110 – Ethan Justinger (Utah) and Chris Gilkey (Ohio) talk NAWEOA

After a short summer break, Warden’s Watch picks things up with a look back at NAWEOA 2023 with Ohio Wildlife Officer Chris Gilkey, and Utah’s Ethan Justinger. Now called the International Game Warden Association, this year’s conference was held in beautiful Provo, Utah in early July, with a jam-packed schedule of activities that included a wide variety of training, speakers, and fun for the whole family.  

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • Game wardens watch – but it’s rough on binoculars
  • The value of conferences
  • “Everybody is on the same page.”
  • Utah conference provided activities for the entire family
  • What is VirTra training?
  • “All it takes is one” visit to NAWEOA
  • Awards are a humbling experience
  • Youth Room kept kids safe and entertained
  • Speakers were both interesting and inspirational
  • Keynote speaker Brody Young
  • Mindfulness training with Jeff Jones
  • “You are not alone.”
  • Scenarios can be recreated, but there’s no substitute for sharing lived experience
  • Bill Livezey, author of Let’s Go For A Ride
  • Tracking migration patterns through collaring
  • * Apache touch and go interlude *
  • K9 training demonstration
  • The annual Torch Run supporting the North American Game Warden Museum
  • Mickey Mouse pancakes
  • Game Warden skills competition; antler toss, fish drop, trivia, and fun
  • The ‘Warden Spawn’ youth team
  • NAWEOA 2023 in one word
  • Train hard, play hard, work hard
  • See you next year in British Columbia, Canada!


Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Research / Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches


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