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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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.  

Our Sponsor:

The Village Gun Store

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.

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:

  • 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!

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:

  • 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.

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:

  • 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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076X – HUNT NEW ZEALAND WITH BRAD DANNEFAERD

In this bonus addition to Episode 76, New Zealand’s Brad Dannefaerd describes hunting in his home country, along with some practices and regulations many of our listeners may find surprising!

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:

  • Generous daily duck limits
  • Year-round hunting
  • Seven different types of deer
  • No season, no license, no limit
  • Hunting in national parks
  • Spotlighting and night hunting
  • No natural predators 
  • Guided vs. Independent hunts
  • Post-WWII population explosion
  • Overpopulation damage to natural environment
  • Professional hunters employed by Dept. of Conservation

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Cover Art: Ashley Hannett

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.

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:

  • 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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076a OWEN HEAD – NEW ZEALAND

In this special introduction to Episode 76, Wayne and his good friend Owen chat about the Samoan islands, the traditional haka, and every day life in beautiful New Zealand.

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:

  • The Polynesian Islands
  • What is a haka?
  • Alfram Videography
  • Life in New Zealand
  • Helicopter hunting?
  • People are “next-level” friendly
  • Hunting and fishing

Credits

Hosts: Wayne Saunders and John Nores

Producer: Jay Ammann

Social Media: 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.

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:

  • 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. 

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:

  • 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