Wayne Saunders is a retired Lieutenant Conservation Officer from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. An honored and celebrated wildlife Law Enforcement Officer overseeing patrols in the northern reaches of New Hampshire from Mount Washington to the Canadian border, he still considers natural resource protection a passion and calling.
“At the age of six years old I was hunting with my father near our home in Belmont, New Hampshire. We had just flushed a ruffed grouse and my dad had told me to stay where I was with my unloaded BB gun as he stalked the grouse. I looked behind me and standing not too far away on the old logging road was a game warden watching me and my father as he stalked the grouse. He had seemed to materialized out of nowhere. He was wearing a green uniformed with a cowboy hat and was watching us as we hunted. He checked my father’s hunting license spoke with him a short time and moved silently back down the old logging road.
As the Game Warden left, I asked my father who was “the cowboy in the woods?”
In 1995 I became a cowboy in the woods and started my dream job as a Game Warden that I had wanted since that encounter at the age of six years old. I began working in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire and have never left. I worked as a Conservation Officer for 23 years catching poachers doing search and rescue mission, responding to wild animal complaints, backing up local and state police and many other things in the course of my duty. In 1997 I was shot in the line of duty trying to apprehend a murder, at the time I wasn’t aware of his heinous crimes of murdering two New Hampshire State Troopers, who were friends of mine, a local judge and a newspaper editor who tried to stop his rampage. I worked as sergeant for five year in District one and finished as District One Lieutenant, the supervisor for the most northern part of New Hampshire, before I retired in May of 2018. As a lieutenant some of my many responsibilities was being in charge of the state’s Air Boat Team, managing search and rescue and the Operation Game Thief program and through that program, I worked with International Wildlife Crime Stoppers and was part of their board until July of this 2018. Such an awesome exciting vocation I hope to share with my listeners.”