022 Mark Ober – North Country Game Warden

Mark Ober is now the Lieutenant for District 1 for the NH Fish and Game Department, but before that, Mark was a Sargent and Trainee under Wayne Saunders (the host of Warden’s Watch). Mark and Wayne discuss various situations and cases that they worked together including several night hunting cases, decoy sets for illegal shooting, and some north country search and rescue missions.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
Don Noyes Chevrolet
Opportunity vs Entrapment
He Took My Job
The Berlin Area
Ruining a Good Time
A Snot Ticket
Wet, Intoxicated, Covered in Blood
Punch Happy
Muzzle Flash
Drop the Phone, Big Bang, Game On
Furrows on the Train Tracks
Loons are Powerful, I’m Cramping Up
A Moose Double Kill, Wait Triple Kill
Accidents Happen
A Stratford Case
Face of the Radio Glows
KaBoom, KaBoom, KaBoom
The Plywood Decoy
The Value of a Chase Vehicle
A Big Buck on the Tail Gate
A Necessary Evil
Finding the Beacon

021 Bryan Koontz – Guidefitter

Bryan Koontz, is the CEO of Gudiefitter. Guidefitter is the online community for guided hunting & fishing adventures, enabling sportspersons, guides, outfitters, and the organizations that serve them to collaborate and better promote their shared passion for the sport.

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Guidefitter
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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
Software, Internet, and Hunting and Fishing
Making a Searchable Site for All Guides
More Money Spent on Fishing
Gear Junkies
A Warden in Maryland
The IWC Mission
Northwoods Law and Lone Star Law
Balance Budget and Warden Numbers
The Survey to 10,000 Members
Not Enough Wardens
Squeaky Wheels Get Oil
Higher Penalties for Poaching
Reciprocity
A Legislative Act
Losing Your Livelihood for Poaching Violations
Thorough VS Guilty
Good Cop Bad Cop
Biologize

020 Ron Ollis – Operation North Coast – Ohio DNR Special Ops & Investigation

In a case that took 2.5 year to investigate through a special operations division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ron Ollis and his team were able to take down the largest poaching crime ring enterprise in Ohio history. It required intense ground work and undercover efforts and a clever prosecutor to convict using the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Laws, typically used in large scale crime ring investigations an prosecutions.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
The TIP program
Turn In a Poacher
2.5 Year Wildlife Investigation
Operation North Coast
$18/lb Perch, and Great Lakes Fishery
Biggest Case in Ohio History
That Neighborhood Guy, A Thorn
Wildlife Crime, and Drug Crime Go Hand in Hand
Illegal Check In, Electronic Crime
RICO Statutes, An Enterprise Crime for Profit
Communications Fraud, Theft from State of Ohio
Restitution for Trophy Animals
Deer Meat Wrapped Not for Sale
Lots of Moonshine
Hunters, Talkers, Braggers
Multiple Bucks in a One Buck State
Antlers and Smokies
Money Laundering, Game Violations
270lbs of Deer Meat and Only 2 Tags
48 Deer Mounts, in a 1 Buck State
A Diary and Sales List
Non Hunters Checking Deer
Pictures and Text Messages
Size of Deer to Deer Meat Ratios
A Special Prosectuor
Instead of a Bunch of Misdemeanors, Go RICO
No Hunters on Grand Jury
The Lorraine Case – Selling on Craiglist
A Police Officer, Fraud, Theft, Electronic Crimes

019 David Loewen – Montana Fish and Wildlife – Chief Law Enforcement

David Loewen spent time in the US Coast Guard stationed in California, mostly chasing drug crime. His post Coast Guard career lead him back to Montana to protect the wildlife in the land only second to the wildness of Alaska. David shares with us many stories of poachers and about the dangers that the job presents.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
Time in the Coast Guard – Cali to Montana
A College Fund and Marine Biology
Relying on a Team
A Rural District to a Populated One
From the Baby Warden to the SGT
15 Year on the Ground Prepping for Chief
Horses, Horse District, Water, Water District
A Headless Elk
Shot During the 3rd Qtr of the Superbowl
A Jeep and an RMEF License Plate
Getting Stale 24 Hours Later
Rolling in Hot, Elk Head Raid 5AM
Trophy Restitution, and Fines
TIP Program, Turn in a Poacher
Felonies
Sharing Info, Tax Fraud, and License Fraud
Resources to Investigate
Answering to the IRS instead of the State of Montana
The Best Fishing in the United States
Delist the Grizzly
Losing 9 Officers, It’s Dangerous
Reading People, Body Language
Managing Situations Verbally
Verbal Judo
More to Hunting than Shooting an Animal
Online Hunter Ed vs Classroom
Montana is a Great Place

018 Mark Rutkowski – The Bear Trap

Mark Rutkowski is one of six supervisors for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Mark started out as a deputy and eventually worked his way into a full time Warden. Mark has been involved in many interesting game thief investigations over the years in a state with a rich tradition of hunting. Mark shares with us many stories on this episode.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:

One of 6 in the State of PA
The Deputy Program 325
There for Resources Not Money
Special Tactical Team
Rhodesian Army
Being Comfortable in the Woods
The Creek Thing
The Bear Trap
A Conservation Land, Sweeping for Mines, Open for Hunting
Paramedic in Scranton
10 Deputies that Became Game Wardens
On the Job Training
A Culture
1% of the Hunting Population in PA
1st Day Deer Season is Like Xmas
Saturday Afternoon after Thanksgiving
Hunting Tradition and Participation
A Sportsmen’s Meeting, Antler Restrictions
Poacher, Killing Several Hundred Deer
Ring Bologna – A Christmas Sausage
A Stolen Car, Another Poacher
Chop Shop and Burglary
An Attorney on Retainer, Career Criminal
Three Point Restrictions, Controversial to Support
800+ lbs Black Bear, Pike County
25 Group Hunting Parties, But No Baiting
Half Finished Mounts, Stolen Mounts
Two Hides, Cutting Tags, He Ratted On Himself

017 John Nores – Before the Weed

Before John Nores retired and wrote his book Hidden Wars, he was a Game Warden for the State of California.  There he trained and learned and developed his skills that would eventually take him to a special task force called MET- Marijuana Enforcement Team.  Through MET, John dealt with thousands of members of drug cartels where he discovered that the cartel operations were growing toxic marijuana, destroying habitats and natural resources, and leaving behind an environmental disaster.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • The Trailblazer, a Pioneer
  • 28 Year as a Game Warden
  • Cartel Growers, Marijuana Tactical Groups
  • California Academy Days
  • 4 Years on the Civilian List
  • California was Focused on Preservation on Conservation
  • Unity instead of Polarization
  • It Got Western Quick
  • CA Based Gang Bangers After 11pm
  • AK, 10-22, Assault Shotguns
  • Illegal Guns, Dead Animals, A Shooting Game
  • 1983, Spotlighting Cases
  • Now Thermal Imaging
  • Back Burner, Front Burner
  • Joe Rogan Show, Thin Green Line
  • General Public Doesn’t Understand the Game Warden Job
  • Illegal Baiting Cases, Known for Tactics
  • FBI Certified Shooting School, SWAT
  • Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program
  • Humility and Appreciation is the Key
  • Marijuana Specialized Department Team
  • 5-6 Week Baiting Case
  • Too Dark for Gen 2 Night Vision
  • A Major Wake UP Call, Blood Trail, and 2 Arrests
  • Navigation in the Dark
  • Nothing Better Than Being There
  • The Hidden War on Drugs and Habitat
  • Diversity and Adaptability to Protect the Environment
  • Toxins and Banned Chemicals with Drug Cartels

016 Sgt Todd Szewczyk

Todd Szewczyk is a retired Sargent with NH Fish and Game. Todd shared a similar timeline as Wayne did and has many colorful stories to tell about life on the job as a Game Warden. We cover a near death experience, snorkeling for pagers, and a new phenomenon -investigation using Facebook.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
The End of a Career
Balance
Col Joel Wilkinson – Maine Warden Service
Rochester, New York ’til Age 12
A Vet, Too Much School
University of New Hampshire Wildlife Management
Special Agents Have Good Stories
Black Eyed Peas
A Class in 1990
Milford PD, The Only Fish and Game Officer
Painting the Camp, a Chevy Blazer
The One that Got Away and an Alibi
Mass vs NH, Muzzleloader vs Firearm vs Felon
Marijuana Dealer and a Search Warrant
The Investigator, and Lies
The Truth Gets the Breaks
He Is Freakin’ Night Hunting! in a Caravan…
Statue of Limitations and Facebook
A Snow Mobile Story, A Near Death Experience
Hopping in the Trail, a Durable Employee
Sliding Like an Otter
Snorkeling for a Pager
A Mass Case, A Spot of Blood, and 4 Cases from 1
The Trail Camera Case, Rifle VS Shotgun
Kyle and Brian – The Kids of a Game Warden
The Alphabet

015 Nick Brunson – Nevada Fish and Game Warden

Nick Brunson is a Nevada Fish and Wildlife Warden. Nevada is some vast wild west territory and Nick has 9000 square miles to cover on his patrol. With only 31 Warden’s in the state, it can be overwhelming and Nick often times will camp out as he attempts to catch a poacher instead of returning home for the night. It’s just part of the job.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
Massive Wild West, 9000 Square Miles
1st Warden Check in 20 Years
31 Officers
Your a Cowboy, Need a Horse
East Vs West
One Tag, One Sheep
Sheep Pneumonia
Not Much Hunting Data with One Sheep Kill
A Flight Patrol in a Helicopter
Law Enforcement is Part of the Management
A Wildlife Case, 2 Days Surveillance
An Elk vs a Moose
The Utah and Idaho Border
Bold Face Lies
I Didn’t Know I Was in Nevada
Lady Hunters are Finesse Hunters, Patient and Calm
Wardens Detect 1% of Crime
Can’t Be Everywhere
A Poached Deer Concealed in Brush
Easier to Stay and Camp
If You Kill It Use It
Crime Along the Border
A Migration from Idaho
An Outstanding Wife
No Cell Signals
A Little Piece of Gods Country
Get Wild in Nevada, Not Just Vegas

014 Jen Wolf – Michigan DNR

Jen Wolf is with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and has seen a variety of work over the last 21 years. Jen has spent time on the Michigan State Police, as a VCO and also was involved in the environment enforcement of the Flint Michigan Water Quality issue. Physical fitness is a priority for Jen and she says that the job has always had it’s challenges, but says your reaction is how you keep chaos under control.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
Jen Wolf, DNR, 21 Years
Pushups, Physical Fitness
Michigan State Police
Travers City, Michigan
VCO – Volunteer Conservation Officer
City Game Warden
As Good at a 25 Year Old Man
Pigeon River Forest
Checking Licenses
Car Stuck Where Trucks Go
Pressures of the Job, Understanding
Pollution Control and Environmental Protection
Federal and State
Water Quality to Fish and Wildlife
Trust, Flynt Michigan Water Issue
Finally the Truth, Bring it to Prosecution
Order to Chaos
Water Patterns are Cyclical, Look at History
Long Term Solutions, Not Short Term
Woods Water Seasons
Dealing with Good People and Bad People
Being Treated Differently
It’s All How You React to It
I’m Capable
The Dispatch Center
Regional Rep, 250 Officers
We Are Hiring
Never a Line at the Bathroom

013 Grant Hacking – Wildlife Artist

Grant Hacking a world renowned wildlife artist and whom the International Wildlife Crime Stoppers call their own. Grant’s pieces sell for from $1,000 to $30,000. Grant’s prints can often be seen on the covers of well know wildlife magazines like Gray’s Sporting Journal and Safari Magazine.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
A Passion for Conservation
Conservation, Not Preservation
A Leopard and a Sable
A Fancy Way for Prints
Imagination, for Settings and Scenes
4 Galleries, 2 Major Shows
Money into Conservation
Listening to Hunters, Describing the Scenery
Magical Childhood
Starving Artists, Making Money
Ducks, Ducks, and Duck Stamps
Not Canadian, Canada Geese
Gulls, not Seagulls
North American Animal Learning Curves
Guy Harvey
www.GrantHacking.com
Awards
I’m a Bit of a Snob
The Print Market is Amazing
22 Years
$1000 to $30,000
Why Would They Shoot a Peregrine Falcon
Dangerous Stuff, Crazy Stories