Fish & Game Warden Job Description
It is a noble and ever-changing job being a Fish and Game Warden. For instance, the typical Game Warden job description specifies that it is the duty of the Fish and Game Warden, or Wildlife Warden, to enforce fish and wildlife laws, as well as boating and trapping laws, while protecting natural resources and patrolling assigned areas.
Game Warden’s are law enforcement officers, but instead of patrolling the urban streets, they are out in the wild. The areas assigned to Wardens are often vast, so each day the job takes them somewhere new: One day they could be monitoring fish in a stream and the next day be relocating a black bear that keeps wandering too close to a campground. Their duties might take them to the beach or the dense forest, or even to the wide blue sky for aerial surveillance.
When looking into becoming a Fish and Game Warden or a Fish and Wildlife Warden, it will quickly become clear that it is primarily a law enforcement position. However, the main difference in being a Police Officer and being a Game Warden is that Game Wardens are chiefly law enforcement for fish, wildlife, and the environment, though they also watch over and protect human visitors in wildlife areas and parks. Game Wardens are also expected to implement general law enforcement when called upon, be it ticketing someone they catch exceeding the speed limit or providing back up to police officers, and Game Wardens have statewide jurisdiction to enforce the law. Furthermore, Fish and Game Wardens, or Fish and Wildlife Wardens, could very well serve as the only law enforcement in remote areas.
In addition to law enforcement, Game Wardens promote public education concerning outdoor safety and conservation, wildlife resources, and programs offered through the department. Other duties may include issuing hunting and fishing licenses, investigating crop or livestock damage caused by wildlife, participating in search and rescue operations, and conducting hunting accident investigations. They are often the foremost representative of their state’s Fish, Game, and Wildlife Department.
A Typical Day on the Job for a Game Warden
Not many careers offer such fascinating versatility in their duties as do Fish and Game Warden or Wildlife Warden careers. Game Wardens spend most of their time outdoors and have a high level of fitness-it is a job that encourages good health and well-being. In all seasons and weather, Game Wardens patrol their assigned areas, sometimes spanning hundreds of miles of varying countryside. Areas patrolled may include forests, lakes, mountains, deserts, and urban areas, and the vehicles used in patrolling these areas include trucks, ATVs, horses, airplanes, and boats. So, not only do Game Wardens get to see and work in a variety of landscapes, they also get the opportunity to operate a number of different vehicles. Patrol can also be done on foot, and while on patrol, Game Wardens observe their environment, ensuring that all is as it should be. Good hearing, vision, and attention to detail are necessary qualities to effectively observe their environment. Game Wardens work independently much of the time, but are expected to be able to work well with others when necessary.
Because Game Wardens are Peace Officers, they are required to wear a uniform and carry a weapon. Although it does involve some paperwork, this is definitely not an office job; therefore, the ability to compile reports that document daily activities is essential. Game Wardens must be well-versed in the laws and regulations they are upholding and possess the ability to investigate in-depth when necessary. Furthermore, with law enforcement comes the occasional duty to arrest those suspected of violations like poaching, or driving or boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs; thus, Game Wardens must prepare cases for trial. Preparing for trial may include collecting and preserving evidence, presenting such evidence and other information in court, and testifying effectively.