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Game Wardens


Recently in the news was a story about a Game Warden in California who was shot at during an attempted traffic stop for someone spotlighting deer. The officer was not harmed, but it brought back into focus just how dangerous their job is. As one warden said to me, “99% of the people we approach are carrying some type of gun.” This really put things into perspective for me when I read some stories of wardens all across the country who are shot at, shot and some killed every year by outdoors men and women.

As a sportsman it frankly boggles my mind why someone would risk killing another human being over an animal. I simply do not understand how the fear of getting caught breaking a game law can justify taking a human life. Having said that, I understand that many of these same people are not rational.

Hunters and anglers are constantly playing around the fringe of the game laws. How many of us, if we are honest have intentionally shot over a limit of doves? Justifying it with comments like; “I only hunt once a season for doves.” Or, “I’ve never seen the doves so thick.” And other lame comments. Then when the warden shows up, we get upset, angry and frustrated that he/she is doing their job.

In my home state the law is simple. The game belongs to all of the people regardless of where it resides. The game warden is tasked with protecting the game animals for ALL of the people. Both federal laws and state laws are their responsibility. So whether it is a migratory bird or a state mammal, the warden is there to protect the animals and to keep us safe from one another.

Their pay is pitiful, the hours are horrendous and the condition are often dangerous. So the next time you see a warden, take a few minutes and thank them for all they are doing to protect your privilege to hunt, fish and trap in your state.