A dramatic new reality television series, “Wild Justice” brings focus to the many challenges faced by Fish and Game Wardens. From the creators of the “wildly” successful “The Deadliest Catch”, “Wild Justice” debuted on 11/29 in a two-hour segment and then will run for eleven segments. The show covers the exploits of a group of California Game Wardens as they pursue their mission against poachers, pot growers and more in the California wilderness. The series tagline is outmanned and out gunned, as they face danger at every turn.
Unfortunately the danger is not just Hollywood hype as there have been over 230 Game Wardens that have been killed or died in the line of duty. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Conservation Officer David Grove was gunned down by a dear poacher near Gettysburg. He came upon a poacher deploying a spot light to shoot dear as was similarly depicted in the Wild Justice debut.
By its nature the job is dangerous. Game Wardens often patrol alone and are tens of miles from backup. Since they patrol in wilderness areas and seek poachers and marijuana growers, they deal with armed people. Game Wardens in the larger Western states and Alaska have to cover an incredible amount of country. In Cowlitz County Washington, made famous by the eruption of Mt St Helens, budget cuts and retirements have left the entire county “on call” as needed by Game Wardens from neighboring areas.
“Wild Justice” covers a group of Fish and Game Wardens (sometimes called Conservation Officers in other states) from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in Northern California’s Central Sierra area. Due to the California state budget woes, the Fish and Game Wardens are stretched thin.
“It gives viewers an appreciation for the diversity of the work we do and the wardens who do the work,” said Patrick Foy, a game warden and spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game.
Like Crab Fishing in the Bering Sea, a Fish and Game Warden Career is not for everyone. You can read more about the actual job requirements to become a Game Warden. As noted, in some states, retirements are creating opportunities for jobs in this field. Suffice to say, you must love the outdoors and want to protect the wilderness from various abuses. You can learn more about Game Wardens and other Criminal Justice Careers to better appreciate what it takes to succeed in a law enforcement career.