TPWD Print-Friendly Page: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/print.phtml?req=20040517e

Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov [KE]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — May 17, 2004

Operation Game Thief Fundraiser Set for June 12

HOUSTON — Since 1981, the Texas conservation Crimestoppers program Operation Game Thief has protected fish and wildlife, helping to keep Texas hunting and fishing among the best in the world. Now, those who love the outdoor life have a chance to support the program and have a great time to boot.

On June 12 in Houston, the annual OGT Bandana Ball banquet will feature dinner, a silent and live auction, and live music from country music singer Patrick Murphy. The event will take place at the Houston Doubletree Post Oak Hotel.

"Operation Game Thief is privately funded," said L.D. "Buddy" Turner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department asst. chief of wildlife enforcement and OGT program coordinator."And the sporting public appreciates and supports the opportunity to play an integral part through its contributions. That is why we try real hard to make each event special — for instance with attendance by conservation leaders and through the offering of unique auction opportunities like this year’s quail hunt on the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area."

OGT was authorized by the legislature in 1981, but there was no funding available to start the program. The Dallas and Houston Safari Clubs and the Aransas Rod and Gun Club provided the seed money to start OGT the following year.

Since those early days, Turner says the program’s board of directors has become increasingly aggressive and innovative in promoting the OGT message. As a result, in the past two decades OGT has paid out more than $165,000 in rewards, received more than 30,000 phone calls, and helped make cases to levy more than $1 million in fines.

OGT offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals who flagrantly violate Texas game and fish laws. Those who call 800-792-GAME can remain anonymous.

For more information or tickets to the Bandana Ball, please contact Gina Nesloney at (512) 332-9880 or gnevents@austin.rr.com by email.

###