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/VD/ i_ . . DEER TRAP AND RELEASE FORM TRAILER NUMBER t r DRIVER Pqii A eV Ea ADDLT DOES TOTAL ADULT BUCXS I TOTAL DOE FAWNS TOTAL BUCK FAWNS r>.Pir.r TOTAL SUM TOTAL RELEASE SITE _RELEASE DATE Febt q, /?\( DATE 2 RANCH NUMBER DEER RELEASED 74/ -5 e 71.”7/7, A/0,4′ r af\(/,\( Pr% V71 441 1971 /e_ I ACROSS THE AISLE 1311 BERKSHIRE DR. AUSTIN, TEXAS 78723 Whitetail Whitewash Who Paid for Rick Perry’s Deer? BY LOUIS DUBOSE Austin WHAT IS KNOWN is this. On . February 4, 1988, Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife driver Max Traweek drove his trailer onto a ranch in Haskell County and released 22 deer. Twenty were adult does, one was an adult buck, and one was a doe fawn. That’s all anyone knows. Trying to get anything more specific out of Parks and Wildlife might be an easier task than going out and single-handedly rounding up those 22 deer and their offspring. A routine Open Records request doesn’t exactly solve the mystery of whether the deer, as one campaign consultant contends, were improperly released on a ranch belonging to Haskell Republican Representative Rick Perry. Perry maintains that they weren’t released on the J.R. Perry ranch. When the incident first came to light, he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that as a legislator, good neighbor, and former animal science major at Texas A&M University, he talked to several landowners whose property was located near his and asked if they wanted South Texas whitetail deer, which according to the Star-Telegram story have a better bloodline than North Texas deer. Perry, a former Democrat, is now a Republican candidate for commissioner of agriculture. After a wildlife stocking scandal that involved House Speaker Gib Lewis and others, the agency’s wildlife program director, Charles Allen, was replaced, and there has been some reorganization at Parks and Wildlife. But the agency still seems to have difficulty dealing with such items as straightforward Open Records Act requests for public information. A request by this publication for the trap and release form, which should explain whether Perry used his position as an elected official to obtain deer at state expense, was answered within the 10 days allowed by the Texas Open Records Act. But the record was amended written in longhand on the lower half of the page was: “This may be incorrect. Deer may have been released on neighbor’s ranch. \(Ft. Worth Star Telegram, An arrow was drawn from the note to the blank on which the release site, the J.R. Perry Ranch, was listed. The Texas Open Records Act provides public access to public records or photocopies of the records. Public records, with certain clearly defined exceptions, must be made available upon request. When asked if adding information to a document does not change the nature of the record, Boyd Johnson, general counsel for the agency, said that the explanation of any possible error in release sites should have been included in a cover letter accompanying the trap and release form, not written on it. “Whoever did it,” Johnson said, “was probably trying to provide additional information.” It is evident that there was no attempt to present the most recent addendum to the form as a notation made at the time of the release unless it was a hopelessly clumsy attempt to do so since the notation cited by date a Fort Worth StarTelegram article published one year after the deer were released. But the Rick Perry antlergate story became something of an altergate story when a second document, obtained from a campaign consultant, also was amended. And though the amended information was the essentially the same, it was conveyed in a slightly different fashion. \(Both documents are reproduced ment, which includes at the bottom a stamp 12 OCTOBER 26, 1990