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DEER TRAP AND RELEASE FORM TRAILER NUMBER q DRIVER 1V DATE YS’ 51S RANCH ADULT DOES NJ 1411 114.1111 r 6B..ek ADULT BUCKS TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL SUM TOTAL DOE FAWNS tke BUCK FAWNS A 777 RELEASE SITE R. Perry Reit,ccic L/, /’c FZ4 x lask RELEASE DATE NUMBER DEER RELEASED rya -7-1 e yrvi AA Ve% 0,, ,P 4 fle4A his I . kr90 ,1 S//T-r 3/x/W identifying the Austin political consultant that requested it, there is a new notation in the upper left hand corner of the page: “Not Type H.” Another note is handwritten at the bottom: “These deer reportedly were not released on Perry’s ranch but on a neighbor’s ranch.” Type II designates a program by which deer are moved to land on which the public, with the purchase of a Type II license, is allowed to hunt. According to the Austin AmericanStatesman, which last year published a series of deer-stocking stories, Type II funds, essentially user fees, were used to stock the two ranches owned by House Speaker Gib Lewis. While Lewis offered to have the animals removed at his expense, or to repay the state for the cost of trapping and transporting the deer \(on average, $175 per date for agriculture commissioner, has made no such offer. It was the stocking of the House Speaker’s ranch, and several other questionable game stockings, that ultimately led to the departure of Parks and Wildlife’s wildlife director. According to a list of 1987-88 Type II deer stockings conducted by Parks and Wildlife, whitetail deer were delivered to 41 separate sites in the state. The final four entries, however, are designated “Other Deer Stocking,” and include dates of delivery of deer to two ranches owned by Gib Lewis, one Hopkins County ranch with a site identified as Pickton, and the Perry Ranch in Haskell County. “Not Type II” was written on one of the forms released, according to agency counsel Johnson, because Parks and Wildlife driver Traweek thought he was doing a Type II program stocking and, as Johnson remembered, originally designated the delivery as Type H. What actually happened on February 4, 1988? Perry’s version, as told to the StarTelegram, had him and several local landowners waiting for the Parks and Wildlife truck. Traweek then followed Perry to a site and unloaded the deer. “I’m not familiar with the area,” Traweek said. “And I don’t recall exactly whose property they were going on. They could easily have been put on a property adjacent to Perry’s.” On the same day he delivered the deer, however, Traweek wrote that the deer were delivered to the Perry ranch. Perry disagreed, telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the records are “very, very wrong.” He even insisted that there was no way the deer would get to his property. “There is nothing to draw them there. There is no dense cover, there is no water. We don’t even lease our country for hunting. Never have.” Perry said. \(Lewis, at the time, used an entirely different sort of logic to justify shipping deer to his ranch, saying that the deer released on his place “are not hemmed in on 1,500 acres. They went wherever they wanted Where were the deer delivered? Acting Wildlife Director Bobby Alexander said that it is not certain. And he could not explain who approved the request. Nor could general counsel Johnson, who said that many such requests made at the time were not documented, but only verbally approved. Nor could it be determined, Alexander said, what funds were used to pay for the stocking. And there is no record that any agency survey was conducted to determine if moving the deer to the Perry ranch, or one of the ranches adjacent to the Perry ranch, was biologically sound. If, at the time the Perry et al. stocking was done, a private citizen wanted livestock moved to his land, a survey would have been required. Or, the applicant would have been required to locate his animals and pay the state for trapping and transportation. At the time of the incident involving the Speaker, the American-Statesman cited a number of agency employees who complained of the pressure they felt when legislators, who vote on Parks and Wildlife budgets and therefore had some control over the agency, requested that their ranches or deer leases be stocked with wildlife. Members of the wildlife department’s field staff told Statesman reporters that delivering game to legislators was referred to as “political stockings.” They had no choice, agency employees said, but to fill the requests. Policies have been changed and state employees have lost their jobs at the state agency as a result of the 1988 wildlife stocking controversy. And the Speaker suffered some political damage before he resolved his problem with his offer to pay or have the deer removed. Since there is no record of state Representative Rick Perry, or any of his neighbors, paying for the deer, it seems that Perry, before he considers being sworn in as commissioner of agriculture in January, might have some explaining to do. And if the agency has put its house in order, it’s time that it put its files in order. 0 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13