East Texas game wardens juggle water safety, first hunting season

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – East Texas game wardens have their hands full this time of year with the summer recreation season ending and hunting seasons on the way.

On both fronts, safety is the priority for game wardens.

As we head into fall, East Texans are getting their last summer recreation on the waterways leading up to the traditionally busy Labor Day weekend.

“Labor Day weekends are approaching and it’s kind of our summer van. We’re always going to be outside, always looking for gear, doing whatever safety measures we need to do, ”said Nathan Skeen, Upshur County Game Ranger.

At the end of the summer, game wardens will be in force on the lakes and streams to ensure safety is observed, as always by checking life jackets and excessive alcohol consumption.

However, they are pressed for time due to the upcoming hunting seasons.

“The dove season begins on September 1st. We will have to manage a little time. That old adage being two places at the same time, that’s how we’re kind of going to be this holiday weekend, ”Skeen said.

It is at the beginning of summer recreation and towards the end that they notice an increase in accidents.

“At the end of the summer, people relax a bit. It happens so fast on the water, so always be prepared, ”Skeen said.

Because of their past experience, they know they need to get the safety message out every season.

“The worst thing that we see in a tragedy is that everyone is trying to have a good time,” Skeen said. “We’re still going to be there. We will always seek safety. We want everyone to come home safe. “

As always, game wardens remind boaters that there must be a life jacket on board any boat for everyone on board.

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