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Wild Times June 2024

Texas Game Warden K-9s give it their all every time they are on duty. They work tirelessly with their human partner on search and rescue missions, and to find evidence in criminal cases. They work in the heat of the summer and in the dead of winter, across every type of terrain that Texas offers.

It’s tough duty, and like their human partners, there comes a time to hang up the collar and badge and retire. Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) is raising dollars for a K-9 Assistance Fund so that resources are readily available to replace them as they retire in the coming months and years.

TPWF’s Gear Up for Game Wardens program has played a critical role in raising funds to support the K-9 Team, and we’re now gearing up to raise $70,000 to eventually replace seven K-9s. It costs about $10,000 to replace each K-9, which includes training the dog and providing all the needed gear. We’ve raised more than $26,000 so far. Every penny raised goes toward replacing and outfitting the new K-9s.

Can you help us replace our retiring Texas Game Warden K-9s?


  Story #2: We Will Not Be Tamed Podcast: Capt. Christy Vales & Ruger  

Captain Christy Vales leads the Texas Game Warden K-9 Team and has been a part of the unit since it was formed back in 2013. So has her faithful K-9 partner, Ruger. Ruger recently retired from duty and is now living a more leisurely life at home with Captain Vales. We caught up with them both for our latest podcast.


  Story #3: TPWF Members Support Texas State Parks  

Texas State University Assistant Professor of Practice Dale Blasingame is one of only a handful of people who has visited every single state park in Texas. His dog, Lucy, is probably the only pooch who has done the same. Now Dale is a self-proclaimed ambassador for Texas State Parks, and one of the ways he supports the parks he loves is by being a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. In the coming months, Dale will be sharing tales of his adventures in state parks, along with some of the video stories produced by his students. Tag along with him as he shares an adventure at Devils River State Natural Area.

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  Story #4: Join TPWF and Win a Signed Chance Yarbrough Print!  

Chance Yarbrough is an outdoorsman, Texan, and sporting artist who has made a career out of combining his love for art and nature. He’s considered one of the best Texas sporting artists working today and is serving as one of TPWF’s We Will Not Be Tamed ambassadors this year. We Will Not Be Tamed calls us to appreciate the wildness of Texas, the vastness of our Texas spirit and why we should be inspired to conserve it.

Chance encourages all Texans to join the wild life by becoming a TPWF member. And, if you join or renew your membership with TPWF before July 15, you will be entered into a TPWF drawing* for an opportunity to win a Chance Yarbrough signed print and a Texas Hill Country experience, courtesy of Garrison Brothers Distillery!

Join Now

*The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the signed print and Hill Country experience. Members who join or renew between January 1 and July 15 are automatically entered in the drawing.
  Story #5: McKinney Falls State Park Visitors Cool Off with Rambler  


The founders of Rambler Sparkling Water were inspired by the Texas watering holes that defined their childhood. It’s why they partnered with TPWF -- to help preserve Texas natural areas for future generations.  If you ask Rambler, it’s about more than just making a sustainable, great-tasting sparkling water for Texans. It’s about giving back to Texas. That’s why you might see Rambler at your favorite state park, handing out ice cold cans and spreading the word about land and water conservation. Recently, Rambler spent the day at the entrance of McKinney Falls State Park, where the founders greeted visitors and handed out full six-packs of their limestone filtered sparkling water. Makes sense, considering it was the Lower Falls at McKinney Falls State Park that inspired the artwork on the packaging.

"I have really fond childhood memories of traveling around the state with my family - a family of seven in a wood-paneled station wagon, with pop-up camper in tow,” recalled Rambler co-founder Dave Mead.  "That’s why these parks are so important to me. It’s up to us to preserve these lands and waters, for our kids and their kids to enjoy. We are proud to partner with TPWF to protect the Texas we love." 


  Story #6: Calling all Hunters, both Experienced and Newbies!  


Are you 21-45 and interested in learning more about hunting, participating in your first hunt or wanting to help others experience hunting for the first time?

Stewards of the Wild, TPWF’s young professionals’ program is looking for both first time novice hunters and experienced hunters to mentor them for this upcoming hunting season. Stewards of the Wild is partnering with the Texas Wildlife Association and others to provide mentored hunting opportunities for Stewards of the Wild members who have never hunted before. Last year we introduced thirty hunters over the course of five hunts

If you wish to be considered for a hunt either as a mentor or first-time hunter, you must complete an application. Are you in that target age range, but not a member, yet? Don’t worry, if you qualify for an experience you can purchase a membership between being chosen and participating in the hunt. The application deadline is July 17.

Are you in that target age range, but not a member, yet? Don’t worry, if you qualify for an experience you can purchase a membership between being chosen and participating in the hunt application across the state with others who might be interested in learning more about hunting and angling! All questions related to the mentored hunt program can be directed to Matt Hughes at mhughes@tpwf.org.

Watch the video of one of last year’s mentored hunt experiences.

Watch Video


  Story #7: Feel Good about Your Donations to TPWF  


TPWF is proud to report that for the eighth consecutive year, we have obtained Charity Navigator’s 4-Star Rating.  You can be confident TPWF will use your donation carefully and effectively to fund impactful projects.

Read more about our Charity Navigator rating.

Learn More


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