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Gear Up for Game Wardens Update May 2024

Because we know that you care about Texas Game Wardens and the natural resources of Texas, we are providing a quarterly newsletter for Gear Up for Game Wardens, a new program of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

Thank you for your continued support,

Anne Brown
Executive Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Thanks to hundreds of generous Texans, the Gear Up for Game Wardens effort has raised more than $90,000 since the program launched in October, providing funds for much needed specialty gear. Thanks to you, more than $10,000 was raised for a new K-9 (Dexter pictured above), including an outdoor kennel, GPS tracking collar and other equipment and training to get the new K-9 unit up and running.

Along with the K-9 gear, funds are being invested in other equipment that helps game wardens do their job, such as trauma kits, side scan sonar, night-vision, thermal imaging units, wireless headsets and a search and rescue drone. Equipment is already being shipped, and every game warden region is benefiting. Thanks to the generosity of Texans across the state, Texas Game Wardens are getting the specialty gear they need to maintain safety and ensure the highest level of service for the people of Texas.

Support Texas Game Wardens through Gear Up for Game Wardens!


Not only are generous Texans supporting Texas Game Wardens, so are volunteers who have stepped up to serve on the Gear Up for Game Wardens Leadership Council. Leadership Council members hail from all over the state, representing each game warden region and the statewide Special Operations group.

These volunteer leaders, like Randy Risher from Houston, pictured in the photo above, are coordinating local citizen committees to ensure the needs of wardens across the state are met. Locally driven committees will help Texans understand the important service that game wardens provide, spread the word about the effort to support our game wardens, and help fundraise for their respective regions.

“We’re proud to serve the people of Texas in this way,” said Dan Flournoy, chair of the Gear Up for Game Wardens Leadership Council. “Texas Game Wardens played an important role as first responders in rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey, and specialty gear no doubt saved lives. Along with their duty during natural disasters, Texas Game Wardens also protect the natural resources associated with hunting, fishing, hiking and birdwatching and provide a safe environment for people participating in those activities. By supporting Gear Up for Game Wardens, future generations will be able to continue Texas’ proud outdoor heritage.”

Patricia Vannoy never knows what her day may bring. As a Texas Game Warden serving in Region IV, her duties are as varied as the seasons. Earlier this month, she and her colleagues helped rescue several hundred sea turtles from the chilly waters of Matagorda Bay.

You could say Patricia was born for the job. She spent her childhood hunting and fishing with her family in the woods and waters north of Houston, near Humble. One afternoon during her senior year in high school, she encountered a Humble police officer who was investigating a trespassing complaint.

“When he found out I knew the area like the back of my hand, he asked me for help,” Vannoy recalled. “It was so exciting, and I was absolutely hooked. I knew from that moment that a career in law enforcement was my future.”

She studied criminal justice in college and was selected for an internship with the Texas Game Wardens. It all clicked into place.

She entered the Texas Game Warden Academy in 2010, where she met David Vannoy, and something else clicked: He would become her future husband. Now the two work together, and their safety and success depends on the gear they use every day.

“We are so appreciative of the new Gear Up for Game Wardens effort,” said Vannoy. “The response has been amazing. It means so much to all of us out in the field to know we have support from the public.”

The Vannoys have been featured on Lone Star Law, the popular Animal Planet series that highlights the work of Texas Game Wardens. Watch a clip of the Vannoys from the show.


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