025 Jim Cyrs – New Hampshire Game Warden, Snowologist & North Woods Law

Jim Cyrs is a New Hampshire Game Warden, Conservation Officer, a frequent guest on North Woods Law, and holds a degree in snow science.  Jim works the north country of New Hampshire when the snow gets deep and the terrain gets rugged, especially around Mount Washington.  Jim shares several stories of intriguing cases that he’s investigated during his time with NH Fish and Game.

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Here’s What We Discuss:

  • A Metal Detector and a Bear Case
  • Not a Bear Problem, It’s a People Problem
  • 5 to 6 Feet of Snow in June
  • Snow in July on Mt Washington
  • A Degree in Snow Science, Snowology
  • Biogeography
  • Mt Washington Park Ranger
  • Don’t Open Two Doors at Once
  • The Androscoggin Rescue Team
  • Dinner on the Peak
  • Low Grade Rock Climbing
  • World’s Worst Weather
  • 3 Different Weather Fronts and the Jet Stream
  • 3700′ Tree Line in NH vs 8000′ Treeline Western States
  • The Lost Beaver
  • A Profession in the Outdoors
  • The Wild River and Town of Hastings
  • A Record for Carrying Stuff
  • Calm, Collective, Serious – Bill Hastings
  • Offering a Handshake post Ticket
  • Only Night Hunting Failure
  • Protecting Landowners
  • Building and Illegal Snowmobile Trail
  • Breaking Federal Laws
  • Worth with Us, We’ll Work with You
  • A Credit Card Warrant
  • Foot Patrol, Prosecutor, Investigator
  • Building a Solid Case
  • Search and Rescue and Fitness
  • Cotton Kills when Wet
  • Hypothermia
  • Game Wardens in Sweden
  • POB Beacon Hits and Personal Locators
  • Snow All December
  • Tree Wells 10 Feet Down
  • 65lbs Packs
  • Follow the River
  • A GPS

024 Capt Tom Caifa – New York’s 140th Anniversary Conservation Protection

Conservation protection and enforcement in the late 1800s looked a lot different than it does today. We speak with Historian and Conservation Officer Captain Tom Caifa about the history of conservation law and protection over the last 140 years in New York State. The stories are priceless.

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Here’s What We Discuss:
The 140th Year of New York’s Conservation Police
Captain Tom Caifa
Historian and Conservation Officer
Showing New Recruits the Roots
Old Seal Skin Hats and New Jackets
A Law Book and Blank Tickets
The Case Would Lead the Travel
Broad Rules and Laws
1880 – Labrador Duck, Eastern Elk
Low Numbers of Deer and Turkey
Stopping Mass Hunting and Big Company Habitat Destruction
Hard to Find Game Protection Until 1930s
$500/year Income ($14000 today’s money)
NYC Illegal Trade
Wild Meat Canning
Chef Boyardee – Fined for Illegal Canning of Wild Meat
The Big Boom Post WWII
Population Creates Problems
Ticonderoga – A Deal with Landowners
Tanneries and the First Pollution Cases
Sam Taylor 1914
Fallen Officer’s Coin
Bill Kramer
Looking to the Military for Uniform Design
Secret Service of Game Protectors and Undercover Agents
Education and Public Outreach
Partnering with the NRA
Hunter Safety Hall of Fame
It Was a Hunting Accident But Was Probably a Homicide Back Then
Game Protectors to Game Wardens
Being Shot in the Badge
Department of Environmental Conservation
The First Game Police
Eb and Flow of Morale
The Swiss Army Knife of Law Enforcement
The Olympics at Lake Placid

023 Colonel Eddie Henderson – Georgia DNR

Colonel Eddie Henderson spent 36 years serving the state of Georgia at the Department of Natural Resources. Now retired, Col Henderson is able to reflect on his many cases that ranged from drug trafficking, to night hunting, to exotic animals and search and rescue. We discuss the changes that Col Henderson has seen over the years and get into details on a few of his exciting cases.

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Here’s What We Discuss:
My Second Colonel Interview
I Don’t Have an Accent
36 Year Career in Georgia DNR
Basic Academy and Hunting Season
$32,500 only 5 Years Ago
Patrolling Up River
Boating, Fishing, Hunting, DNR Land
Shorts are Optional
Cuff On, Then What?
Drug Trafficking and Exotic Animals
Dragging Out a Deer in August
100 Applicants, 20 Jobs
Dodge Power Wagon
The Next Piece of Equipment
A Night Hunting Case
A Ford Bronco and Too Easy
The Gotcha Moment
Search and Rescue Support Team
Search and Rescue Dollars
Focus on Conservation Law Enforcement
Georgia Special Teams K-9
Critical Incidents Reconstruction Team
Investigative Teams Overt and Covert
Poachers Like to Brag, Generally
Building a Network
Focus on the Positive
Conservation Enforcement Leadership
The Appalachian Trail

022 Mark Ober – North Country Game Warden

Mark Ober is now the Lieutenant for District 1 for the NH Fish and Game Department, but before that, Mark was a Sargent and Trainee under Wayne Saunders (the host of Warden’s Watch). Mark and Wayne discuss various situations and cases that they worked together including several night hunting cases, decoy sets for illegal shooting, and some north country search and rescue missions.

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Here’s What We Discuss:
Don Noyes Chevrolet
Opportunity vs Entrapment
He Took My Job
The Berlin Area
Ruining a Good Time
A Snot Ticket
Wet, Intoxicated, Covered in Blood
Punch Happy
Muzzle Flash
Drop the Phone, Big Bang, Game On
Furrows on the Train Tracks
Loons are Powerful, I’m Cramping Up
A Moose Double Kill, Wait Triple Kill
Accidents Happen
A Stratford Case
Face of the Radio Glows
KaBoom, KaBoom, KaBoom
The Plywood Decoy
The Value of a Chase Vehicle
A Big Buck on the Tail Gate
A Necessary Evil
Finding the Beacon

021 Bryan Koontz – Guidefitter

Bryan Koontz, is the CEO of Gudiefitter. Guidefitter is the online community for guided hunting & fishing adventures, enabling sportspersons, guides, outfitters, and the organizations that serve them to collaborate and better promote their shared passion for the sport.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
Software, Internet, and Hunting and Fishing
Making a Searchable Site for All Guides
More Money Spent on Fishing
Gear Junkies
A Warden in Maryland
The IWC Mission
Northwoods Law and Lone Star Law
Balance Budget and Warden Numbers
The Survey to 10,000 Members
Not Enough Wardens
Squeaky Wheels Get Oil
Higher Penalties for Poaching
Reciprocity
A Legislative Act
Losing Your Livelihood for Poaching Violations
Thorough VS Guilty
Good Cop Bad Cop
Biologize

020 Ron Ollis – Operation North Coast – Ohio DNR Special Ops & Investigation

In a case that took 2.5 year to investigate through a special operations division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ron Ollis and his team were able to take down the largest poaching crime ring enterprise in Ohio history. It required intense ground work and undercover efforts and a clever prosecutor to convict using the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Laws, typically used in large scale crime ring investigations an prosecutions.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
The TIP program
Turn In a Poacher
2.5 Year Wildlife Investigation
Operation North Coast
$18/lb Perch, and Great Lakes Fishery
Biggest Case in Ohio History
That Neighborhood Guy, A Thorn
Wildlife Crime, and Drug Crime Go Hand in Hand
Illegal Check In, Electronic Crime
RICO Statutes, An Enterprise Crime for Profit
Communications Fraud, Theft from State of Ohio
Restitution for Trophy Animals
Deer Meat Wrapped Not for Sale
Lots of Moonshine
Hunters, Talkers, Braggers
Multiple Bucks in a One Buck State
Antlers and Smokies
Money Laundering, Game Violations
270lbs of Deer Meat and Only 2 Tags
48 Deer Mounts, in a 1 Buck State
A Diary and Sales List
Non Hunters Checking Deer
Pictures and Text Messages
Size of Deer to Deer Meat Ratios
A Special Prosectuor
Instead of a Bunch of Misdemeanors, Go RICO
No Hunters on Grand Jury
The Lorraine Case – Selling on Craiglist
A Police Officer, Fraud, Theft, Electronic Crimes

019 David Loewen – Montana Fish and Wildlife – Chief Law Enforcement

David Loewen spent time in the US Coast Guard stationed in California, mostly chasing drug crime. His post Coast Guard career lead him back to Montana to protect the wildlife in the land only second to the wildness of Alaska. David shares with us many stories of poachers and about the dangers that the job presents.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
Time in the Coast Guard – Cali to Montana
A College Fund and Marine Biology
Relying on a Team
A Rural District to a Populated One
From the Baby Warden to the SGT
15 Year on the Ground Prepping for Chief
Horses, Horse District, Water, Water District
A Headless Elk
Shot During the 3rd Qtr of the Superbowl
A Jeep and an RMEF License Plate
Getting Stale 24 Hours Later
Rolling in Hot, Elk Head Raid 5AM
Trophy Restitution, and Fines
TIP Program, Turn in a Poacher
Felonies
Sharing Info, Tax Fraud, and License Fraud
Resources to Investigate
Answering to the IRS instead of the State of Montana
The Best Fishing in the United States
Delist the Grizzly
Losing 9 Officers, It’s Dangerous
Reading People, Body Language
Managing Situations Verbally
Verbal Judo
More to Hunting than Shooting an Animal
Online Hunter Ed vs Classroom
Montana is a Great Place

018 Mark Rutkowski – The Bear Trap

Mark Rutkowski is one of six supervisors for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Mark started out as a deputy and eventually worked his way into a full time Warden. Mark has been involved in many interesting game thief investigations over the years in a state with a rich tradition of hunting. Mark shares with us many stories on this episode.

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Here’s What We Discuss:

One of 6 in the State of PA
The Deputy Program 325
There for Resources Not Money
Special Tactical Team
Rhodesian Army
Being Comfortable in the Woods
The Creek Thing
The Bear Trap
A Conservation Land, Sweeping for Mines, Open for Hunting
Paramedic in Scranton
10 Deputies that Became Game Wardens
On the Job Training
A Culture
1% of the Hunting Population in PA
1st Day Deer Season is Like Xmas
Saturday Afternoon after Thanksgiving
Hunting Tradition and Participation
A Sportsmen’s Meeting, Antler Restrictions
Poacher, Killing Several Hundred Deer
Ring Bologna – A Christmas Sausage
A Stolen Car, Another Poacher
Chop Shop and Burglary
An Attorney on Retainer, Career Criminal
Three Point Restrictions, Controversial to Support
800+ lbs Black Bear, Pike County
25 Group Hunting Parties, But No Baiting
Half Finished Mounts, Stolen Mounts
Two Hides, Cutting Tags, He Ratted On Himself

017 John Nores – Before the Weed

Before John Nores retired and wrote his book Hidden Wars, he was a Game Warden for the State of California.  There he trained and learned and developed his skills that would eventually take him to a special task force called MET- Marijuana Enforcement Team.  Through MET, John dealt with thousands of members of drug cartels where he discovered that the cartel operations were growing toxic marijuana, destroying habitats and natural resources, and leaving behind an environmental disaster.

Our Sponsors:

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:

  • The Trailblazer, a Pioneer
  • 28 Year as a Game Warden
  • Cartel Growers, Marijuana Tactical Groups
  • California Academy Days
  • 4 Years on the Civilian List
  • California was Focused on Preservation on Conservation
  • Unity instead of Polarization
  • It Got Western Quick
  • CA Based Gang Bangers After 11pm
  • AK, 10-22, Assault Shotguns
  • Illegal Guns, Dead Animals, A Shooting Game
  • 1983, Spotlighting Cases
  • Now Thermal Imaging
  • Back Burner, Front Burner
  • Joe Rogan Show, Thin Green Line
  • General Public Doesn’t Understand the Game Warden Job
  • Illegal Baiting Cases, Known for Tactics
  • FBI Certified Shooting School, SWAT
  • Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program
  • Humility and Appreciation is the Key
  • Marijuana Specialized Department Team
  • 5-6 Week Baiting Case
  • Too Dark for Gen 2 Night Vision
  • A Major Wake UP Call, Blood Trail, and 2 Arrests
  • Navigation in the Dark
  • Nothing Better Than Being There
  • The Hidden War on Drugs and Habitat
  • Diversity and Adaptability to Protect the Environment
  • Toxins and Banned Chemicals with Drug Cartels

016 Sgt Todd Szewczyk

Todd Szewczyk is a retired Sargent with NH Fish and Game. Todd shared a similar timeline as Wayne did and has many colorful stories to tell about life on the job as a Game Warden. We cover a near death experience, snorkeling for pagers, and a new phenomenon -investigation using Facebook.

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Maine’s Operation Game Thief

Here’s What We Discuss:
The End of a Career
Balance
Col Joel Wilkinson – Maine Warden Service
Rochester, New York ’til Age 12
A Vet, Too Much School
University of New Hampshire Wildlife Management
Special Agents Have Good Stories
Black Eyed Peas
A Class in 1990
Milford PD, The Only Fish and Game Officer
Painting the Camp, a Chevy Blazer
The One that Got Away and an Alibi
Mass vs NH, Muzzleloader vs Firearm vs Felon
Marijuana Dealer and a Search Warrant
The Investigator, and Lies
The Truth Gets the Breaks
He Is Freakin’ Night Hunting! in a Caravan…
Statue of Limitations and Facebook
A Snow Mobile Story, A Near Death Experience
Hopping in the Trail, a Durable Employee
Sliding Like an Otter
Snorkeling for a Pager
A Mass Case, A Spot of Blood, and 4 Cases from 1
The Trail Camera Case, Rifle VS Shotgun
Kyle and Brian – The Kids of a Game Warden
The Alphabet