Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

November 20, 2012

my fishing buddy

The trip to Papaw’s was supposed to be a hunting visit.

But we had time for a cat  fishing trip.

November 19, 2012

With a new pair of waders,

Garrett  hits the pond placing his duck decoys

in position to attract some ducks.

November 18, 2012


Filed under: Neal Murphy — Freddie Keel @ 6:18 am

Character actor Ned Beatty’s first film was released in 1972, and was entitled “Deliverance”.  It was the story of four male friends from Georgia who went on a weekend outing of boating and fishing in the mountains, and encountered trouble with mountain people.

Long before this movie was made, I was involved in a somewhat similar occasion, a similar mission, but, however, with a decidedly different outcome.  In 1965 while living in Houston, Texas, several of my male friends decided we should go on a weekend trip of fishing and camping.  Our jobs at Allstate Insurance Company were hectic and frustrating at times.  So, this idea of relaxing and sleeping out in the open was very attractive to me and five friends.

We elected to drive north to the small town of Hemphill, Texas and find a spot on the Sabine River, which was the border between Texas and Louisiana.  After stopping for bacon, eggs, bread, and coffee at a small mom and pop store in Hemphill, we made our way through the piney woods, on red dirt roads to the banks of the river.  Compared to the mighty Mississippi river, the Sabine is a rather small river.  But its waters contained bass, perch, cat fish, gar, and probably a few alligators – more than enough for our motley crew to handle.

After unloading the cars of our gear, mostly sleeping bags and cooking utensils, we began to notice the northwest sky.  A breeze was kicking up, and a dark cloud began to appear.  Soon, lightning was streaking through the sky.  Having grown up near the Sabine River, I felt obliged to offer some sage advice – let’s get out of here before the dirt roads get wet.  I knew from prior experience that one could get stranded or stuck in the mud very easily.

So, it seemed wise to pack up the gear again, and try to get back to a paved road before the rain hit us.  About the time we got back on the paved road the rain came down in buckets.  I felt that we were lucky to have gotten out safely.  Consensus of opinion was that we might as well head back to Houston since we could not sleep on a wet and muddy ground.  We recalled the old adage, “You win a few, lose a few, and some get rained out.”  So, this was our rain-out.

On the way back home we drove past a new man-made lake, Dam B, a Corps of Engineers project that had developed a nice lake.  The rain had stopped, the stars were out in abundance, and even the moon was peeking out from behind clouds.  We decided that we might salvage at least one night of our outing by camping out on the shores of Dam B.

Again, we emptied our cars of our camping gear, built a fire, and cooked a supper of bacon, eggs, and bread.  We unrolled our sleeping bags and settled in them for a night’s sleep.  The storm had passed, we had full bellies, and the world was good.

Around 2:00 in the early morning, we were awakened by the sound of a motor boat out on the lake.  The operator was operating his boat recklessly, loudly, and unsafely.  I suspect that alcohol was a contributing factor to his conduct.

One of our crew sat up and made this statement, “I hope his dang motor blows up!!”

We all know that God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes exhibits a sense of humor.  This was one of those occasions.  Even as our brother was uttering his wish, there was a loud boom out on the lake, a fireball erupted around the motor, and we could see the operator diving into the lake, silhouetted against the red fireball.  We all looked at each other in amazement.

Several people rushed their boats to the aid of the victim and apparently he was unhurt.  I am unable to make the same statement about his boat and motor.

Well, our “Deliverance” weekend came to an unusual conclusion.  We never planned another outing.  I left Allstate in 1967 to work for another company.  Now the Sabine River is under the waters of Toledo Bend Reservoir, although Dam B Lake is still yielding its fish to the locals.  Somewhere on the bottom of the lake rests a small boat and motor that seemed to have come under the condemnation of the Almighty.





107 Hemlock Street

P.O. Box 511

San Augustine, TX 75972



Cell: 936-275-6986

Email: sugarbear@netdot.com

November 17, 2012

Texas Game Warden Field Notes

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:12 am

  • Rains County Game Warden Dewayne Noble and Wood County Game Warden Derek Spitzer on Sept. 21 were traveling north on Hwy 69 near Mineola when Warden Noble noticed a driverless tractor with a mower attached going in circles in a field.

As Warden Spitzer stopped the truck, both wardens noticed a man rolling on the ground trying to get away from the tractor.

But before the wardens could reach him, the mower portion of the tractor struck the man.

The wardens were unable to safely board the tractor so they dragged the injured man out of harm’s way.

As they again attempted to stop the runaway tractor, the wardens discovered another victim. That second victim had also been run over, but had been able to crawl back to his truck, which was about 30 yards away, where he was unsuccessfully attempting to get to his mobile phone.

Both injured men were transported by helicopter to Tyler.

Warden Spitzer later discovered that the two men were in critical condition

  • Several hours after dark on Sept. 12, Gonzales County Game Warden Dan Waddell received and responded to a call regarding a missing boater on Lake Wood.

Waddell recalled having seen the boater, who was aboard a personal watercraft, on the Guadalupe River that afternoon.

About an hour after Waddell and a deputy sheriff had launched the warden’s boat and started their search, the two officers found the stranded boater, mosquito bitten but otherwise unhurt, about 10 miles upriver from the Lake Wood dam.

The boater had plowed over a shallow gravel bar, and the PWC sucked rocks into the intake. The inoperable PWC then started taking on water and the engine compartment became awash.

The man ruined his mobile phone during the ordeal, so calling for help was impossible.

Luckily, he was close to a dock and was able to secure his vessel and climb onto the dock to wait for help.

As Waddell approached the dock, the man said, “I knew you’d come get me sooner or later.”

  • Wardens were called on Oct. 8 to assist the Brown County Sheriff’s Office in a search for a missing 70-year-old woman in the Brookesmith area.

The woman had walked away from her residence the day before to check her property and could not find her way home.

Wardens Dave Bosecker, Lee Morrison and Captain Wilkes responded to request for help, and were able to use the GPS coordinates from the woman’s cell phone and their hand-held GPS units to direct responders to her general location.

The woman was found in fairly good shape and was returned to her home and family after receiving medical treatment.

  • While checking dove hunters Oct. 6, Dimmit County Game Warden Gene Fernandez arrested a subject who was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The subject’s rap sheet was considerable, including: a previous arrest for unlawful possession of firearm; aggravated assault causing bodily injury to family member; aggravated sexual assault; burglary of a habitation; burglary of a building; resisting arrest; terroristic threat to family member; deadly conduct; and unlawful restraint.

The subject was taken into custody without incident and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a third-degree felony.

Case pending.

  • Ellis County Game Warden Jeff Powell closed on an investigation that included complaints going back to 2009 on a suspect who was selling fraudulent deer leases on Craigslist.

In 2009, three persons were scammed for $1,800 after meeting the suspect at the front gate of a ranch the suspect claimed he owned. The suspect had put his own chain and lock on the gate to help make it look legitimate.

The victims were able to write down his driver’s license number (which turned out to be fake), remembered a distinct tattoo on the suspects wrist and the color of his truck; but the case went cold for three years.

In early September, an informant told Powell about a subject who had used Craigslist to scam people in the past and was able to describe the tattoo.

The suspect was identified, and while Powell was investigating the subject, he started getting complaints about fake deer leases on Craigslist again.

The latest victims were able to take a picture of a subject and his DL after they signed a lease agreement and handed over a $1,500 check to him.

Powell confirmed this was the same suspect and was able to get an arrest warrant based on the information.

Fourteen other victims came forward who advised they were scammed by this suspect after answering an ad for a deer lease.

On September 26, Warden Powell along with two Ellis County Investigators arrested the suspect as he returned to his residence.

Powell was able to secure evidence of other fake lease agreements from other victims, a laptop computer, the suspect’s cell phone, and bank statements.

Over 14 pages of texts were located on the cell phone from the victims, along with pictures of the property and gates.

A sawed-off shotgun was also found behind the suspect’s front door.

The suspect is in jail on a $100,000 bond and multiple felony warrants.

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office was also able to charge him with a fraudulent theft case from earlier this year, also involving a Craigslist complainant.

  • Anderson County Game Wardens Rob Sadowski and Danny Kessel received a call from a hunter regarding a large marijuana growing operation he’d discovered on his deer lease along the Neches River.

Wardens assisted the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office by providing four-wheelers to transport personnel and their GPS units to help coordinate the location for the DPS helicopter called in to survey the site from the air.

It appeared to have been a large operation encompassing some 70-plus acres.

The property had not been leased for several years and the growers appeared to have left the area in a hurry, leaving lots of uncleaned product behind.

Evidence recovered included firearms, methamphetamine, and the head of an illegally-taken buck deer.

The wardens are continuing to assist the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office with their investigation.

  • Nueces County Game Wardens Saul Aguilar and Nicole Spatz on Sept. 23 received an Operation Game Thief call concerning hunters who had taken a pair of mottled ducks within a marsh area in the Upper Laguna Madre.

Taking mottled ducks is prohibited during the September teal-only hunting season.

Wardens responded, spotted the pair of hunters still in the field and decided to observe them from allocation on a nearby spoil island.

When the pair left the marsh area, Wardens Aguilar and Spatz made contact by boat and interviewed the subjects. The suspects had illegally breasted the ducks in the field, and hidden them, along with a mourning dove, in the pockets of one of the suspects.

In addition to hunting in closed season and unplugged shotgun violations, drug paraphernalia was found on the person of one of the individuals.

Citations Issued.

  • While attempting to serve a Texas Parks and Wildlife arrest warrant in Lubbock County on Oct. 6, Garza/Lynn County Game Warden Drew Spencer and Terry/Hockley/Yoakum County Game Warden Aaron Sims heard a distant shotgun report and decided to investigate.

The wardens quickly found a maize field with several guided hunters and the hunting guide, all actively dove hunting.

As the wardens contacted the group, the guide tried diverting attention away from a large pile of doves and a certain shotgun.

After some questioning and with a little perseverance by the wardens, the guide admitted to having shot more than his daily bag limit of dove with an unplugged shotgun.

Citations issued.

  • Game Warden Chris Sanchez received a request shortly after midnight from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office asking that he respond to a Lakeway residence where the tenants possessed live white-winged doves in an oversized cage.

The warden learned the birds had been brought to the home 3–4 months ago as nestlings, and the residents intended to nourish them for release.

When asked why the fully-grown doves had not been released, one of the residents stated that she had gotten attached to them.

Citation issued after release of the game birds.

November 16, 2012

Three-year-old boy arrested for peeing in his front yard, mom gets $2,500 ticket

Filed under: Misc — Freddie Keel @ 6:04 am

(NaturalNews) Judging by the cost of the ticket and the inflexible attitude of the police officer issuing it, you’d think Piedmont, Okla. had a huge problem with toddlers running all over the place urinating on anything and everything in their paths.

Only, it doesn’t. In fact, the incident is so isolated – and the case so ridiculous and bizarre – not only does it boggle the mind, but it defies logic and reason at every level.

Here are the details.

The parents of three-year-old Dillan Warden are in the process of trying to potty train the little tyke. Any parent who has taken on this task knows this is a time-consuming, arduous process that involves teaching the toddler how to recognize when he needs to relieve himself and what to do when that time comes.

That feeling of recognition, so to speak, came for little Dillon as he was playing in his own front yard recently. With no bathroom nearby, he did what he has been taught to do – he pulled down his pants and prepared to relieve himself.

Expensive bathroom break

But before he could actually relieve himself, the long arm of the law intervened. Thank goodness; a crime spree stopped dead in its tracks.

Still, just the toddler’s attempt was enough to earn the ire of the cop and his mother a $2,500 ticket.

“Dillan pulled down his pants to pee outside, I guess, and the cop pulled up and asked for my license and told me he was going to give me a ticket for public urination,” the boy’s mother, Ashley Warden, said.

“I said really, he is 3 years old, and he said it doesn’t matter,” said Dillan’s grandmother, Jennifer Warden. “[He said] It is public urination. I said we are on our property and he said it’s in public view.”

Local news media covering this horrific crime story reported that the family lives on a two-and-a-half acre plot of land, adding that the “street is actually quite rural” in nature.

But the Wardens say the officer, Ken Qualls, who “caught” little Dillan trying to relieve himself parks at the end of their street every day. Not surprisingly, they asked why he does that.

“It’s a public street and he wants to, so he can,” Jennifer Warden said.

Apparently, this officer’s crack police training led him to conclude that, someday, little Dillan would commit the crime of public urination, and he’d be there to stop it, while earning the city a nice tidy fine.

It makes you wonder what other real crimes are going unnoticed – and unpunished – if this is what Piedmont Police officers do with their time on the job.

After getting the ticket, the Wardens filed a complaint with the police department. But the department, local media said, “didn’t accept the Wardens’ complaint” (we here at Natural News aren’t quite sure how a police department doesn’t accept a complaint, but we digress).

Either way, now the Wardens have a court date set up for December.

Going to court?

“I am disappointed that the officer thinks… what he needs to do with my tax dollars is sitting and harassing our family,” Jennifer Warden said.

It’s a legitimate question but one the department doesn’t seem amenable to answering.

But hey, at least the officer was polite. Jennifer Warden said he was good enough to write down the cost of the ticket, “as a courtesy,” local media said.

Ashley Warden says she’s going to fight the ticket – not just because it is outrageous on its face, but because her son did not actually commit the act she was cited for.

Local reports said when the case gets to court, the judge has the authority to just throw it out.
Let’s hope there is some sanity left in the local court system.

Update: The latest word is that Qualls amended his complaint to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The department has admitted the incident could have been handled better. No word on a court date.

November 15, 2012

Thank You Wulf Outdoors

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:45 am

Wulf Outdoor Sports Donates Over $6,000 to the local American Cancer Society

Wulf Outdoor Sports®,the premier outdoor sporting goods retailer in East Texas with the help of community partners and vendors donated $6,327.77 to the American Cancer Society.  This year’s donation was given with the specification that all of the funds remain local to help women across East Texas. The gift amount was raised at Wulf Outdoor Sports annual Ladies Night Out event, which has served as a corporate fundraiser for the American Cancer Society for the past three years.   Wulf Outdoor Sports has donated nearly $20,000 over the last three years to the local American Cancer Society.

The funds raised will be used to support women across East Texas by providing the following services:

  • Gas cards of up to $150 per year for those traveling to receive their treatments,
  • Bras and prosthesis
  • Wigs, turbans and head coverings
  • Patient Navigators – specialized staff for assistance with complex patient needs
  • Support groups (online and face to face available)
  • Reach to Recovery
  • Look Good…Feel Better
  • Cancer Survivors Network (1.877.333.HOPE)
  • Quality, up-to-date resources and information for patients and their families through cancer.org and 1.800.227.2345

Wulf Outdoor Sports looks forward to working with Center, Texas and surrounding communities in the future and sincerely appreciates our generous customers who helped in this cause.

November 14, 2012

On The Bright Side Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:43 am


Tomorrow, November 15, 2012 is designated as The Great American Smokeout which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  It is a day when smokers are encouraged to stop smoking with the hope that they can quit the smoking habit for days, months or years to come.


Tobacco usage is done in three different ways – chewing, inhaling and smoking.  All of these are detrimental to our health.  Chewing tobacco can cause oral cancer.  Many young men will suffer due to the chewing of tobacco.


Inhaling smoke is harmful to the lungs.  Secondary smoke is loaded with chemicals and toxins and can be as harmful as if it was inhaled.  Cigarette smoking is the top cause of death and disease that can be prevented.


Every cigarette that is smoked by a smoker causes the loss of 11 minutes of his life.  Smoking is a slow suicide.


Smoking causes fifty different disease, twenty of which are fatal. The more a smoker smokes, the more addicted he becomes.


If a pregnant woman smokes, her unborn child can suffer.  The child is subject of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  The pregnant woman is likely to suffer miscarriage and other bad effects.


Surgeons often ask a smoking patient to abstain from smoking for at least a week prior to surgery.  Smoking prohibits protein production which is necessary for healing.


Smoking can cause a patient to have emphysema, bronchitis or chronic obstructive lung disease.  Ninety percent of lung cancer is directly related to cigarette smoking.  Thirty percent of cancer fatalities are caused by smoking.  Smoking can also cause cancer of the mouth, bladder, kidney, stomach, esophagus larynx and pancreas.


I have many friends who smoke.  It breaks my heart to think that they are damaging their health every time they light up a cigarette.


Every day I see my friends at Hemphill Care Center struggle for breath and suffer from the smoking habit which now affects their daily living.


If you don’t light up, you can have a longer life on the bright side.


November 14, 2012

November 13, 2012

if stopped by a game warden, let me do the talking

Filed under: Birds,Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:30 am

A popular West-Texas guide service owner is seeing his reputation tarnished after pleading guilty to wildlife charges stemming from an undercover investigation.

Mark Dean Meissenburg, owner of well-known guide service Panhandle’s Best Inc., of Amarillo, was sentenced this month by U.S. Magistrate Judge Clinton E. Averitte to one year probation for allowing hunters to take sandhill cranes in excess of the daily bag limit.

Averitte also ordered that Meissenburg pay a $900 fine and restitution of $2,590.

Specifically, Meissenburg pleaded guilty to one count of having custody of migratory birds without proper tagging. According to the plea documents filed in the case, he admitted that on Jan. 24, 2012, he unlawfully had custody of a sandhill crane, a migratory bird, belonging to another person without proper tagging requirements.

As part of an undercover operation, on January 22, 2012, three special agents with U.S. Fish and Wildlife met Meissenburg in a motel parking lot in Littlefield, Texas. The group, guided by Meissenburg, traveled to harvested corn fields in Castro County for the morning hunt. The three undercover agents quickly filled their daily bag limit of three sandhill cranes each, and then Meissenburg told them to fill his daily bag limit of an additional three sandhill cranes. When a total of 12 had been harvested, Meissenburg stated the hunt was over. While cleaning the birds, Meissenburg instructed the agents to complete the Texas Wildlife Resource Documents for the birds they had harvested. Each agent accurately completed a form stating he had killed three sandhill cranes. Meissenburg falsely completed a TWRD.

The agents also went out with Meissenburg on hunts the following two days, and similar events ensued. On January 24, 2012, the last day of the hunt, Meissenburg told the agents to leave all harvested cranes in their motel rooms or vehicles to ensure that if they were stopped by a game warden, that they were not over their possession limits of six cranes each. Meissenburg also told the agents if they were stopped by a game warden, to let Meissenburg do all the talking and to tell the game warden this was the first day of their hunt.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Texas Game Wardens. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Drake was in charge of the prosecution.

November 12, 2012


Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:01 am

Somehow, Flip the sea turtle wound up stranded and abandoned thousands of miles away from her home in the Gulf of Mexico.

The endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was found by passers-by in Holland, and her future looked bleak.

“She was so emaciated and really struggling,” said Iain Scouller, general manager for Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium, which is playing a significant role in Flip’s rescue and rehabilitation. “It was touch and go.”

These days, her future is looking much brighter.

Flip is resting comfortably in Texas while plans are being made to continue her rehabilitation and then release her into the sea off the Texas coast.

“We’re halfway there,” Scouller said from Port Aransas, where he is helping care for her. “Our fingers are crossed that we are looking at a happy ending. Her shell is shining and her eyes are bright.”

The juvenile turtle is 14 inches long and 15 inches wide.

The effort to save her is an international cooperation of Sea Life Scheveningen in Holland and Sea Life in Grapevine, as well as other agencies.

Flip was found injured, cold, stunned and stranded on the shores of the Netherlands, near the city of The Hague, on Dec. 10.

“We have no idea how she got there,” Scouller said. “We don’t think someone took her there deliberately.”

She was taken to Sea Life Scheveningen to begin a long rehabilitation.

After her first month at Sea Life and much TLC from the staff, Flip started eating again, and since January has steadily grown, gaining weight and strength. Since that time, several international partners have worked together to get her back home to the Gulf of Mexico.

Flip flew nonstop from Amsterdam to Houston on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

“I’ve not come across an animal that has coped as well as she has,” Scouller said. “Turtles aren’t meant to fly in airplanes.”

After arriving in the United States, Flip was taken to a bonded area, “where she got VIP treatment,” Scouller said.

She was transported by the Sea Life Grapevine team to the Port Aransas Animal Rehabilitation Keep for a health assessment.

She will be given time to acclimate to Texas before being released into the Gulf.

Also participating are the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Animal Rehabilitation Keep, the U.S. National Park Service, the government of the Netherlands, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The teamwork has paid off, Scouller said.

“She’s in great health, and even slightly overweight,” Scouller said. “We’re all very happy.”

November 11, 2012


Filed under: Neal Murphy — Freddie Keel @ 6:33 am



Jobs were hard to find in 1958, the year I was married.  I was classified “1A” by the Selective Service System, which meant that I was facing being drafted into the army.  No company wanted to hire me, only to have me leave within a year.  After spending three months in the Golden Triangle area of Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur without finding work, my new bride and I decided to move back home and await the inevitable “Greetings” letter from Uncle Sam.

Mr. Crowe, the managing engineer for the Texas Highway Department, took pity on me and gave me a job in their new office on Highway 96 north of town.  I suppose that since I had three years of college under my belt, he felt that I might possibly learn drafting.  So, he hired me at $325 per month and placed me under the tutelage of the senior draftsman, Terrance Price.

The general secretary of the office was a young lady named Patsy.  She was very efficient and reliable, and got along well with the all male crew.  She took all the ribbing and jokes from the guys in stride, with a good humor.

The head of the surveying crew, Jake, was one who loved practical jokes.  No one was immune from him, and never knew when he might strike.  Patsy fell into his sights one Friday afternoon in 1959.  It seems that the survey crew found the skull and horns of a steer, perhaps a longhorn, out in the woods.  They brought it back to the office prior to quitting time, but hid it from Patsy.

This skull was quite large, perhaps eighteen inches long, and thirty-six inches from one horn tip to the other.  Jake and an accomplice found some bailing wire and attached the skull to the back bumper of Patsy’s car.  Everyone waited around to see her reaction when she left work and found this monstrosity on her car.

Well, as we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry.  Patsy bounded out of the office and got into her car and sped away, never noticing the item wired to her back bumper.  We all watched her car until she turned left at the circle and was out of sight.  What a bummer – nothing happened, that is, until Monday morning.

It seems that Patsy had driven all over town Saturday and noticed some stares and funny looks from people, but paid no attention.  It was not until she was leaving for church Sunday morning that she found the skull and horns still attached to her bumper.

Monday morning she arrived at work a little early.  She retrieved the skull from her car trunk and took it over to Jake’s pickup and threw it inside the cab.  When she came inside the office, everyone was very quiet, pretending to work, awaiting her reaction.  She walked into her office, just like any other day, saying nothing.  That is, until Jake walked into the office.  He made a comment about finding a skull and horns in his vehicle, wondering where it came from.

Then, Patsy, the patsy, struck.  She ran out of her office holding an umbrella with which she proceeded to jab and strike Jake all over his head and shoulders. “Don’t you dare do anything like that to me again”, she yelled as she swung the umbrella like a baseball bat.  Mr. Crowe, the manager, walked in about that time and put a stop to the assault.  Then, everyone started laughing and things settled down.  Jake apologized, Patsy apologized, and things were back to normal.  I always felt that deep down within her soul, Patsy enjoyed the attention.

So much for the steer skull caper. Other pranks were waiting to be played on people, and they were.  However, I do not recall that Patsy was ever again the patsy.  Apparently she made her point.

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