Hendrik “Hennie” Volschenk may well be the Texas Game Warden whose hometown is the furthest from the Lone Star State. Born in South Africa, Volschenk’s love of nature was instilled in him by his parents. He began his career as an educator, teaching biology and other science courses. After earning a conservation degree from Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa, he worked as a game ranger for the South African National Parks Board, where he enforced anti-poaching laws, among other duties.
His travels brought him to the United States for a visit, including a memorable trip through Texas in 1998.
“I fell in love with Texas during a 6-hour visit to San Antonio,” recalled Volschenk. “I just loved everything about it and hoped that I could return.”
He moved to the United States in 1999, and his interest in law enforcement led to a position with the Springfield Police Department in Missouri. But he missed the connection to the environment. When he learned that Texas was recruiting game wardens, he knew he had to apply.
“At that point in my life, I was facing a big choice: move back to South Africa or stay in the United States,” he said. “I knew if I was going to stay here, the only place I wanted to live was Texas. I remember thinking at the time that if Texas doesn’t work out, I would go home.”
Luckily for Volschenk, and for Texas, it worked out. He was accepted into the Texas Game Warden Academy and graduated in 2012. His first assignment was in Harris County, where he served until just recently. Just last month he was promoted to Lt. Game Warden at the Texas Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County.
“I absolutely love being a Texas Game Warden,” said Volschenk. “I am passionate about the environment and I’ve always had an inclination to protect and to teach. As a Texas Game Warden, I get to do all my passions in one setting.”
Along with some of his other colleagues, Volschenk is helping educate people about the role of Texas Game Wardens through “Lone Star Law,” a hugely popular Animal Planet series that airs across the countr.
Volschenk and other Texas Game wardens are directly benefitting from specialty gear provided by Gear Up for Game Wardens. All-Terrain Vehicles and specialized search and rescue drones help Texas Game Wardens every day.
“It means the world to us,” he said. “Having these specialty tools helps us do our jobs better and makes us feel safer. ‘Thank you’ is not powerful enough words to express our feelings of gratitude for such generosity.”
You can support Texas Game Wardens like Hennie Volschenk.