Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

April 24, 2017

Grandsons 020908


July 23, 2016

Axis Deer



Yes, we were surprised to see an Axis deer photo on our game camera.   At first, we thought is was whitetail fawn.  Later TPWD identified is as an Axis doe deer.  Axis deer are considered exotic and normally are found on high fence ranches.   This one had escaped and paid us a visit.    Hope she stays around.

The structure behind the deer is one of our ‘corral hog traps’.  The No Trespassing sign is for deer.

May 23, 2016

Nice Sam Rayburn black bass

denny-bass-052116Our son-in-law caught this really

Sam Rayburn bass in about 10′

using soft plastic

April 6, 2016

Changes to Deer Hunting Regulations for 2016-17

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 10:07 am


Commission Approves Changes to Deer Hunting Regulations for 2016-17

AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a suite of changes to this year’s deer hunting regulations that includes expanding white-tailed deer hunting into 14 counties across the western Panhandle, and creating additional deer hunting opportunities in East Texas.

The Commission adopted the following changes to the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation, the details of which will be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual:

  • Elimination of the Antlerless and Spike-buck Control Permit due to lack of demand;
  • Define “unbranched antlered deer” to clarify what constitutes a legal buck across seasons and to alleviate confusion among hunters, and replace the “Special Late Antlerless and Spike-buck Season” with a “Special Late Season” to accommodate the inclusion of “unbranched antlered deer” in the bag limit;
  • Allow the take of antlerless deer without a permit on certain U.S. Forest Service Lands during youth-only seasons;
  • Clarify that white-tailed antlerless deer harvest during the archery-only season does not require a permit and harvest of antlerless deer during youth seasons is restricted to persons 16 years of age and younger including on properties issued Level 1 Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits;
  • Implement both a general and special archery-only season for white-tailed deer in Andrews, Bailey, Castro, Cochran, Gaines, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Parmer, Terry and Yoakum counties, with a bag limit of three deer (no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless), which is identical to adjoining/nearby counties that currently have a season.
  • Implement both a general and special archery-only season for white-tailed deer in Winkler County, with a bag limit of three deer (no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless, with the take of antlerless deer restricted to the archery-only season or properties issued MLDP antlerless tags). The new season is identical to adjoining/nearby counties that currently have a season.
  • Establish four “doe days” (time periods in when antlerless deer may be taken without a permit in parts of the state where antlerless harvest regulations are conservative) in Bell (east of IH35), Burleson, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Kaufman, Limestone, Milam, Navarro and Williamson (east of IH35) counties;
  • Increase the number of doe days to 16 in Anderson, Brazos, Camp, Gregg, Grimes, Henderson, Lamar, Leon, Madison, Morris, Red River, Robertson and Upshur counties; and
  • implement a muzzleloader-only late season in Anderson, Bell (East of IH 35), Brazos, Burleson, Comal (East of IH 35), Delta, Ellis, Fannin, Falls, Franklin, Freestone, Grimes, Hays (East of IH 35), Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Smith, Titus, Travis (East of IH 35), Van Zandt, Williamson (East of IH 35), and Wood counties.

March 17, 2016

Kurth Lake Lunker


Grandson and I fished Kurth Lake during Spring Break.   A few female bass were on their spawning beds.   This seven pound momma hit an 8″ Glide Swimmer Lure.   The lure glides thru the water on a steady retrieve or darts with slight twitching of the fishing rod.   He fishes the lure with 85 pound test braided line as it is a big fish lure.  This big sow just inhaled the lure.   We were fishing in about five foot of water.   He was excited when she exploded on the lure.   After the photo, she was released to return to her friends.   All bass above 16″ are required to be released.


February 24, 2016

Game Warden Field Notes


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

Too Many to Count
Two Val Verde County game wardens were checking hunting camps when they discovered a hunting party had taken too many deer. To keep up with the growing list of violations, the game wardens resorted to drawing up a chart on paper. In total, the wardens filed three charges for untagged deer, four charges for hunting with another individual’s license, one charge for hunting without a license, one charge for incorrect deer processing, one charge for being over the limit on antlered deer and one charge for no proof of hunter’s education. The wardens also filed 18 warnings for harvest log violations. The wardens seized and donated five deer, and restitution is pending.

Man Overboard
A Grayson County game warden got a call about a boat circling Lake Texoma with no operator. Witnesses reported seeing the boat come out of a cove at a high rate of speed earlier that day. A search of the area and a subsequent investigation revealed the operator, who was not wearing a kill switch or a life vest, had been thrown out of the boat. The TPWD Dive Team and other wardens continued searching for the victim until they found him days later. The dive team recovered the body from 40 feet of water, just north of the original target search area.

No Luck Pulling Stuck Trucks
A Van Zandt County game warden got a call from a landowner who said his ranch truck was stolen from his hunting camp. The warden was en route to the landowner’s location when the landowner called him back to say he had found his truck stuck on an easement by the Sabine River, close to another deer camp. When the warden arrived on scene, he found three individuals with two trucks stuck on the easement. After interviewing each person, the warden determined not only had the individuals stolen the landowner’s truck to pull out their own stuck truck, they had also shot a small whitetail buck the night before on the neighboring ranch, on which they did not have consent to hunt. The individuals confessed they shot the deer at night.

Two-Timing Suspect
When two Bowie County game wardens got a call about a shoplifter, one warden recognized the name of the suspect from an aggravated assault case the day before. The suspect left the shoplifting scene on foot, leaving his friends and vehicle behind. When the wardens arrived on scene, they found the suspect walking down a nearby road. He appeared highly intoxicated and had marijuana in his possession. The wardens turned the suspect over to Bowie County.

Even Off Duty Game Wardens Never Quit
While a Titus County game warden was vacationing with his family at a ranch in Morris County, a vehicle drove onto the ranch. The two men in the vehicle asked for permission to retrieve their hog dogs from the property, as well as the hog the dogs had cornered. The warden recognized the driver as a local poacher, but the driver didn’t recognize the warden without his uniform. The warden identified himself and asked to see their hunting licenses, which the hunters provided. The warden informed the men trespassing or hunting were not allowed on the ranch and requested they leave immediately. About 15 minutes later, as the warden and his family were leaving the ranch, he drove up on the hunters’ vehicle, which was blocking the ranch’s private roadway. No one was in the vehicle, but the two hunters came out of the nearby woods about 10 minutes later. Before instructing them to leave the property or face arrest, the warden informed both men he was going to file charges on them for criminal trespass, advising them he would contact them later. The hunters left the ranch, parking about a quarter mile away. The warden found three hog dogs, one of which was bleeding from a puncture wound possibly caused by a wild hog. The warden led the dogs off the ranch to the hunters. When the warden asked the driver if he had all his dogs, the driver turned his back to the warden without answering, got in his truck and drove off. After conducting a computer check, the warden found the driver had been convicted three times for driving with an invalid license. Charges for criminal trespass and driving while license invalid are pending.

Eighth Time’s the Charm
A Smith County man accepted a plea deal of 45 years in confinement as a result of a traffic stop conducted by a Smith County game warden in June 2015. During the stop, the man showed signs of impairment. The warden called a DPS Trooper to assist with the investigation, which revealed the man had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. This conviction is the man’s eighth for driving while intoxicated.

Case Closed
Recently, a rice farmer pled guilty before a U.S. Magistrate Judge to illegally killing 65 brown-headed cowbirds and four red-tailed hawks. After finding large numbers of dead and dying birds on or near his property, two Brazoria County game wardens and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent opened an investigation into the farmer’s activities, which led to charges against him. They discovered the farmer had spread a restricted use pesticide and rice mixture in his fields with the intent to kill birds. Upon entering a guilty plea, the judge ordered the man to pay a fine and serve two years’ probation.

Game, Set, Match
After receiving a call from a landowner about night hunting activity and witnessing it themselves, three game wardens set out to catch the hunters in the act one night. The wardens set up a decoy white-tailed deer in the area and watched as the hunters drove around in a UTV, spotlighting the landowner’s ranch and neighboring properties, on which none of the hunters had consent to hunt. After a couple hours, the wardens saw an excited commotion break out among the hunters as they spotted the decoy. One of the hunters hastily steadied himself atop the UTV and fired two shots at the decoy. The wardens quickly made themselves known to the hunters, who complied with their commands. The wardens detained six individuals while one hunter exclaimed they were only hunting hogs. The wardens then arrested two of the six individuals, including the hunter who shot the decoy. The cases are pending.

Y’all Should Know Better
A game warden got a call from a Floyd County landowner, who said a group of waterfowl hunters were hunting on his property without his consent. The warden responded and apprehended four subjects, all of whom were guides for a local waterfowl hunting outfitter. Charges were filed at the request of the landowner, and the cases are pending.

January 12, 2016

Texas Game Warden Field Notes – January 6, 2016

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

Into the Night
As two Val Verde County game wardens conducted their nightly patrol, they came upon a vehicle that failed to stay in its lane. While the game wardens tried to read the vehicle’s license plate, the vehicle quickly accelerated and almost lost control of the car on a curve. The wardens activated their emergency lights to stop the vehicle, but it only went faster. After following the vehicle for a short time, the wardens saw the vehicle stop and the driver disappear into the darkness. The wardens pulled up beside the vehicle and secured the scene. However, when back up arrived, they were unable to find the driver. The wardens impounded the vehicle and the case is pending further investigation.

It’s Your Own Fault
As a Hudspeth County game warden patrolled an area of the Rio Grande River, he encountered some waterfowl hunters. After talking with the hunters for a few minutes, the warden discovered that one of the individuals did not have a valid hunting license. The hunter admitted to taking several birds. When the warden asked him why he didn’t have a license, the hunter tried to blame an El Paso sporting goods store for not issuing him a proper license. When the warden questioned the other hunters, he found they all had the correct licenses, state stamps and federal duck stamps, all of which were issued by the same El Paso sporting goods store. The warden found an illegally taken coot and three cormorants in the unlicensed hunter’s possession. The warden issued citations for the violations and civil restitution is pending.

A Little Too Late
A Henderson County game warden received a call from a pump technician who was checking well sites about a man dragging a deer off private property to a nearby wooded area. When the hunter noticed the pump technician, he ran to a nearby house and jumped into a truck and sped off. The warden arrived at the house and talked to a woman who lived there. She said her husband just left for town to buy tractor parts. When the man returned to his house a few minutes later, he denied hunting or being on the private property. However, he then said he shot a buck on his property, but the buck jumped the fence to the private property, so he simply went to retrieve it. After the warden questioned him some more, the man confessed to shooting the deer on the private property. He said he got scared when he saw the pump technician, so he left the scene quickly to buy a hunting license in case a game warden showed up. Cases and civil restitution are pending.

That’s a Lot of Illegally Taken Deer
When two Matagorda County game wardens entered a deer hunting camp to check for deer hunting compliance, they noticed a deer hanging from the bucket of a tractor. The three individuals in the camp, all from out of state, admitted to taking several deer, even though none of them had hunting licenses. Further inspection of the camp revealed eight more quartered whitetail deer in three coolers and six buck heads that all measured less than the required 13-inch minimum inside spread. The hunters said they had already thrown three doe heads in the nearby woods, though the wardens only recovered one. The wardens charged the hunters with hunting without a valid non-resident hunting license, taking illegal whitetail buck (six counts) and possession of whitetail deer with proof of sex removed (two counts). The wardens transported all three hunters to meet with the local Justice of the Peace, who received a guilty plea from each hunter. The hunters were fined about $6,000 and owe an additional $8,000 in civil restitution. The wardens donated the seized deer to local charities.

Crossbow Hunters
A Fort Bend County game warden was patrolling a neighborhood still under development when he saw two trucks using their headlights to spotlight deer off the road. The warden let the trucks get close to his location, where a few deer were feeding next to him, and saw one occupant shoot at a deer with a crossbow. The warden then pulled both vehicles over and found two occupants in one truck, both with crossbows, and one occupant in the other truck, with his own crossbow. During the warden’s investigation, he found the suspects had tree stands and deer feeders in place along the road, all without the landowner’s consent. The warden filed six charged on the three suspects. No deer were harmed.

The Case of the Poisoned Birds
A Brazoria County game warden assisted a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services special agent with a bird poisoning investigation. They found that a local farmer had placed poisoned rice in a field. Several cowbirds and a few hawks were found dead in the area. Federal charges of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act are pending.

Running Toward the Law
After patrolling opening day of mule deer season for several hours, a Dawson County game warden was heading home through Lubbock County when he saw a vehicle driving in the wrong traffic lane. The vehicle was traveling head on in the direction of the warden, who swerved to avoid a head on collision with the vehicle. The warden stopped the vehicle and conducted field sobriety tests, which the driver failed. The warden learned the driver had 31 previous arrests and arrested him for driving while intoxicated.

Wouldn’t Pass Muster
While patrolling Llano County during the general season opening day, a game warden entered a camp with six out-of-state hunters who had 13 whitetail deer, three Rio Grande turkeys and four feral hogs in their possession. After inspecting the animals, tags and hunting licenses, the warden found that one of the hunters was hunting with a free Texas Resident Active Duty Military license. The warden, who is a veteran himself, noticed the individual’s military grooming standards were not up to par with what is usually required of active duty service members. After asking the individual to produce his state and military identification cards, the warden found the individual was actually a citizen of another state and was not active duty military. The warden seized two whitetail bucks and one doe from the individual and filed multiple citations against him. Civil restitution is pending.

Follow the Vultures
When two Willacy County game wardens spotted several turkey vultures in a ranch off a county road, they went to the scene and found a dump site of freshly killed feral hogs and javelinas. The wardens followed the tracks to a hunters’ campsite and found a list of hunters who had hunted that morning. The warden contacted the lease master and found the individual responsible for the dump site. The warden filed waste of game charges against the hunter and civil restitution is pending.

December 27, 2015

Texas Game Warden Field Notes -December 2015

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 10:00 am
Tags: , ,

Game Warden Field Notes

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

Working on Our Way Home
As two Bowie County game wardens were on their way home just after midnight, they saw a man staggering down the street. The wardens watched the man walk up to a church door and try to open it, then sit down on the church’s front steps and begin to smoke what smelled like marijuana. When the man noticed the wardens walking toward him, he stood up and tried to throw away a bag of marijuana. He also tried to run, but was too intoxicated and didn’t get far before the wardens took him into custody without incident. They arrested him for public intoxication, possession of marijuana under two ounces and possession of drug paraphernalia.

How Hawkward
As a Van Zandt County game warden and a Fannin County game warden checked bow hunters in Van Zandt County, they got a call for assistance from the Sheriff’s Office. Upon arriving at the scene, the wardens found sheriff’s deputies had detained a man on warrants out of Van Zandt County. They also saw something interesting hidden in the man’s vehicle: a sharp shinned hawk in a bucket covered with blankets. When the wardens questioned the man about the hawk, he admitted to shooting it that morning with a 12 gauge shotgun. The man said he was on his way to dump the bird when he was pulled over. The wardens booked the man into the county jail on his outstanding warrants, with an additional charge of possessing a raptor.

That’s a Lot of Illegal Stuff for One Backpack
As several game wardens worked the Brushy Creek area of Hunt County, they noticed a suspicious vehicle moving slowly through a field. They followed it before initiating a traffic stop. The driver exited and appeared to toss something back into the vehicle. After detaining the driver, the wardens searched the vehicle and found a backpack with a handgun, jewelry, narcotics distribution supplies, drug paraphernalia, counterfeit money and about 10 grams of what appeared to be crystal meth inside. The wardens arrested the driver, and the case is pending.

Widespread Stealer
A Fannin County game warden received information from a landowner about the theft of several ATVs and other equipment from a nearby hunting lodge. The warden found the suspect and obtained a search warrant for his home, where he and other law enforcement officers found over $350,000 in stolen equipment, including trailers, tools, guns, a tractor and a semi-truck. The man living at the house gave investigators a full confession that cleared numerous theft cases from all over Northeast Texas. During this investigation, the warden gathered valuable information that will help him recover additional stolen property.

Friends Who Steal Together Get Arrested Together
A Grayson County game warden received a call from a Lake Texoma Corps of Engineers Ranger about three suspects catching striped bass with a cast net in the Red River below the Denison Dam. The warden responded to the scene while the ranger continued to monitor the fishermen. Upon arriving at the scene, the warden noticed one man with the cast net was catching the fish while the other two men, on the bank with fishing poles, were taking the fish from the net and putting them into a cooler or on a stringer. When the warden contacted the men, he found 39 striped bass in their possession. After inspecting the fish, the warden found that none of them had hook marks in their mouths. The warden arrested the men, who did not have any valid identification, for taking game fish by illegal means and for exceeding the daily bag limit.

Laid to Waste
After a man who found three deer and two raccoons dead on a county road posted a picture of the animals on Facebook, two Lamar County game wardens received several calls about it. The deer had their back straps and tenderloins removed. The wardens were able to locate three men who were involved in the poaching. As the wardens pulled up to their house, the men were cleaning the deer blood and hair out of the bed of their truck. After the wardens interviewed them, the three men confessed to killing the deer while “riding the back roads” the previous night. Class A waste of game cases are pending the District Attorney’s approval.

Drinking and Rolling
As a Bowie County game warden was conducting his daily patrols, he heard county dispatch advise of a one-vehicle rollover accident. The vehicle was on fire and a person was trapped inside. The warden responded to the scene, along with a police officer and a DPS trooper. The police officer used a fire extinguisher to put out flames coming from around the engine compartment while the warden and trooper broke a rear window and unlocked the rear passenger door. They were then able to open the door and get to the driver, who was lying on the roof of the vehicle with her feet up on the dashboard. The driver was confused and didn’t seem to realize her vehicle was on fire. The warden slid into the back of the vehicle and pulled the woman out of the car. The woman suffered minor injuries and refused treatment from EMS. After questioning, she was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

That’s My Gun!
Several archery hunters, who had experienced recent theft issues on their property, heard an ATV approaching their area. They stopped the ATV and requested the driver to dismount with raised hands. As he complied, one of the hunters, who is a retired FBI agent, observed a handgun in the suspect’s waistband. After disarming the suspect, the retired officer realized the weapon he had just retrieved from the suspect was his own, which had been stolen a month earlier. After the hunters called them to the scene, a Freestone County game warden and the Freestone County sheriff’s deputy recovered a stolen ATV, a generator, ATV ramps, a firearm and a number of hunting related items from the nearby woods.

Stole One Too Many Alligators
A landowner agent for the Honeywell plant in Orange contacted an Orange County game warden about a nuisance control permittee taking too many nuisance alligators from their facility. The warden’s investigation found 21 alligators, ranging from a hatchling to nearly nine feet long, taken illegally over two days. The nuisance control permittee pleaded guilty to four counts of taking illegal nuisance alligators. Nearly $5,000 in restitution is pending.

You’ll Want to Watch Out for Those Game Wardens
While a Montgomery County game warden was on his way to a possible deer poaching scene, a white SUV forced him to veer to the right, striking a mailbox with his passenger side mirror, to avoid a collision. After following the vehicle throughout the neighborhood, the warden saw the vehicle drive slowly past areas of the neighborhood where deer congregate. The vehicle pulled into the neighborhood’s swimming pool parking lot, where the warden contacted the driver for his suspicious actions. Immediately upon approaching the driver’s window, the warden smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. After a consensual search, the warden found a small amount of marijuana inside the vehicle. The driver and his passenger admitted to smoking the marijuana and drinking beers while driving around the neighborhood. The warden arrested the driver for driving while intoxicated after he failed field sobriety tests. The warden arrested both men for possessing marijuana.

“Thump, thump, thump” from the Trunk
Two Comal County game wardens responded to a call for assistance from a Garden Ridge police officer who had stopped a vehicle for running a stop sign. During the traffic stop, the officer saw a .22 caliber rifle, a .40 caliber pistol and spent shell casings inside the vehicle. While interviewing the occupants in the backseat of the car, the officer heard several thumps coming from the trunk. When he opened the trunk, the officer found a white-tailed deer that had been shot but was still alive. The officer then called the warden. The vehicle occupants told the warden they shot the deer at about 11:30 p.m. while it stood in the street near a residential area. The warden arrested two of the suspects for hunting deer at night and charged the vehicle operator for unlawfully carrying a weapon. While booking the suspects at the jail, the warden overheard one of them comment to the other he couldn’t believe they got in so much trouble for killing a deer. The other suspect replied, “Yeah, but it sure woulda been good eatin’.”

His Dogs Would Not Allow It
After observing a vehicle swerve and run off the roadway, a game warden initiated a traffic stop. The warden walked to the driver’s side window, where he was greeted by three barking pit bulls. The warden asked the driver for his consent to search the vehicle, and the driver replied that his dogs would not allow it. The warden asked the driver to get out of the car and had him perform field sobriety tests, which the driver failed. After arresting the driver, the warden called animal control to remove the dogs from the vehicle. Once the vehicle was clear, the warden found marijuana, a marijuana pipe and both full and empty beer cans. The man was charged with driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana and unlawful carry of a firearm.

December 5, 2015

Our Wood Duck Sanctuary


Grandson Garrett discovered this deep slough on our farm that appears to hold water year round. The slough is probably one hundred yards long.   He has declared it an area off-limits to duck hunting.   We erected two wood duck boxes to encourage the ducks to nest and raise their young.   We hung a corn feeder that dispenses some corn in the water.  This might keep squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, hogs, deer and birds from eating corn meant for ducks.   Another nice thing about this site is the abundance of acorns.   Many of the acorns fall directly into the water.    We’re looking forward to capturing some wood duck images on the game camera.

November 17, 2015

Our daughter harvested a nice deer

cat-buck-110715It tried to sneak by her just before dark on opening day.

The healthy nine point had inside spread of little less that 14″.

Age was estimated at 3 1/2 years of age.

She dropped him using a Remington 25.06  Bolt Action.



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