Game Warden Training
After obtaining a degree, Game Wardens will attend either a Game Warden Training Academy or a Police Academy, depending upon what their state of employment offers. Because Game Wardens are Peace Officers, they often obtain law enforcement degree’s and training as well as environmental sciences. Much like its duties, Game Warden Training is similar throughout the country; however, there are some slight differences, such as the length of time Game Wardens are required to attend a specified Academy. Depending on the state’s particular requirements, attendance at the Academy can last anywhere from three to twelve months. To illustrate, Montana Game Wardens can expect to attend an Academy for 12 weeks, whereas Virginia Game Wardens must attend for 34 weeks.
While at the Academy, Game Wardens will be tested on a variety of skills for which they will train extensively. Training for Game Wardens usually includes learning defense tactics and how to correctly use firearms like handguns, rifles, and shotguns, in addition to immobilization weapons like dart guns. There is also daily intense physical fitness training that involves push ups, sit ups, running, and swimming, as Game Wardens are expected to have a high level of fitness.
Additionally, Game Wardens learn to operate a number of different vehicles on different terrains; for example, in Virginia driving courses might include High-Speed Reaction, Off-Road Obstacle Negotiation, and All Terrain Vehicle Operation. In states with more snowfall, such as Wyoming, Game Wardens will learn to use snowmobiles in addition to other vehicles. Since most states have waterways to be patrolled, Game Wardens must be excellent swimmers and know or learn how to operate watercraft.
In addition to the physical requirements, Game Warden training involves gaining knowledge of federal and state laws pertaining to fish and wildlife, as well as humans. Game Wardens will also learn administrative aspects relevant to their job.
Finally, training for Game Wardens includes basic first aid and CPR training, which is repeated each year of employment.