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.