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National Wild Turkey Federation names Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year

Chris Swift Named Midwest Officer of the Year

The "Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year" for 2014 is Chris Swift. Since 2000, the National Wild Turkey Federation has recognized game wardens from North America each year for enforcement activities related to wild turkeys. This marks the 15th year this award has been presented to a deserving Texas Game Warden.

Warden Swift graduated from the 54th Texas Game Warden Training Academy in 2009. He is currently stationed in Flint, Smith County. In the past year, Warden Swift has logged over 300 hours of marine patrol and filed over 300 cases. In addition, drawing from his 15 years as a professional goose and duck guide, warden Swift teaches waterfowl I.D. annually at our training academy. Swift is also actively involved with the NWTF, and he is a committee member for NWTF for Smith County. He also works with other games wardens to lead an annual NWTF Houston Chapter youth turkey hunt in Goliad County for underprivileged youth.

Orange County Brothers Guilty of Killing Bottlenose Dolphin in Cow Bayou

Bottlenose Dolphin in Cow Bayou

Two Bridge City, Texas brothers have pleaded guilty to federal wildlife violations, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales in a U.S. Dept. of Justice press release on February 18th.

According to information presented in court, on July 26, 2014, two men were fishing on Cow Bayou near Orangefield, Texas, when they spotted two bottlenose dolphins stranded in the bayou. They shot at the dolphins with a compound bow and one of the men hit one of the dolphins. The dolphin swam away but was mortally wounded. Wildlife agents were notified by a fisherman that there was a dead dolphin in the bayou. The deceased dolphin was recovered and an investigation resulted in federal charges against the brothers. The second dolphin was located in the bayou and rescued by wildlife agents and SeaWorld San Antonio personnel.

The defendants each face up to one year in federal prison and a $20,000.00 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.

"We are extremely pleased that this case is being resolved," said Colonel Craig Hunter, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "The dedication, professionalism, and teamwork demonstrated by investigators from NOAA, CGIS, and TPWD proved to be successful in solving this egregious criminal act. The U.S. Attorney's Office is to be commended for their role and hopefully this prosecution will deter others from illegally taking our natural resources for their personal enjoyment."

This case was investigated by the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph R. Batte.