Game wardens warn hunters about poaching
UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Though most of the major hunting seasons have ended in East Texas, the problem of poaching, or hunting out of season, continues to happen. For Texas game wardens it's a matter of continuing to educate the public on the seriousness of the crime.
Upshur County Game Warden Nathan Skeen goes out on dead white-tail deer reports periodically.
"If you trespass on somebody's property without consent of the owner, and harvest one of our prized white-tail deer and they want to pursue charges, then it is a state jail felony," he says.
Residents near Ore City, who had seen poaching before, called in a deer kill on FM 450.
"It was way too far from the highway to be a road-kill. I hunt in a small area, and I've had people come into my area and kill deer. Kill my deer," says area resident Randy McLaren.
Skeen knows that sometimes a poached animal can be made to look like a road-kill.
"There's a few thing we look for. Obviously a bullet hole. This deer I don't really see anything. No bullet hole No entry No exit," he says.
Skeen says this incident was a road kill.
In a recent case a Denton county man admitted to poaching a record white-tail buck, but taken after bow season was over. The man was charged with taking the animal out of season.
And with the major hunting seasons over with now, the transition is to fishing and water safety.
Poaching happens just as often on waterways.
"Some like to take more than they are allotted for that daily bag limit. And that's where we come in and enforce the laws so future generations can have fish," Skeen says.
The bottom line is that to stop poaching, it must be reported
"The best thing to do is contact your local game warden," says Skeen.
The penalties for hunting out of season are a state jail felony and can be punishable by prison time.
Also, it is illegal to harvest any part of a road-kill without notifying the proper authorities.
Currently quail season is underway and runs through February 25th.
Game wardens also advise that boaters should have a life jacket onboard for every person on a water craft, and children 13 and younger must be wearing it.
Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.