062 Todd Vandivert – Washington Part I

Todd Vandivert was a game warden for 34 years with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and now writes books about his experiences. He worked both as a uniformed officer and an undercover officer, making multiple cases in each position. Todd’s work as an author is well-known, especially his book Operation Cody in which he breaks down his role in the operation. In this episode, Todd discusses his upbringing, work as a warden, and life as an author. 

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • 34 years as a game warden
  • Born in California
  • Love of the outdoors while raised in Virginia 
  • Plan was to go into the Navy; failed color vision test
  • Flying career came to an end, went into oceanography
  • Rethought decisions and went into forestry
  • Started working in a habitat area
  • Cameras everywhere
  • First posing
  • Work as an undercover
  • The issues with informants 
  • The case: hound hunting with lions
  • The “Kill ‘Em All Boys”
  • Conference
  • More exposure = more hazardous
  • Each state has different laws
  • Built a fake business: website, posters, business cards, etc
  • Best of the wild
  • Lawful stuff close to unlawful
  • Poacher within two days
  • Misrepresenting product is still illegal
  • Taking DNA
  • Rotted mountain lion and a paycheck
  • Dried dates as a decoy to Hong Kong
  • Growing operations and money laundering
  • Interior decorator setup
  • Entrapment debate

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