86 For The Fallen

In 1962, US President John Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established that same year by a joint resolution of Congress, National Police Week pays tribute to law enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. Please join us for this very special episode as we honor the service and sacrifice of fallen heroes Captain Stan Elrod of Danielsville, Georgia, and Staff Sergeant Jesse Sherrill of Barrington, New Hampshire.

“It is not how these officers died that made them heroes; it is how they lived.” ~ National Law Enforcement Memorial, Washington, DC

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Don Noyes Chevrolet

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

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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85 Hunt of a Lifetime

From the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA, we meet two representatives for Hunt of a Lifetime, a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling hunting and fishing dreams for people 21 and under facing life-threatening illnesses or disabilities. Grant Fritz is a lifelong hunter who has been volunteering with the organization for over twenty years. Gabe Kerchner is a cancer survivor who shares the story of his Arizona mountain lion hunt. Together, they are part of a team of dedicated volunteers that reaches across the US and Canada to help make dreams come true when it matters most.

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Don Noyes Chevrolet

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:

GRANT

  • Over 20 years with Hunt of a Lifetime
  • Joining the organization; the first hunt
  • Close to 2000 hunts
  • Moose hunting in a broccoli patch
  • They didn’t choose this
  • Being part of the solution
  • My world is in a tree stand
  • Many tears have been shed
  • You can help
  • Bringing joy to a sick child
  • Reach out if you know a child who would like a dream fulfilled

GABE

  • Diagnosed at 12
  • Making contact with Hunt of a Lifetime
  • Receiving and training with a new rifle
  • Hunting with hound dogs
  • Others joined the hunt
  • Why mountain lion?
  • Gearing up at Bass Pro Shops
  • Hunted on a ranch
  • Post-surgical challenges on the hunt
  • 2015 relapse
  • Fishing trips are also an option
  • Lifelong friends
  • Importance of supporting the organization
  • An amazing experience, even without a mountain lion
  • The grizzly bear hunt was too risky

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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84 Bob Farrell – Hawai’i

Bob Farrell is a former fish and wildlife enforcement officer with more than 30 years of maritime experience in multiple environments from Alaska to Hawai’i. After a successful career with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife – culminating in serving as Assistant Chief – Bob figured he’d return to his home state of Hawai’i to wind down his career as an active game warden in the field, but fate soon intervened, and he once again found himself in a leadership position. Today, he continues his mission to strengthen conservation law enforcement through consultation and training all over the world.

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Don Noyes Chevrolet

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:

  • Involved in wildlife conservation post-retirement
  • Enforcement is sometimes an afterthought
  • Earliest memories are on the water
  • “I wanted to be Jacques Cousteau when I grew up.”
  • NOAA fisheries observer aboard a Korean trawler in Alaska
  • Six years fishing the Bering Sea
  • Operating boats for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Joined CDFW as a dive instructor
  • Accepted as a reserve warden
  • Warden-centric TV programs helped recruitment
  • Promotions are nice, but being an active warden is more fun
  • Bob delayed promotion to join a major task force operation
  • Moved to Hawai’i to get back into the field, but then…
  • “At the end of the day, I was obligated.”
  • Helping enact progressive change
  • Building skills from the ground up
  • Secured funding for the first DOCARE academy
  • Developing a Field Training Officer program
  • Established the state’s first DLNR Officer of the Year award
  • Sending officers to NACLEC
  • “Now we’re the tip of the spear.”
  • Working nights wasn’t typical
  • Caught spotlighters the first night
  • Protect cultural as well as natural resources
  • Retirement allows freedom to advocate for policy and legislation
  • The importance of listening to different perspectives
  • We can effect change
  • Bob’s advice for potential game wardens

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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W03 Snowshoe Hare with Alexej Sirén

In this episode of Warden’s Watch WILD, we meet Alexej Sirén, a Maine-based biologist and postdoctoral researcher, and arguably an authority on many large and small mammals in the northeastern US.  In this episode, Alexej discusses his work studying the snowshoe hare, including how their range and numbers affect a surprising variety of plants and animals, and the specific challenges climate change has created for the population.

Read more about Alexej’s work with snowshoe hares here: NH Wildlife Journal – Mad as a March Hare

Our Sponsor:

The Village Gun Store

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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83 Jonathan Demler – New Hampshire

In this episode, Wayne sits down with New Hampshire Conservation Officer Jonathan Demler. A highly decorated US Army veteran, Demler and his family moved to New Hampshire eight years ago when he joined Fish & Game after a distinguished military career which included three tours in Afghanistan.  Listen as Jon describes what led him to a career in the outdoors, how his experience in the armed forces has contributed to his success at Fish & Game, and in a Warden’s Watch first, answers questions from our Patreon members.

Our Sponsors:

Thin Green Line Podcast

Don Noyes Chevrolet

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:

  • Appearing on North Woods Law: quality over quantity
  • Balancing work and family
  • Transition from military life
  • “A little bit of luck, but a lot of perseverance.”
  • Coming to New Hampshire
  • The problem solvers
  • Changes in US military focus
  • Experience in Afghanistan helped prepare for mountains of NH
  • Do COs need to periodically requalify with firearms?
  • Dealing with sick and injured animals
  • Tough days
  • Not all wildlife rescues are successful
  • Every day can hold a surprise
  • The most gratifying part of the job
  • Working hours can be flexible
  • The importance of community

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Art & Design: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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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.

Our Sponsor: 

The Village Gun Store

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.

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 Crimestoppers

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.

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 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.

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 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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W00 Our Sponsor – Josh Dagnese, Village Gun Store

Podcasts like ours couldn’t exist without the generous support of sponsors. Warden’s Watch couldn’t be more proud to introduce Josh Dagnese, owner of The Village Gun Store in Whitefield, New Hampshire, and the primary sponsor of our new WILD series.  The Village Gun Store has been a northern New Hampshire staple for nearly 50 years, and when Josh – the son of a gun dealer himself – left the Army and found out it was for sale, he jumped at the chance to become part of American history.

Our Sponsor:

The Village Gun Store

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Cover Art: Ashley Hannett

Content Coordinator: Stacey DesRoches

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