The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

Judge Orders No Hunting Weekends

A district court judge in Grayson County recently ordered a man convicted of poaching a big white-tailed buck to spend every weekend of hunting season in jail for the next five years. In addition to five years of probation, and over $18,000 in civil restitution penalty, John Walker Drinnon must report to the Grayson County Jail each weekend of deer season starting Dec. 30 for the full term of his deferred judgment period. The 34-year-old from Whitesboro, Texas, is also prohibited from purchasing a hunting license while on probation. Drinnon admitted to killing a 19-point buck with a gross Boone & Crockett score of 202 inches with a rifle (in an archery-only county) while trespassing on private property; a state jail felony. (A photo of Drinnon and the deer can be found here https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/news_images/?g=grayson_county_big_bucks&i=drinnon_2–.jpg )

Can’t Fool Me Twice

Earlier this month a Navarro County landowner contacted game wardens regarding a second road hunting incident in as many weeks where someone shot a deer off his property from the road. Wardens had investigated the first incident, but were unsuccessful in locating enough evidence to identify a suspect. With backup from the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office, wardens were able to nab the individuals responsible after the second poaching incident. Once alerted by the landowner, officers immediately converged on the scene. Sheriff’s deputies made a traffic stop on a vehicle in the vicinity that did not match the description of the perpetrator, but did have a freshly killed deer in the bed. As it turns out, the subjects had switched vehicles after making the kill, and stashed their hunting gear before returning to pick up the deer. A full confession was obtained regarding both violations. Eight Class A misdemeanor charges, along with restitution, are pending. The rifles were located and seized.

Still Filling Last Year’s Tags

While inspecting a local meat processing plant, a Cherokee County game warden discovered a recently executed deer tag from last season’s license. After running the subject through the department’s database, it was determined the subject did not currently possess a valid hunting license, nor had he completed mandatory hunter education certification. A couple of days later, the warden met with the hunter at his residence and requested to see the subject’s hunting license. While looking over the expired hunting license, it was determined that he had also taken a buck a few days prior, which the warden asked to see. In addition to being tagged with an expired tag, the buck’s antlers did not meet the county antler restrictions. Citations were issued for taking deer with an expired hunting license, taking a buck deer that did not meet county antler restrictions, harvest log violations and no hunter education. The cases are pending.

Not a Duck Hunter Video Game

While patrolling Limestone County, a game warden heard several shots coming from a nearby tract of land. Upon further investigation, the warden located an individual who was using his .30-30 rifle to shoot at ducks as they flew past. The subject did not possess a hunting license. He was given a brief lesson on bullet trajectory and firearm safety, among other things. The cases are pending.

Caught Gaming the System

On Dec. 9, Trinity County game wardens found a van parked at the end of a county back road. The wardens noticed a hunter coming down a trail toward the van, and then disappear after spotting them. The wardens ran down the trail, but before they could reach the man, he emerged back onto the trail. The wardens made contact and asked the man why he ran into the woods out of sight. The hunter stated he was walking around a washout. While one warden checked the man’s guns and hunting license, the other warden started walking down the trail where the hunter had emerged. At that point, the hunter admitted to shooting a doe and hiding the meat in a backpack he ditched near the trail after seeing the wardens. The hunter produced an active military hunting license, although he was not currently nor had he ever served in the military. The hunter had also used a tag on another deer he had taken earlier in the season. Multiple cases were filed with civil restitution.

Cooper’s Hawk Down

A Facebook group notified game wardens about a protected Cooper’s hawk being killed. The concerned citizen sent in screen shots of a Facebook post…

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