055 The Case of Kate Matrosova Part II featuring Lt. Mark Ober and CO Glen Lucas

Kate Matrosova was a highly experienced hiker from Southern Siberia, Russia. She came to America on a student visa and successfully graduated with a masters degree in Financial Engineering. Though she worked for many firms on Wall Street, she also had a passion for the outdoors. She had a passion for climbing big mountains such as Kilimanjaro and McKinley, and was an active marathon runner. At 32 years old, she hiked the Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire carrying light gear for a day hike. Unfortunately, she never made it out alive. The weather conditions reached -85F and 141 MPH winds. Rescue teams attempted to reach her after she activated her communications device, but to no avail. Kate Matrosova was discovered a day later. 

Lieutenant Mark Ober is the Lieutenant for District 1 with the New Hampshire Fish and Game. He frequently responds to hikers in distress and develops search and rescue missions to find them. He is also a member of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team. In this episode, he discusses the mission to find Kate, the difficulties surrounding it, and his role as a supervisor.

Conservation Officer Glen Lucas of the New Hampshire Fish and Game is part of the snowmobile patrol and is an experienced outdoorsman. He was also a part of multiple storylines with the show Northwoods law. He shares his experiences on the day of Kate’s disappearance, including the struggles of preparing, the decision making of the day, and the lasting impacts it had on his life. 

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International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • New addition the podcasting team: Morgan Day
  • Patreon event: live Q and A on April 26th at 8pm EST
  • The importance of speaking about painful memories
  • More of a recovery mission than a rescue
  • Cannot rely on personal locator devices
  • Bad weather day; snowmobile crash earlier
  • We have to at least try
  • Temperature at start of hike: -90 with wind chill
  • Three separate beacons miles apart
  • Glen comes down
  • Ty Gagne helped me answer questions I had myself
  • Everyone was hustling to get there
  • Game Warden wife mode
  • Not a normal rescue mission
  • My mistake: dressing normal
  • Legs start locking up, toes are freezing
  • Glen stays behind, the others continue up
  • Leans up against the tree to wait for other volunteers
  • This is how I find people
  • I felt like I had peg legs; I didn’t want to die here
  • Mother nature beat me that time
  • Game wardens promote drive, we don’t want to show weakness
  • I didn’t read the book, I gave it away
  • I wanted to distance myself from the story, but I read it
  • After the reports done, I’m done
  • The book signing was therapeutic
  • The supervisors decision at the base, the teams on the mountain
  • Kate is the first one I had a connection with

054 The Case of Kate Matrosova featuring Ty Gagne

Kate Matrosova was a highly experienced hiker from Southern Siberia, Russia. She came to America on a student visa and successfully graduated with a masters degree in Financial Engineering. Though she worked for many firms on Wall Street, she also had a passion for the outdoors. She had a passion for climbing big mountains such as Kilimanjaro and McKinley, and was an active marathon runner. At 32 years old, she hiked the Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire carrying light gear for a day hike. Unfortunately, she never made it out alive. The weather conditions reached -85F and 141 MPH winds. Rescue teams attempted to reach her after she activated her communications device, but to no avail. Kate Matrosova was discovered a day later.

Ty Gagne is the CEO of Primex, a public entity risk pool based in New Hampshire, and is also a certified wilderness first responder. He wrote the book Where You’ll Find Me about Kate’s experiences and those who were a part of her recovery. In this podcast, he discusses his own personal involvement in the outdoors, his perspective on Kate’s case, and how he wrote the book.

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Copper Pig Brewery

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • The book Where You Will Find Me
  • Ty and Wayne’s experience with hiking
  • The easy mistakes of hiking
  • The beginning of Kate’s story
  • The White Mountains
  • Challenges of winter hiking
  • The conditions of Kate’s hike
  • Her plan and the issues around it
  • Kate’s drive to succeed
  • The group that got her out
  • The issue with personal location devices
  • Ty’s interviews with on-scene wardens
  • The drive of law enforcement and how to keep them safe
  • Mental health of volunteers and law enforcement
  • The changes at altitude
  • Retracing Kate’s story for a book
  • The good out of a tragedy

053 Carlos Gomez – Oklahoma Department of Wildlife – Part II

Carlos Gomez, a retired Game Warden for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, sits down with Wayne in the continuation of his interview. Though now retired after a 41 year career, Carlos is still an active outdoorsman and a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. In this episode, they discuss cases Carlos has been involved with and his interactions with other wardens.

Our Sponsors:

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NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • International Game Warden Magazine
  • Operation Cody
  • Interactions and cases with Todd A. Vandivert
  • The money-maker case
  • When to bluff
  • The praying poacher
  • Keeping the racks, donating the meat
  • 16 deer, 3 county warrants
  • Enjoy the cuffs
  • Poacher suicide

Credits
Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores
Producer/Editor: Jay Scott Ammann
Social Media/Marketing: Morgan Day

051 Brian Albert – Maryland DNR

After 28 years, Capt. Brian Albert has retired, but that doesn’t mean he’s done working. Brian spent time in the Air Force and then became a Ranger with Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He also worked as a Public Information Officer and was in charge of a criminal investigations division during his career.  Despite retirement, Brian is heavily involved with Maryland’s International Wildlife Crimestoppers and other conservation organizations. 

Our Sponsors:

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HERE’S WHAT WE DISCUSS:

  • John’s New Mic!
  • Waterways Criminal Investigation
  • Suicides – Discovered by Hunters, Covered by Game Wardens
  • Maryland DNR Captain
  • Executive Director Maryland Wildlife Crimestoppers
  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Stripers, Crabs, Turkey, Deer
  • 40% of the Time on the Water
  • Rockfish and Striper are the Same Thing
  • Cast Nets and 77 Rockfish, $500 Per Fish Fine
  • Eastern Shore MD State Park
  • Fort Frederick State Park
  • Marijuana In the Campgrounds
  • Alaskan State Troopers
  • Exhausting Hours to Make a Case
  • An Old Dodge Ram Charger
  • Farmers Don’t Want People Driving in Fields
  • A Red Dot Target
  • Suicide in a Kayak
  • Inner Harbor Baltimore Coverage Area
  • Freddie Gray Riots
  • More Positive than Negative, Media Sells the Negative
  • Participation in Local Events
  • Jerry Kirkwood
  • An Out of State Duck Case
  • Illegal Deer Kill on Out of State Pennsylvania Resident
  • Stopping the Spread of CWD

050 Sean Cronsberry – Ontario Warden

Wayne and John discuss a warden life across the border in Canada with special guest Sean Cronsberry. Sean is a dog handler and warden with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  He’s handled several interesting cases with his K-9 companions Timber and Blaze.  Sean covers a large area and has a unique area that involves the commercial fishing industry out of the great lakes. 

Our Sponsors:

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Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

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Here’s What’s Discussed in this Episode:

  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • A Professional Mouthful
  • Warden’s Watch International – Crossing the Border into Canada
  • Cases with the United States – Michigan, Lacey Act, US Fish and Wildlife
  • Working in Quebec and Needing an Interpreter
  • Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe
  • Deputy Conversation Officer Program
  • 1000 Hours of Volunteering
  • Fish House and Open Holes
  • Whitefish and Lake Trout
  • Great Lakes and the Commercial Fishery
  • Southwestern Region Ontario
  • A K-9 Handler
  • Timber, a Chocolate Lab
  • Finding the Right Dog
  • K-9 Blaze, a Yellow Lab
  • Timber Would Wrap Up Cases on His Own
  • Losing a Service Dog
  • Into the Lions Den
  • A Good Game Warden Story
  • A Trespass to Hunt Call
  • Finding Poached Turkeys, Only with a Dog
  • A Sudden Death Call, Blaze Opened the Case Wide Open
  • Finding a Bullet
  • Labs- English vs US
  • The Gun Powder Wag
  • Tighty Whities
  • Shooting Towards the Road
  • The Cases we Remember Most are the Cases we Didn’t Make
  • 99% Time the Dogs Will Find the Evidence
  • Protecting the Interest of Other Hunters
  • Sleeping in the Truck after 8 Hour Trip
  • 3 Rotten Fish in a Net
  • 165 Field Officers
  • Naming Dogs, the Timber Wolf
  • Spreading the Word for Wardens, a Way of Life

049 John Anderson – Nevada Department of Wildlife

John Anderson is a Game Warden with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.  John patrols hundreds of acres in some of Nevada’s best elk habitat and has seen his fair share of incredible cases over the years.   John shares with us 3 of his best poacher cases along with some stories about how he became a game warden under what might be considered an unusual turn of events.  

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Here’s What’s Discussed in this Episode:

  • Dedicated to Capt Brian Allard
  • Ducks Unlimited Podcast
  • Warden’s Watch Gear
  • The Case Unit 231 Nevada to Utah
  • A Poached Elk
  • Was It Depredation?
  • A SpotLight on Camera and an ATV
  • The Flat Brim Army
  • The Whole Crime on Game Cam
  • Take a Look at Zachary – Instagram and Facebook
  • Felony Conviction, No Jail Time
  • $20,000 Fine
  • Nevada Isn’t the Wild West
  • The Crime Checked All the Boxes
  • What Changed? Family and Kids
  • Matlock, My Dad’s Kid
  • Connection with the Outdoors, but Unguided
  • Flintlock Muzzleloaders from Scratch
  • Poached a Doe and an Elk in Yellowstone
  • A 9 Year Old, an Apple Orchard, a Tag, and a Doe
  • An Honest Poacher, No Lying
  • No Electricity, Middle of Nowhere
  • Dove into the Application Process, Nevada was Hiring
  • There’s Always Evidence, and Generally Witnesses
  • Sometimes Your Only Friends Are Other Game Wardens
  • Treasuring Civilian Relationships
  • Life Balance
  • 70 Active Prosecutions
  • 2013 Writing a Warrant
  • Deer and Elk Tags, Undocumented Immigrants Poaching
  • Non-Game
  • Las Vegas Metro and Mexican Cartels
  • Random Meat in Ziplock Bags
  • Samples Tested, 5 Different Deer
  • Timing is Everything
  • Starts with a Little Tip, then it Grows
  • CSI from Crime to the Court, Homicide School
  • A Fork on the Left G4 Identification Measure
  • Working with Maggots, Stages, Time of Death
  • 3rd Case No Secrets
  • Photographs Contain Metadata
  • Great Witnesses are Instrumental
  • COVID is Messing Up Jury Trials
  • Usually Don’t Get Jail Time
  • 20 Days in Jail is a Big Message
  • Massachusetts and New Jersey Last Ones IWC
  • Reciprocation License Loss (Nationwide and Canada)
  • Sheep Cases are Rare – Serious Dedicated Hunters Typically
  • Transformation from Child to Adult

048 Scott Fischer – Arizona Game and Fish

Scott Fischer is an Officer with Arizona Game and Fish and also the director of the department’s Operation Game Thief program.  Scott and Wayne discuss the qualification for becoming an Arizona warden, Arizona’s outdoor opportunities for big game outdoors men and women,  and a few operations that Scott has been on trying to stop illegal drug trafficking.  They also discuss how important the community is to assisting with illegal poaching through Operation Game Thief. 

Our Sponsors:

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  • Arizona Command Structure
  • Law Enforcement Program Manager
  • Wildlife Managers 92 State Wide
  • Voluntary Reporting at the End of the Season
  • Location, Permits, Time Frame Compliance
  • Higher Education Requirement in AZ
  • Qualifications for Arizona Game and Fish
  • Education Component
  • Background History, Abuse
  • Dream to Be a Game Warden
  • Pool of Law Enforcement Dwindling
  • Loosening the Reins for Applicants
  • Scientific Method Biology
  • 600 Applicants Down to 120 Today
  • Minimum Standard Physical Regs
  • Operation Game Thief
  • Coos vs Coues
  • Dispatcher to Officer
  • 2000 Sq. Mile District to Cover
  • Cactus and Agriculture
  • Playing Dumb Cop
  • Sticking to Lies
  • Cal Fish and Game and Wildlife
  • Wildlife Canine Handler
  • The Detail, Treat it Like a Homicide
  • Big Elk, Lottery Program
  • Mountain Lion, Deer Archery Over the Counter
  • Bear Season
  • Elk Over the Counter – Low Success
  • Shorts and a T-Shirt Hunting
  • Desert Mule Deer
  • Illegal Border Activity
  • High Human Traffic High Human Traffic
  • Cowboy Type, Let’s Go Get Him
  • I’m in Good Shape, But…
  • Drug Runners are In Better Shape
  • 12 Illegals and a Big Load of Dope
  • Moose Case on International Lines
  • State Dispatchers are Life Lines
  • Arizona is Diverse
  • We Need the Public Thru Operation Game Thief

047 Chris Wright – Idaho Fish and Game

Chris Wright is the Assistant Chief with the Idaho Fish and Game Department. Chris began his career in Montana and has had a colorful career involving many cases in Idaho.  Chris, Wayne, and John discuss many of the details of Chris’s biggest investigations including a case that involved 86 poached deer and a prosecution attempt that ended in political influences.  We also discuss CWD, Operation Game Thief, citizen involvement to catch poachers, and creating gene diversity in wildlife populations when necessary. 

Our Sponsors:

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Hunt of a Lifetime

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Assistant Chief Idaho
  • Starting in Montana
  • Father was a Fish and Game Employee
  • School to be a Science Teacher
  • An Opportunity in Idaho, External Hire
  • Let’s Take the Case from a Different Angle
  • Lateral Career Moves, Supervising People Twice His Age
  • 86 Dead Deer on Search
  • 82 of 86 Died from Bullets, Then a Warrant for the House
  • Political Issues in Prosecution
  • Frustrating Case vs Outfitter
  • Competing for Kids Time, Outdoor Solutions
  • Sports are Different Now
  • Getting Out, Creating Memories
  • Never too Late to Start Hunting Again
  • COVID Effects on Hunting and Enforcement Changes
  • Big Game Species, CWD
  • Deer Dying Along River Beds
  • Operation Game Thief and Turning in a Poacher
  • Citizens Involvement
  • Tag Prices for Non-Residents
  • License Fraud Utah and Washington
  • A Moose Population in Idaho
  • Warden’s Working Close with Biologists
  • Relocating Big Horn Sheep to Create Gene Diversity
  • Biologize
  • More Complaints About Wildlife from Non-Hunters
  • Culture Clashes
  • Apprentice Hunting License and Passport
  • Hunter Ed, Online, No Field Day, a COVID Change
  • Game Wardens are Ambassadors

046 Matt Holmes Part II – The OHRV Crash

Matt Holmes, a NH Fish and Game Conservation Officer and regular on North Woods Law, jumps in the pick up truck with Wayne to talk more about Matt’s career as a Game Warden.  They discuss in detail Matt’s OHRV crash that occurred in June 2020 while on radar patrol.  Special narration and commentary from Bob Mancini.

Our Sponsors:

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • Evolution of OHRV Riding in NH
  • The North Woods Law Crew
  • The Bear that Killed the Chickens
  • A Errant Discharge of a High Power Rifle
  • 2 Vehicle Crash, Running Radar
  • Connecting with Bob Mancini
  • 2 Side By Sides at Excessive Speed
  • Blue Lights On
  • A Red and White Collision
  • Did I Break My Back? Can I Breath?
  • Familiar Faces in the ER
  • Pain Level
  • Physical Therapy and Back to Work
  • My Favorite Trainee
  • Just Wanted to Clarify that Your Not From Maine

042 Nancy Foley – Former Division Chief California Department of Fish and Game

Chief Nancy Foley spent 25 years in various capacities within the Law Enforcement Division. She was instrumental in raising the profile of California game wardens by securing better and more clearly marked patrol vehicles, developing the K-9 program and helping get National Geographic Channel’s Wild Justice, a show featuring California game wardens, to the airwaves. Foley was selected as the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ (WAFWA) Professional of the Year in 2011.

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Hunt of a Lifetime

Maine’s Operation Game Thief

NH Wildlife Heritage

International Wildlife Crime Stoppers

  • Badge #1
  • International Reach
  • Stopping Wildlife Trafficking
  • The NET Team – West Coast
  • It’s a Team Effort
  • Each Division Has a Piece of the Puzzle to Solve the Crime
  • Dedicated Helicopter Teams
  • Cameras Are a Positive Impact – Wild Justice Positive
  • Influences of North Woods Law
  • Applications for Game Warden’s Jobs Thru the Roof
  • It’s a Draw on the Officers – Burn Out, It’s Tough
  • A Case of Complications – After Search Warrant Issued
  • A Hiking Incident on Mt Whitney
  • A Game Warden Truck
  • You Don’t Meet the Applicant Requirement – Wait We Made a Mistake
  • Hire Process Changed – Hidden Barriers
  • Non-Hunting, Non-Fishing Backgrounds
  • The Wildlife Took Him Out of NYC – Abe
  • Diversity
  • Covert Reptile Investigations
  • Abalone Investigations in California – High $$$ Value
  • Undercover Game Warden Work and Surveillance
  • Follow the Suspect and Abalone Poaching West Coast $200,000
  • Poaching Income Chinatown
  • Can’t Sit in the Car
  • Hundreds of Cases
  • Public Safety Responsibility
  • A Vision of the Game Department – Unfinished Business
  • Get the Ball Rolling – Back Country High Risk Operations
  • Becoming a Foundation Board Member
  • An Endowment, Scholarships, Expediting Funds to those in Need
  • Resource Protection, Taking Care of the Environment Protecting Natural Resources, Water, Habitat