W02 Canada Lynx with Jill Kilborn

Warden’s Watch WILD is back with wildlife biologist Jill Kilborn discussing her work studying the elusive Canada lynx. At about three feet long and anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds, Canada lynx are at least twice the size of the average house cat. Often recognized by their pointed ears and large, furry paws, which help them travel over deep snow and leave a distinctive “ice cream cone” print, Canada lynx are considered an endangered species in New Hampshire, but biologists have been taking steps to ensure a healthy and successful population, and it looks like their efforts are paying off.

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Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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82 Col. Clyde Warner – Pennsylvania Fish & Boat

With more than 86,000 miles of streams and rivers, 4,000 inland lakes and ponds, and 120 miles of coastal waters, there is no shortage of opportunities for a career on the waters of Pennsylvania. In this episode, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Law Enforcement Col. Clyde Warner describes the commonwealth’s recruiting initiative, the many advantages of joining his agency, and much more.

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • Can Waterway Conservation Officers deal with Game Commission issues?
  • All officers are cross-trained
  • Officers from both agencies help each other
  • Stocking 3.2 million trout
  • The importance of fish hatcheries
  • NASBLA accreditation and cadet training
  • The importance of boating skills
  • Taking action against black market reptile & amphibian sales
  • Dual agencies allow each to focus on their respective mandates
  • Implementing recruitment program to increase candidate pool
  • “It doesn’t get any better than this”
  • Unexpected perks and advantages

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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81 Rachel Thurner-Diaz – Pennsylvania Fish & Boat

Rachel Thurner-Diaz is just the seventh woman to serve as a Pennsylvania Waterways Conservation Officer. Although she grew up fishing, hunting, and boating, she didn’t opt for a career in the outdoors until she’d started down a different path. Today, after seven years, two kids, and being honored as PFBC’s Officer of the year in 2020, Thurner-Diaz knows she’s exactly where she’s meant to be.

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Thin Green Line Podcast

Sovereign Sportsman Solutions

“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

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International Wildlife Crimestoppers

Here’s what we discuss:

  • Growing up in the outdoors
  • The path to becoming a Waterways Conservation Officer
  • First week of work is busiest of the year
  • Field training on the water
  • Four female officers statewide
  • Family life and flexible scheduling
  • Fish stocking is a public event
  • What is float stocking?
  • Golden rainbow trout
  • FishBoatPA app displays where fish are being stocked
  • Non-residents can take boat safety courses
  • Community outreach
  • Environmental law enforcement
  • Snakes!
  • No current illegal exotic animal regulations
  • Working patrol until just before giving birth
  • Flexibility to find your niche
  • PFBC command structure
  • Trout stockers don’t eat much trout

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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80 Tim Schaeffer – Pennsylvania Fish & Boat

Pennsylvania may have been named for its woodlands, but the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission believes the waters are the real attraction. Tim Schaeffer is the Executive Director of the PFBC, the agency dedicated to protecting, conserving and enhancing the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources, and providing fishing and boating opportunities for everyone. Join us as Tim describes the agency’s mission and its many public outreach initiatives – including a popular volunteer fish stocking program – and a mobile app that provides users a one-stop portal to the many activities the Keystone State’s waters have to offer.

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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 Crimestoppers

Here’s what we discuss:

  • What is the Fish & Boat Commission?
  • Agencies complement each other
  • Founding Fish
  • Volunteer fish stocking program
  • “You can’t beat Spring in PA”
  • FishBoatPA mobile app
  • “Spend more time fishing, less time worrying about where to get a license”
  • Always looking to do things better
  • Online/web-based coupled with in-person courses
  • Trout in the Classroom
  • Cold weather life jacket law
  • Life jackets are more comfortable than ever
  • How to fit a life jacket
  • The importance of clean waterways
  • Fishing with the family

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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W01 Jillian Kilborn – Wildlife Biologist

Welcome to Warden’s Watch WILD, where we feature short conversations with wildlife professionals from all over North America and beyond. In our first episode, Wayne introduces us to Jillian Kilborn, a Wildlife Biologist for New Hampshire Fish & Game who has researched and tracked the American marten for nearly twenty years.  

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • The inspiration for podcasting
  • The pine marten project
  • Working with trappers
  • Marten habitat and population
  • What is a marten?
  • Removed from state list of threatened species
  • Resource competition with fisher
  • Where to find American marten

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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079 Chad Eyler – PA Game Commission: Command Staff

In our final installment from the PA Game Commission, Wayne talks with PGC Special Permits Division chief Chad Eyler. Besides being an administrator for Pennsylvania’s Operation Game Thief program and the architect of one of the most successful wildlife crime reporting lines in the US, he also has the unique perspective of having worked for all three state conservation agencies. In this episode, Chad explains the formation, structure, and funding of the agency, the Deputy Game Warden program, and much more.

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“A Cowboy in the Woods” Book

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International Wildlife Crimestoppers

Here’s what we discuss:

  • A good game warden story
  • Leader in wildlife forensics
  • Forensics skills can apply to all aspects of the job
  • Formation of the Game Commission
  • Refuges and ranges
  • Game lands help fund the agency
  • Low-cost hunting and trapping licenses
  • Explaining the Deputy Warden program
  • Almost a hobby
  • Hundreds of thousands of hunters
  • Keeping the agency moving forward
  • Issued a typewriter and a revolver
  • Refocusing priorities and adapting with the times
  • “It literally takes my breath away”

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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078 Brandon Pfister – PA Game Commission: The Veteran

Continuing our visit to Pennsylvania, Wayne sits down with State Game Warden Brandon Pfister, a former restaurateur who joined the Game Commission as a Deputy Warden in 2008. In this wide-ranging conversation, Brandon talks about some memorable cases, going viral on TikTok, and even shares some tips for a prize winning pie crust!

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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

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Here’s what we discuss:

  • Snakes!
  • If at first you don’t succeed…
  • Deputy game warden program
  • The elk whistle and the viral TikTok
  • The importance of outreach
  • Everyone makes mistakes
  • Cooking wild game
  • Talking with kids
  • Humanizing the badge
  • Snakes!
  • Connecting with the next generation
  • Working together toward a common goal

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Cover Art: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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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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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 Crimestoppers

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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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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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 Crimestoppers

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.

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