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TPWD News Release — Nov. 17, 2009

Game Warden Sgt. Chris Davis Named Shikar-Safari Officer Of The Year

Officials Cite Undercover Investigations, Cost-Cutting, Investigative Innovations In Nomination Choice

AUSTIN, Texas — Chris Davis of Austin has received the prestigious Shikar-Safari Club International’s Wildlife Officer of the Year Award, awarded annually by the worldwide conservation organization to one wildlife law enforcement officer in each state. Davis, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department special operations sergeant is the 30th Texan to receive the award.

The award ceremony will take place Thursday morning in the Commission hearing room at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department headquarters in Austin.

Davis graduated from the Texas Game Warden Training Academy in January 2001, and was stationed in Polk County. He later transferred home to the Hill Country and worked in Burnet County before being promoted to the TPWD Special Operations Unit in 2007.

Department leaders cited Davis’ work with Operation Texas Shuffle, an 18-month undercover investigation of black-market white-tailed deer trading in Texas, in the decision to nominate him for the award. Davis’ investigations as a lone undercover officer led to filing of felony charges under the Lacey Act for the illegal importation of white-tailed deer, as well as numerous Class B misdemeanor charges for illegally trapping and selling wild deer. Investigations like these help to prevent the illegal commercialization of hunting and wildlife.

Officials also cited Davis’ work on the first Texas Parks and Wildlife covert operations school, the F.B.I. National Academy Associates of Texas, as well as his work on innovative new investigative procedures and cost-cutting measures for the agency and his "infectious can-do and proactive attitude." He has already earned the distinction of being named the field coordinator for all undercover investigations conducted by the Special Operations Unit of TPWD.