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Gear Up for Game Wardens Update December 2018


Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of Texans, the Gear Up for Game Wardens effort has raised more than $185,000 since the program launched last fall, providing funds for much-needed specialty gear.

Thanks to you, game wardens across the state now have access to specialty equipment above their standard issue gear, which will help them maintain safety and ensure the highest level of service for the people of Texas.

As funds come in, equipment is being shipped out to every corner of the state. Side scan sonars, night vision equipment, thermal imaging units, wireless headsets and a search and rescue drone are just a few of the items now in the hands of wardens. A new K-9 Unit is now up and running, too, thanks to your generous donations.

Texas Game Wardens appreciate your support!

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Texas Game Wardens spend untold hours performing search and rescue missions.

From a hunter who has lost his way, to a kayaker who has not returned from an afternoon outing, to a child who has gone missing, Texas Game Wardens spend many hours searching the woods and waters of Texas to bring folks safely home.

Now, thanks to your generosity, there’s a new set of eyes in the sky. Watch this simulated rescue of some lost children to see how the new search and rescue drone works.

Watch





Gear Up for Game Wardens is supported by a Leadership Council comprised of citizens from all over Texas. That’s to make sure that the needs of every region are met. These citizen volunteers are taking an active role in raising awareness and support for the program at the local level. The local committees 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.

On May 1 a meet-and-greet was held in Dallas to support Gear Up for Game Wardens. Pictured above is Colonel Grahame Jones, TPWF Executive Director Anne Brown, Council members Leo Corrigan and Holland Walsh and TPWF Chairman Mike Greene. Events like this demonstrate how much Texans support their game wardens. In April, two other special events were held: one in Denton hosted by Mike Riley, Kent Key and Austin Baker, and another in Austin hosted by Safari Club International Austin.

The momentum is growing!

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Timothy Walker was raised in East Texas and originally thought he wanted to be a wildlife biologist. In fact, he was enrolled at Tarleton State University studying wildlife and range management when a summer internship with the Texas Game Wardens changed the course of his life.

“After three days in the field, I thought ‘Man, I’d rather do this than be a biologist,’” Walker chuckled. “I care deeply for wildlife, and becoming a game warden has allowed me to take an active role by enforcing the laws that protect wildlife.”

Timothy graduated from the Texas Game Warden Academy and was commissioned in 2001. He was first stationed in Van Zandt County, then transferred to Angelina County, not too far from where he grew up. Every spring, he and his colleagues patrol East Texas rivers, dragging for illegal hoop nets like the one pictured above. These nets are used by poachers and are typically baited for catfish.

One of the grimmest duties game wardens face is searching for drowning victims. In the many lakes and rivers of East Texas, it is an assignment Timothy has been involved with on many sad occasions. In the past, wardens used a mechanical device without the aid of any technology.

Now thanks to a generous donation from the Sabine River Authority through Gear Up for Game Wardens, Timothy’s region now has access to six side scan sonar units to assist wardens in recovery operations.

“This high-tech equipment has completely changed the way we work,” said Timothy.

Side scan sonars allow search and rescue teams to see below the surface of the water to help divers find what they are looking for. Operations that once took days can now be completed in a few hours, bringing closure to a grieving family.

“We could not be more grateful for the support of Sabine River Authority for this equipment,” said Timothy. “We’re really excited about the Gear Up for Game Wardens program because it lets us know that there are people out there who care enough about the work we do that they are providing specialty gear that will help us do our job better. It really means a lot to us all.” For more info visit www.gearupforgamewardens.org.


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