A September To Remember
by: Oscar Henson
As I drove home from the border town of McAllen, Texas, on the last day of August, following five 105-degree days of participation in Operation Strong Safety (a state border operation) I began running through my mind the month ahead. September is usually a month of recovery for me; water safety season was just ending and I was looking forward to hunting season. Soon I’d be checking dove hunters and scouting deer camps where I’d seen activity of hunters preparing. I was also anxious to prepare my own stands and feeders for my 8-year-old daughter, my 9-year-old son, and myself to use. In Texas, October opens with archery season and I knew it was just around the corner. But before September could begin, I had to finish out August, which as all wardens know, means submitting monthly reports. It looked as if I’d get back to the office around 4 pm, so I thought I’d just finish up quickly before going home. I did arrive to the office by 4 pm, but after catching up with two different people about pending cases and a county deputy about a deer shot back in the summer, by 7 pm I decided just to go home and try the reports again the next day.
Even though I went to the office early the next morning, my partner, Randy Harper, forwarded me a call from a landowner. The landowner had found a poached deer, which had been shot in his yard, presumably during the previous night. I took the call as Randy was a county away checking dove hunters, and that’s where the story really begins. The August reports were turned in … only half an hour late and September took off, but very differently from how I had scripted it.