AUSTIN— Two Texas game wardens were recognized by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith as recipients of Officer of the Year awards by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Texas Game Warden Association for their outstanding work in law enforcement during the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Austin March 20.
NWTF Names Game Warden Calvin Harbaugh as Officer of the Year
Game warden Calvin Harbaugh has been recognized as the recipient of this year’s NWTF Officer of the Year award. With more than 25 years of experience as a Texas game warden, Harbaugh has showcased his vast array of knowledge in different aspects of the job.
Warden Harbaugh organizes several Operation Outdoor events annually throughout Central Texas, introducing countless young people to hunting and fishing. In addition to these events, Harbaugh has assisted in Wounded Warrior hunts for military veterans.
Harbaugh is also a member of the Search and Rescue Team and is certified as a swift water technician. As a member of the Search and Rescue Team, he has been deployed to numerous recent natural disasters including Hurricane Harvey, where he and his air boat team made numerous rescues and evacuations.
Additionally, as a member of the Critical Incident Peer Support Team, Harbaugh assists fellow game wardens and their families during difficult times.
Matt Waggoner Recognized as Game Warden of the Year by Texas Game Warden Association
Young County game warden Matt Waggoner has been recognized as Game Warden of the Year by the Texas Game Warden Association.
Waggoner is a member of the Search and Rescue Team. When the team was first formed, he volunteered to join and now he is a Swiftwater Technician and Boat Operations Instructor. He has been deployed to both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. He has also assisted with training new cadets in swift-water awareness over the past several years.
Additionally, he is actively involved in several youth outreach events. Waggoner is a board member of the Palo Pinto County Youth Hunt and for the past few years has overseen the hunt. This trip involves taking about 15 kids on an overnight hunting trip each year. He also assists with a large water safety fair in Graham where a local family hands out hundreds of free life jackets to kids.
Waggoner is the go-to guide on the Brazos River and is relied upon by his fellow game wardens. He knows each bend of the river and how to access most of it by land in an emergency. His knowledge of the river has allowed him to lead countless rescues over the years.