The following nomination was written by J Shirley, Captain at Utah Division of Wildlife Services:
Gabe works very hard to find situations where he can use his experience as a hunter and his influence as a Utah Conservation Officer to lift the spirits of those who have struggled with physical or emotional difficulties in their lives. In the past he has lifted the spirits of physically challenged individuals by helping them enjoy the outdoors and hunting. This year Gabe focused his attention on the son of a fallen Officer.
Officer Doug Barney was killed in the line of duty on January 17, 2016. Officer Barney left behind his family including his son Jack. Somehow Gabe heard that Jack was interested in hunting. That was all it took! Gabe made arrangements with his contacts at the Johnson Mountain CWMU and explained the situation. The CWMU owner graciously donated a bull elk tag for Jack. Gabe contacted the Mule Deer Foundation who donated a rifle to Jack and the hunt was on. Gabe followed through and assisted with Jack’s hunt until he successfully harvested a nice bull elk. Gabe’s relationship with the hunting public and sportsmen’s groups is an asset to the DWR and the citizens of Utah. He has worked to cultivate these relationships so that he can provide amazing hunting (life changing) experiences for those in need.
Gabe has also had an amazing affect on the public through the outreach side of these hunts. This year he was able to represent DWR officers well when a story of this hunt was broadcast on KSL. Gabe’s work on these hunts does much to show the side of our officers that we wish the public would know. Gabe has a tender heart which motivates him to lighten the load of those that are struggling. I can think of no other person who does more to pass on the heritage of hunting than does Officer Gabe Patterson. Gabe is truly a great law enforcement officer and is fair and consistent to those who he deals with.
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