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Old July 10, 2008, 01:49 PM   #8
Smokey Joe
Senior Member
Join Date: July 14, 2001
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 2,106
"I want to be a warden..."

Pro-Hunter Mike--first of all, welcome to TFL! You'll find a lot of helpful advice here.

I want to address your job desire. Where I live, there are a zillion guys who would dearly love to become a Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden (the job is called different things in different states). Most of them never even come close to actually becoming one.

I double majored in Natural Resources and Biology in college, and had contact with wardens and lots of other people who work in Natural Resources at the state level. Most of my college buds went on to work for State or Federal agencies in natural resources. My then-girlfriend, now wife of 40 years, worked for a time in my state's Natural Resources Department head office. In my current work, I'm again in contact with Natural Resources Department people, with whom I sometimes get to sit and "talk shop."

What I'm saying is, I'm qualified to address this.

To get to be a Warden, you need either Law Enforcement experience, or a college degree in Natural Resources or some related field. Both is even better. To get into Law Enforcement today, you have to have at least an associate degree from a technical college, in Law Enforcement. Or, another way, is to go military and get into the Military Police of whichever service--can't help you with advice there. You'd still want the bachelors degree once you got out.

Bottom line? You get to study, study, study. The better are your math and English skills, the better are your chances of succeeding in college at any level. Yes, my majors were Nat. Res. and Biol, but what got me through was my ability to write a superior term paper. And everybody needs math for understanding, so that you don't just believe whatever your computer spits out.

(One little suggestion: Learn how to spell "specialist," and how to use punctuation/capitalization. Wardens write up writs and warrants for court use--no, you don't get a secretary--and lawyers just love picking your case apart on tiny little English errors.)

There's another consideration: You said you love hunting. How much hunting time do you suppose a Warden gets during season? One warden friend told me that during deer season, he just forgets how to sleep he's that busy. I met two wardens once on the last day of deer season, who were almost literally asleep on their feet. They hadn't been hunting, I assure you! Wardens mostly take their vacation during the height of summer, when there's no hunting season and the fishing is pretty slack.

Oh, and nowadays, Wardens enforce a lot more than hunting and fishing rules--you get to take polluters to court, which means being "up" on your chemistry and biology and physics when you testify. And forensics of course. If there's commercial fishing in your state, you do that, too.

And on, and on, and on...

Mike, I don't want to rain on your parade. Your Eagle Scout experience will have taught you about patience and perseverance, and that is a very good start. If you truly have the desire to become a Conservation Warden, I say go for it. Be aware that it is a long road, but don't let that deter you from trying. We need The Best of The Best, To Protect and Serve.

I wish you good fortune. Please keep us posted.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe

Last edited by Smokey Joe; July 10, 2008 at 02:02 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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