Archive for the 'Game Wardens' Category

The Chaplain is In

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017


This is Passport to Texas

Scott McIntosh is Lead Chaplain for Texas Parks and Wildlife’s LE Division. He says game wardens reach out to him via email, text, phone calls and face-to-face.

The issues vary between family issues, stress issues, Interpersonal issues, peer-to-peer… It can be anything. And has been.

These peace officers, who refer to themselves as law enforcement off the pavement, have jobs that can put them in emotionally charged and dangerous situations.

Most of the time people that they run into are as armed, or even more armed, than they are. And so, they are trained and taught at dealing with these people. You don’t rush up on someone with a deer rifle while waving a gun.

No matter how well trained and composed they remain, exposure to daily tense situations can stay with a person; that’s why it’s good to have someone to talk to.

Although I don’t celebrate the fact that people have difficulties in life, I celebrate the fact tht they now have someone that they can call; I’m grateful that I’m that person.

Scott oversees five volunteer chaplains around the state who help game wardens who need it…to work through their difficulties.

I don’t have all the answers. But I’ve got plenty of care and love in my heart to deal with any many people as I can.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with support of proud members across the state. Find out more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

A Chaplain for Game Wardens

Monday, July 24th, 2017
A chaplain is always on duty.

A chaplain is always on duty.

This is Passport to Texas

Scott McIntosh is a big man with a big heart. And he brought that heart with him to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s law Enforcement Division as its lead chaplain. A position that didn’t exist before July 2016.

I was sitting in my office in Orange, Texas and got a text message from a man that used to be in my congregation when I pastored here in Austin—Assistant Commander Cody Jones. And he said, ‘Have you ever thought about being chaplain for Texas Game Wardens?’ And I said, ‘Man, I didn’t know you even had those.’ And he said, ‘Well, we don’t. But we’re thinking about trying to get it going.’

Scott laughingly explained that starting a position from scratch is like flying a plane while building it. But he’s since brought on some “co-pilots and riveters.”

Right now, I have five volunteer chaplains around the state. My hope is to have at least one per region. We have nine regions, but we have eight that are geographic.

Game Wardens aren’t the only people Scott McIntosh supports in his job as a Chaplain. He goes to the sites of accidents with game wardens.

The role of a chaplain is triage. When we get there, our job is to find out, okay, what are the needs of these people.

How Chaplain McIntosh supports Game Wardens. That’s tomorrow.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Ask a Game Warden: Report Wildlife Violations

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
It's all part of the job.

It’s all part of the job.

This is Passport to Texas’ Ask a Game Warden

It’s officially fall hunting season in Texas. But what if you suspect someone of illegally harvesting wildlife?

If they see something they think is a violation, and they have the contact information readily available, contact your local game warden and let them know that [what you observed].

Lieutenant Lewis Rather is Operation Game Thief Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. If you don’t have your Game Warden’s contact information, then remember this number: 800.792.GAME. It’s the Operation Game Thief hotline.

It’s operated 24/7, and our dispatchers will take those calls and get them out to the game wardens immediately, electronically.

Callers remain anonymous. Before making the call, Lt. Rather says be prepared to provide as much information as possible about the incident. Remember: your safety is paramount.

If you have your phone available, and you can take a picture of the license plate number of the vehicle—take a clear picture of that. Maybe a picture of the violators, if you‘re at a safe location where you can do so. Also, a description of the violators; a good description of what the violation is you think. Where it’s located. And even a description and the color of the vehicle. And one of the most important things, if the vehicle is starting to leave, and you call Operation Game Thief with the information, give them a direction of travel and tell them when they left. And make sure you have a good cell phone number for the dispatcher, in case a game warden needs to call you and ask more questions.

If you spot a wildlife violation call 800.792.GAME. That’s 800.792.4263.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Operation Game Thief

Monday, September 19th, 2016
Game Warden on the trail of a poacher.

Game Warden on the trail of a violator.

This is Passport to Texas

Operation Game Thief is a wildlife crime-stoppers program instituted in 1981 by the 67th legislature.

[OGT’s] primary focus was to be able to offer cash rewards up to $1000 for information leading to [the] arrest and conviction of violators of Texas’ fish and wildlife laws, therefore, helping our game wardens in the law enforcement division [better deter poaching].

Lieutenant Lewis Rather is Operation Game Thief Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says they receive about 15-hundred calls a year.

[It’s been] a very successful way to report our violations. Game Wardens have made many cases due to Operation Game Thief.

When an anonymous citizen tip leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of a wildlife crime, the caller receives up to a thousand dollar reward. But, Lt. Rather says not everyone takes it.

A lot of callers say, ‘I don’t want the reward, I just want you guys to go out and catch ‘em.’ That’s what our focus. Let’s get the information in as quick as we can, and get it to the game warden as fast as we can—which now we do electronically. And catch the violators.

The Operation Game Thief number to call if you spot a wildlife violation is 800.792.GAME. That’s 800.792.4263.

Tomorrow, the information that’s important to share when reporting a wildlife violation.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Operation Game Thief Clay Stoppers Shootout

Monday, September 12th, 2016
Operation Game Thief Clay Stoppers Shootout

Operation Game Thief Clay Stoppers Shootout

This is Passport to Texas

Operation Game Thief Texas belong to the International Wildlife Crime-Stoppers Association.

And I’m proud to say Texas is the leader. Texas leads because of the way we’re structured and the way we operate. Texas offers cash rewards up to a thousand dollars for information leading to arrests and convictions.

Lt. Lewis Rather oversees Operation Game Thief. Generous public support provides money for rewards and education.

We have 14 information and educational. We’re very lucky in Texas, and so we’re very thankful to have the program.

September 23 a fundraiser—Operation Game Thief Alamo Area Clay Stoppers Shootout—takes place in San Antonio. Teams and individuals take aim to raise money for Operation Game Thief.

We have a lot of fun down there. You can come and shoot, and if you’re a top winner, you can win a lifetime hunting and fishing license from Parks and Wildlife. We have great auction items. Raffle items. A great lunch provided by OGT board member, Jimmy Hasslocher. We have a lot of 4-H youth teams coming to shoot. A lot of our paralyzed veterans and wounded warrior teams are coming to shoot. So, it’s going to be a big event. And if you have a chance, come out and support what Game Wardens do for Texas, for wildlife, for all of us.

Find complete registration details for the September 23 fundraiser—Clay Stoppers Shootout Alamo Area Clay Stoppers Shootout—at

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.