TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith presented Kelso with the prestigious award at the Nov. 8 meeting of the Parks and Wildlife Commission at the Austin headquarters. This marks the 32nd year this award has been presented to a Texas game warden.
“During Danny’s career he has built a reputation as being a ‘go to’ person in his community,” said Smith. “In addition to his game warden duties, he frequently assists local entities with law enforcement and community events.”
Kelso was a member of the 42nd Texas Game Warden Training Academy graduating class in April 1991. In his 22 years of service as a state game warden, Kelso has been stationed in Aransas and Refugio counties.
Kelso has been successful in the apprehension of several groups of poachers in his assigned area, and he has filed many cases on subjects taking and attempting to take white-tailed deer from public roads in Refugio County.
He has also successfully apprehended numerous waterfowl hunting violators on the Wildlife Management Area in Refugio County.
One of Kelso’s most notable cases was when he saw a truck drive by his residence, with subjects checking if he was on duty. Upon seeing his familiar green truck in the driveway, they drove to the WMA to engage in a day of duck hunting. Kelso drove to the WMA, hid his truck in the brush and waited for the hunters. At the end of the day, he was able to apprehend the subjects leaving the WMA with several ducks in their possession.
“The hunters learned two key facts that day,” Smith said, “the season had closed two weeks prior, and game wardens are always on duty.”