On May 30, sportsmen will join forces with state game wardens for the annual Operation Game Thief ClayStoppers shoot at the Texas Disposal Services Exotic Game Ranch and Pavilion in Creedmoor.
Operation Game Thief is a fish and wildlife anti-poaching posse administered by Texas Parks and Wildlife and a committee of private citizens. It is funded entirely by memberships, sale of merchandise, private donations and fund-raising events each year.
In addition to the rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction, much-needed equipment is provided to wardens, like night vision goggles, digital scouting cameras, robotic game decoys, GPS units, the popular “Wall of Shame” trailers displaying illegally taken game and fish, safety breastplates, mobile radio towers and many other items. Due to restrictive state budgets, this equipment might have been otherwise unattainable.
Without the generous backing of conscientious, conservation-minded sportsmen supporting OGT, none of this could have happened.
Joining this posse is easy. All a person has to do is sign up for one of the ClayStopper shoots as an individual shooter or as a member of a team. These are 50-bird shoots (100 birds in Houston) and they also include optional flurries ($20) and a chance to outshoot a warden ($25) — at clay birds. Shooters must provide their own ammo.
Prizes will be awarded to the top teams with a grand prize of a lifetime Texas hunting and fishing license for the high overall individual shooter, courtesy of Academy Sports and Outdoors. But even if your shooting is a little amiss, participants will still be able to bid on a mouthwatering array of sportsmen’s “necessities” on the auctions and raffles — including rifles, shotguns, handguns, a season-long dove lease for four with a Benelli shotgun included, fishing trips and more.
Entry fee for teams is $1,000 and $250 for individual shooters. Breakfast tacos are served at 7:30. Lunch will be prepared by wardens who are as adept at cooking as at catching crooks!
For entry information or sponsorships, go to www.ogttx.com or contact Lori Brock at 512-389-4381.
Austin: May 30th at Texas Disposal Systems in Creedmoor (south of Austin)
Houston: August 22nd at Westside Sporting Grounds
San Antonio: October 10th at National Shooting Complex