077 Zach Salsgiver – PA Game Commission: The Rookie

On the eve of graduation, Wayne sits down at the Pennsylvania Game Commission with Zach Salsgiver, one of 24 members of the latest class of the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Brockway, PA. Established in 1932, the school – part college, part police academy, and part museum – was the first of its kind in the US. Listen as Zach explains what drew him to a career in wildlife, and shares some of his experiences from his ten-month journey toward becoming a Pennsylvania game warden.

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • Academy attached to HQ building
  • Day one can be a culture shock
  • Switching careers
  • Expanding recruitment into other states
  • Academy history
  • Training for anything
  • The most eastern elk herd
  • Seeing wildlife in a different light
  • Job carries many risks 
  • Verbal judo and understanding body language
  • Fostering the next generation of hunters
  • The class that gets tased together… 
  • Wildlife forensics training
  • Building a 44-week family
  • Wayne’s advice for new wardens
  • Never finish learning

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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076 BRAD DANNEFAERD – NEW ZEALAND

The son of a hunting and fishing store owner, and an avid outdoorsman himself, Brad Dannefaerd worked with New Zealand Fisheries for nearly 20 years before retiring to found his own company. During his long and colorful career, he has worked alongside agencies in Australia, Canada and the United States, and literally written the book on defensive tactics and training for the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries. Today, his company trains and equips everyone from law enforcement to librarians, teaching “people who deal with people” how to manage interactions safely and effectively.

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • One big international family
  • An introduction to New Zealand
  • The traditional haka
  • All NZ agencies under one jurisdiction
  • Type of offender has changed
  • We had to get a lot smarter
  • More authority than police
  • Working with Customs agencies
  • Building intelligence to make a larger case
  • Targeting the high-level offender
  • Only two licenses required
  • Still able to enforce Fish & Game laws
  • NZ police do not carry firearms
  • Enforcement by consent
  • Never lost a fisheries officer
  • Different style of enforcement
  • Bright blue uniforms
  • Non-escalation vs. de-escalation
  • Founding CERT (Compliance, Enforcement & Regulatory Training)
  • NZ Police purchased CERT technical comms package
  • Never met a game warden I didn’t like
  • Game wardens are a tight knit community
  • Developing contacts worldwide

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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075 Heidi Murphy – New Hampshire

Fans of the Animal Planet television series North Woods Law will recognize Sgt. Heidi Murphy, an 18-year veteran Conservation Officer with New Hampshire Fish & Game, and the state’s first and only female CO. She has been an active member of the Advanced Search and Rescue Team, instructs courses for Fish and Game’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program, and was awarded the Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year in 2015. In this episode, Heidi and Wayne discuss some of her more memorable cases, what drew her to a career in wildlife management, and her hopes to attract more women to the profession.

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • 18 years on duty
  • Only female officer on staff
  • Don’t need to fit a “box” to become a game warden
  • Attracting more women into the profession
  • Need to be passionate about job
  • Moving from Lieutenant to Sergeant
  • A boat at dawn is a pretty nice office
  • Work smarter
  • Busy Search & Rescue area
  • Bringing loved ones home
  • Sending rescuers into danger
  • Twenty-six hour days
  • Turkey magnet
  • Sometimes you get lucky
  • A memorable moose case
  • Filming North Woods Law
  • Inspiring the next generations of game wardens
  • Becoming an Outdoors-Woman
  • Teachers make good game wardens – and vice versa
  • Following clues to get to the facts
  • On the spot necropsies
  • Variety is the greatest part of the job
  • Networking with game wardens from other states
  • Keeping conservation relevant

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Social Media: Stacey DesRoches

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074 The Ellises – Father & Son Game Wardens

Lee Ellis knew he wanted to be a South Carolina game warden from the time he was a teenager. His son Hunter considered a few different occupations before realizing his destiny was in his father’s footsteps. Listen as they discuss their respective career paths, the unique benefits and challenges of growing up in a game warden family, and the changes they’ve each seen through the years. They may be Captain and Officer, but at the end of the day, they’re family. 

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • Not the first South Carolina father/son warden team
  • Hunter always wanted to be a game warden… sort of
  • Not a lot of dads can say they work with their kids
  • Perseverance paid off for Lee
  • The Swiss army knife of law enforcement
  • Shrimp baiting
  • It’s all about preserving nature
  • Education and enforcement go hand in hand
  • Take One Make One program
  • Non-traditional law enforcement role; it’s a lifestyle, not a job
  • Family support is essential
  • Cat and mouse
  • Everyone knows the game warden
  • Adapt using technology, but keep your roots
  • How to catch an alligator
  • President of International Wildlife Crimestoppers
  • Hosting the 2021 IWC conference
  • Telling wardens’ stories is key
  • Promoting positive interactions
  • Encouraging the next generation

073 Scott Gray – Reformed Poacher

Wayne, Lt. Jim Kneeland, and reformed poacher Scott Gray gather to discuss Scott’s poaching scheme that started in the 1990s. He took poaching to a new level. He practiced at home to see how how quiet he could make his weapons, buried a freezer in his shed, and believe it or not, once took the warden’s entry test. Wayne discusses with Scott and Lt. Kneeland, Scott’s tactics, preparation, and to what extent he took his illegal craft, and how it all changed one day.

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072 Benny Richards – Texas

Benny Richards is a former Game Warden for Hunt County, Texas. Richards worked for over 25 years for the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, and is well known for his appearances on “Lone Star Law”. During his time as a warden, he earned accomplishments such as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Officer of the Year (2015) and the Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the year award. In this episode, Wayne interviews Benny on his role as a Texas warden and the stories of “Lone Star Law”.

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Hunt of a Lifetime

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • “Tales of a Texas Game Warden” by Benny Richards
  • Virtual book signing: December 2nd at 7:00pm
  • Recently retired
  • Everything is real
  • New season of Lone Star Law is coming
  • Game warden and peace officer
  • First interaction with a game warden
  • Different trails
  • Cocaine in the taxi cab
  • Dirty deeds under the cover of dark
  • Trip to jail makes them pass out
  • Phones change everything
  • Moving the bucket
  • Watch to get evidence
  • Wardens answer more than just outdoor calls
  • Housing development
  • Landowner permission
  • Diverse environment 
  • Upcoming children’s book
  • Moose antler

071 Jeff Baile – Illinois Part II

Jeff Baile is a retired conservation police officer and instructor in Illinois. He started out as a patrol officer in 1976, and moved to become a conservation police officer in 1979. Additionally, Jeff has worked as an instructor in his self-developed interview and interrogation course across the country. Jeff is a Certified Forensic Interviewer, and a member of the International Association of Interviewers. It is estimated he extratected over 7000 confessions over the course of his career. In this episode, Jeff speaks on his interviewing techniques, best stories, and more.

Our Sponsors: 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • There’s no end to it, stick new stuff in
  • Compliance increase after communication skills increases
  • Catfish case
  • Killed 24,000 fish, 600 bullfrogs
  • Boat accident
  • Published poaching 
  • Hotel deer
  • 25 illegal racoons 
  • The Beagle 
  • Making a case out of an interview
  • A person can only control their body language for so long
  • Everyone can learn it
  • A dead eagle 
  • Columbo style
  • Baile & Associates courses
  • Administrative and teacher classes
  • Different prongs

070 Jeff Baile – Illinois Part One

Jeff Baile is a retired conservation police officer and instructor in Illinois. He started out as a patrol officer in 1976, and moved to become a conservation police officer in 1979. Additionally, Jeff has worked as an instructor in his self-developed interview and interrogation course across the country. Jeff is a Certified Forensic Interviewer, and a member of the International Association of Interviewers. It is estimated he extratected over 7000 confessions over the course of his career. In this episode, Jeff speaks on his interviewing techniques, best stories, and more.

Our Sponsors: 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Conservation police
  • Getting into a niche
  • What do you need to do in interrogation 
  • Mobile training unit
  • Body language and lie detection are two different animals
  • Interview before interrogation
  • Gather facts
  • Retell the story
  • Truth never changes
  • Getting good at interviews
  • Suppressing “we” 
  • Conservation – specific course
  • Use both police and conservation examples
  • Interrogating our kids

069 Jeffrey Milner – Indiana

Jeffrey Milner is a conservation warden and K9 unit coordinator working for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He has been working for over 27 years, 23 of those as a K9 handler. Throughout his time as a K9 officer and coordinator, Jeffrey has trained a multitude of dogs and has also had many of his own. He also helped found the Conservation Canine Officers Association. In this episode, Jeffrey tells some of his many stories that he has collected over the years. 

Our Sponsors: 

Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • K9s are embedded in our organization 
  • Jeffrey’s background
  • Knocking on the game warden’s door
  • 1 lab turned into 11 labs
  • Only 9 other agencies that had K9 agencies
  • Dogs are an introduction 
  • Dogs help to bridge the message of conservation
  • First partner
  • Indiana is one of the biggest K9 agencies in the country
  • Primarily labrador retrievers
  • I name my dogs with purpose
  • Journey: running a track on suspects
  • Different terrain holds scent differently
  • You have to love it to do it
  • Voyage’s best track – lifesaving
  • Fury: ginseng diggers 
  • When you put value on a resource people will exploit it
  • Koda: in training
  • Training schools
  • From no members to 108 members in the CCOA
  • When I hang up my K9 shoes, the program is in good hands
  • Facility
  • Jason Lagore – Ohio
  • Follow and like Conservation Canine Officers Association on Facebook
  • Tight budgets
  • People will know a dog’s name 20 years later