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Gear Up for Game Wardens Update December 2022
 

Texas Game Wardens work hard in the blistering heat of the summer and the bone-chilling cold of the winter. In the Texas Panhandle, those temperature extremes can range from sub-zero temps in the winter to over 110 degrees in the summer.

Patrolling Canadian River off-road areas in an open-air all-terrain vehicle can be a brutal assignment, but Texas Game Wardens have taken it on for as long as they’ve had such vehicles to patrol in. In the past, they’ve bundled up in parkas in the winter and endured clouds of dust during the summer.

But now, thanks to a $30,000 donation from the Phillips 66 Borger Refinery through Gear Up for Game Wardens, a climate-controlled UTV is now available to Amarillo-area wardens.

  New UTV for Texas Game Wardens  

“This is a game-changer for our ability to patrol these areas in all weather conditions,” said Capt. Lance May, who supervises the 12 Texas Game Wardens who patrol the Panhandle. “It not only provides for safer patrolling conditions for our game wardens, it also allows us to patrol a much broader area for longer periods of time. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful community partner in Phillips 66."

Through private donations, Gear Up for Game Wardens provides specialty equipment Texas Game Wardens need to maintain safety and ensure the highest level of service for the people of Texas. While the state provides the basic necessities for game wardens to do their jobs, there is still a critical need for additional specialized equipment.

Thanks to generous donors like Phillips 66, Gear Up for Game Wardens is going strong. Since 2017, the program has raised close to $2.9 million to support equipment needs.

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  Meet Texas Game Warden Lance Lindley  

Lance Lindley grew up in the Panhandle town of Shamrock and lived across the street from a Texas Game Warden. He idolized him.

"I thought it would be so awesome to get paid to do that, but everyone told me it was impossible to get into the Game Warden Academy, so I didn’t even try when I graduated from college,” said Lindley.

Armed with a biology degree from West Texas A&M, Lindley landed a job with an environmental services company in Austin. After a few years, he decided it was not the career path he wanted to pursue.

It took him two tries, but with the encouragement of the very game warden and family neighbor who first inspired his interest in the field, he made it into the Texas Game Warden Academy in 2005. He now covers Hutchinson and Carson counties near Amarillo.

Texas Game Wardens are deeply connected to their communities. They get to know civic and business leaders, along with the landowners whose ranches they patrol. Lindley got to know the plant manager of the Phillips 66 refinery in Borger at volleyball games where both their daughters played.

The manager invited local law enforcement agencies for a plant tour, and he asked them to let him know if they ever needed any equipment, because Phillips 66 would like to support them. 

As it turns out, Lindley had just been issued a new boat, but there weren’t enough funds to fully equip it. Phillips 66 stepped up with a donation through Gear Up for Game Wardens, and the boat was outfitted with the needed gear, including a side-scan sonar.  The following year, Phillips 66 stepped up again to purchase a thermal drone, which has been used numerous times since for search and rescue missions.

And this year, Phillips 66 donated funds for a brand-new climate-controlled UTV.

"We are so grateful to Phillips 66 and Gear Up for Game Wardens for providing this equipment that will allow us to do our jobs more safely and effectively,” said Lindley.

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  SAVE THE DATE: Gear Up Online Auction Sept. 27  29  

TPWF is gearing up for its annual auction to benefit Gear Up for Game Wardens, a TPWF program established in 2017 to provide specialty equipment for Texas Game Wardens across the state. The online auction will be held September 27 – 29 and features a wide array of one-of-a-kind items ranging from custom hunting and fishing gear to “bucket list” outdoor adventures guided by Texas Game Wardens. The annual Gear Up auction plays a pivotal role in sustaining the program’s continued success, and as we mark the program’s 5-year anniversary, we promise an auction for the ages! 

Whether you are on the hunt for exclusive custom gear, an unforgettable hunt, or the opportunity to spend time afield with one of our very own Texas Game Wardens, we have items on the auction block to suit every taste. For the hunter at heart, set your scope on any one of our exclusive expeditions. While there are too many items to list, here is just a small preview of the many uniquely curated experiences up for grabs this year:

  • Port O’Connor fishing experience of a lifetime with retired Texas Game Warden Col. Grahame Jones at the private Shoalwater Lodge
  • World-class whitetail archery hunt in Shackleford County with Texas Game Warden Jake Mort
  • Once-in-a-lifetime fishing experience with Texas Game Warden Morgan Inman at Bay Flats Lodge Resort
  • Waterfowl hunt at the historic Bucksnag Hunting Club with retired Texas Game Warden Col. Grahame Jones, Texas Game Warden David McMillan and K-9 partner Jake
  • Lake Travis fishing trip with Lake Travis local, retired Texas Game Warden Major Jonathan Gray
  • Long-range shooting experience with Special Ops Texas Game Warden Cullen Stakes at The Ranch TX private shooting club near Eagle Lake

Not convinced YET(I)? A colossal collection of customized YETI coolers will be yours for the bidding, and an exclusive YETI Rambler 30 oz. Tumbler engraved with the Texas Game Warden badge will also be included with every auction package.

And if you love the thrill of the deal more than a treasured trophy hunt, we have items to satisfy every shopper, from Tecovas boots and bags, a $1000 shopping spree at the historic King Ranch Saddle Shop, a package of six shirts from Poncho Outdoors, and more!

Auction items have been donated by a wide array of companies including Swarovski, Orvis, Poncho Outdoors, Spoke Hollow Outfitters, Pointer Outfitters, First Lite, Gunner Kennels, Vortex, Fatties on the Fly, Faith and Action Firearms Unlimited, Blake Jones Designs, Beretta Gallery Dallas, The Ranch TX, Tecovas, SITKA Gear, Hill Country Rifles, Advanced Night Vision, Little Chief Ranch, Bucksnag Hunting Club, McKenna Quinn, and many more.

Auction proceeds will provide program support and ensure that Gear Up for Game Wardens can continue its work to get much-needed equipment in the hands of your Texas Game Wardens to help them do their jobs more effectively. We hope you will join us online September 27 – 29 to support this vital program. Happy hunting! 

  Become a Friend of Texas Game Wardens Today!  

Sustaining the Gear Up for Game Wardens program ensures TPWF can manage the program and purchase the specialty equipment Texas Game Wardens need. The upcoming auction is one way the program is sustained. Becoming a Friend of Texas Game Wardens is another. It helps us continue our work to enhance the capabilities of the best-trained corps of conservation officers in the nation. Become a Friend today and see the exclusive items you will receive so you can show your support of our Texas Game Wardens.

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