A game warden in Nacogdoches County received a perplexing call from a local car dealership regarding some things they’d found in one of their loaner vehicles in early May. Apparently, the man who had been using the car had been arrested by local police for shoplifting.

The police impounded the vehicle and found a rifle, some deer hair, and the packaging for a spotlight in the trunk. There was also a bullet hole in the driver side mirror of the car.

The game warden interviewed the subject in an effort to learn more about what happened. When pressed, the man eventually admitted to poaching a deer. He also shed some light on what happened to the mirror of the car.

Apparently, the man was holding the spotlight while his girlfriend did the actual shooting from the driver’s seat of the car with a .22 caliber rifle. She inadvertently hit the side mirror with her first shot before correcting her aim and killing the deer with a subsequent shot.

As you can imagine, the legal situation went from bad to worse for those two individuals as law enforcement officers continued to investigate the situation more thoroughly after the initial arrest for shoplifting. That had to be an especially interesting turn of events for the people at the car dealership!