The recent articles on FAOL about carp reminded me
of a story about a Game Warden who handled a case
with a lot of carp in it.
This Game Warden was walking a creek bank checking
fishing licenses and bag limits when he noticed some
telltale signs that indicated that possible illegal
activity was taking place at a certain area. The Game
Warden continued to patrol the area and began surveillance
on the area to see if the violators would return and
establish a pattern. The day stretched into night, which
brought the Game Warden the cover that he needed to
observe the area without being seen. Cover was very
sparse and there was only an "L" shaped group of bushes
with lots of leaves and trash in the immediate area.
Patience is a big part of a Game Wardens job, so that
part of the job began to be fully tested as the night
wore on into the wee hours of morning. Eventually, the
violators arrived and after looking around, they began
to wade out into the water. While two went out into the
water, one was on the creek bank with a Coleman lantern.
The language being spoken was not one that was not
understood by the Game Warden, so he was at a loss as
to what was being said, except at times there would be
an angry shout and the violator on the bank would
immediately hold the lantern up higher so the two
violators in the creek could see.
Eventually, the violator going across the creek got
to the other side and said something and the violator
on the bank went into a flurry of activity. The lantern
was put on the ground and the violator started pulling
a net onto the bank. The violator on the far bank was
holding the net up so it wouldn't snag and tear itself
up and the other violator, that was almost half way
across the creek was holding it up in the middle. These
violators, being of a nationality that is small in stature,
really had their hands full because the net was very heavy
with fish. And, all the time the constant jabbering and
shouting had the Game Warden really paying attention.
As the net came into view, the Game Warden saw numerous
amounts of carp, buffalo, drum and some game fish such
as catfish, bass and crappie. Of course, that was enough
to make a case and the numbers of the fish were duly
noted but the Game Warden wanted to make a big case
so he kept his presence unknown and continued
surveillance until the violators left. Following
behind the violators, the Game Warden noted the
license number of the vehicle and stashed it away
in his memory until he could return to his patrol
vehicle and after a quick drive home, the Game
Warden fell asleep on his couch.
Some time later, the Game Warden was awakened because
of a tremendous desire to scratch his entire body!
CHIGGERS!! There is no peace or sleep when one has
been invaded by chiggers and has failed to take care
of them as he or she should! After several baths with
rubbing alcohol and Miss Parsons Household Ammonia,
the Game Warden was able to get a little rest. It just
so happened that the violators had been watching the
Game Wardens house and knew the Game Warden would be
off duty the next day and had put the net out to coincide
with that time.
WARNING TO WOULD BE VIOLATORS: Game Wardens
will work on their days off!!
After a day of scratching and dousing in the aforementioned
solutions, the Game Warden began to again formulate his
plan to apprehend the violators. Having previously run
the license number, the Game Warden knew the violators
lived in his neighborhood and would be watching his house.
To leave the idea that he was still home, the Game Warden
had his wife drive him to where he kept his horses and
drop him off and he would go into the area horseback.
There was an area about one half mile away from the area
where a horse could be tied without it being seen. In fact,
it was between the area of the violations and where the
violators had parked their pickup.
Some time before the violators were to arrive, the Game
Warden went to the "L" shaped area and began to remove
the leaves and trash from an area so he could lay there.
The Game Warden laid down and covered himself with the
leaves and trash and waited again until the violators
returned. The violators finally arrived, and being sure
the Game Warden was at home, proceeded to build themselves
a fire. Of course, as fate would have it, the prevailing
winds put the smoke from the fire right into the Game
Wardens eyes! Not a real cozy place to start with and
smoke in your eyes doesn't help a bit but time passes
on and things were happening!
The violators began the trip across the creek and all
the jabbering and shouting commenced! The violator in
the middle of the creek took a large carp out of the
net and threw it to the violator on the bank. The carp
was immediately cut three times on each side and placed
mouth first on a steel rod that had been driven into
the ground, at an angle, at the edge of the fire. A
tin can was washed out with creek water and put underneath
the carps mouth to catch the juices that came out of the
mouth. Keep in mind that this is going on approximately
five feet from the Game Wardens face! By this time, the
violator has reached the other side and untied the net
and the work of hauling the net to the bank began. Much
more jabbering and shouting, as the net is extremely heavy,
and there is some serious laboring going on!
After a time, the net and the other two violators are
back on the bank with the other one and there is much
discussion about how full the net is and how heavy the
net was and how much work each violator was doing. When
their breath is caught, the violators think it is time
to eat. They take two big carp out of the net and start
filleting them into chunks.
Of course while all this was going on, the carp over
by the fire has given up much of its juices to the tin
can and it is almost full. The tin can is retrieved and
the chunks of raw carp are dipped into the juices and
eaten. Now the Game Warden, being of a different culture,
was having a hard time, what with the smoke in his eyes,
the smells of the carp cooking, the visual picture of the
feast and laying in one position for a long time were
beginning to have their effect!
But wait, no Game Warden worth his salt would
interfere with the ongoing process at this time.
The fish were still in the net and had to be removed
and he didn't want to spend all night getting fish
out of a net. So the Game Warden kept his position
and waited till all that was done. That being done,
the violators emptied the net bags they had brought
firewood in with and began putting fish into the bags.
Upon completion of that task, one of the violators
decides to come over to the bushes and relieve himself.
Now there is just so much a Game Warden can take!
The Game Warden immediately stands up, about five
feet from the violator, whose mouth falls open,
because he is seeing the original Trash Monster
in real life! The violator recognizes the Game Warden
and immediately in his best broken English says,
"You no here!! You at home!! Me see!!
Of course, things began to happen real fast and
after a short chase, everyone was handcuffed. Now
three o'clock in the morning is just not a good time
to get some judges out of bed! However, the Deputy
that the Game Warden contacted to get the Judge to
the scene persevered and the deed was done. Judges
also don't like walking in unknown country at night
anymore than the rest of us do, so upon arrival, the
scene had been set! The Judges' eyes just about popped
out of his head at the sight of all the fish that were
on the bank! The combination of these circumstances and
the statement that the violators were selling all the
fish to a fish market did not help the situation any!
The resulting high fine warmed the Game Wardens' heart
as it made up for all the times he had gone home empty
handed or worked a case for months and got a minimum
fine. Of course, the deputy and Game Warden escorted
the Judge and violators back to the patrol car and
the Game Warden went to pick up his horse.
Now this stallion had been raised by the Game Warden
from a foal so the Game Warden couldn't understand the
stallions' reaction when the Game Warden appeared. It
seems the Game Warden had approached up wind from the
stallion and the smells the stallion was smelling weren't
anything familiar! It seems that lying in a trash dump
with dead and decaying matter of all kinds spread all
over you, aren't the best thing for relations with
animals. And as the Game Warden would later find out,
with wives either! The Game Warden had called the police
dispatcher and asked to have his wife called and asked
to pick up the Game Warden where she had earlier dropped
him off. Upon arrival, and getting into the family car,
the Game Warden, who was so very proud of himself, was
told to open the trunk and ride back there to the house.
Such an inglorious treatment for a champion of wildlife!
What is in a pile of trash and leaves besides the
obvious? CHIGGERS! LOTS OF THEM! So after stripping
outside at four thirty in the morning, the alcohol
and ammonia baths began again! All clothes were left
outside and dipped in a solution before being washed
Footnote; The Judge said that in the future
there would be no need to awaken him and bring him
to the scene because anyone who would go to those
lengths to catch a violator had no reason to falsify
information! ~ Game Warden