What are Maine game wardens doing these days?

Mainers are justifiably proud when our game wardens participate in a successful search and rescue operation, like they did this week at Sugarloaf. Sportsmen are especially happy when wardens arrest a group of poachers, as they did in my town in 2010 after a successful undercover operation.

And while sportsmen are happy to pay for the work of game wardens in apprehending poachers, we are not at all happy to pay for their work in rescuing a lost 17-year-old skier.

I’ve only watched one episode of the second season of North Woods Law, the popular Animal Planet TV show featuring Maine game wardens. It aggravates me that the Fish and Wildlife Department gets no money from that show, while game wardens spend a significant amount of time producing it.

But the show I did watch was enlightening. Four warden actions were featured on that show, only one of which concerned fish and game resources. That one was a warden’s apprehension of a bowhunter who was hunting over a salt lick. Not exactly a major violation of the law, although the warden appeared to have spent a lot of time on it.

The other activities featured in this episode of the show were a search for an Autistic boy who had wandered off, a dive into a river to search for a handgun used in a crime, and a massive search – including a helicopter – for a marijuana patch. Sportsmen are paying for all of this, and that just isn’t right.

Here are three quotes I noted in recent news stories that may be of interest to you.

Waterville schools also conduct lockdown and evacuation drills, as was done in January at Forest Hills Consolidated School with agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, the Maine Warden Service and the Maine State Police.

From a Doug Harlow story in the Maine Sunday Telegram on February 2, 2013:

Nearly three dozen state troopers, game wardens and sheriff’s deputies established a perimeter around the school grounds.

This came from a Matt Hongoltz-Hetling story about a report of two first graders that they’d seen an armed man outside the school. The report turned out to be incorrect. This was in the March 5, 2013 edition of the Kennebec Journal.

 On one upcoming episode Spahr is charged with investigating deer traps set up to protect an illegal marijuana patch. Another upcoming episode will feature wardens searching for a boy lost in the woods. The episode airing Thursday was shot last summer and  includes encounters with ATV riders and a search for an illegal alligator.

 Ray Routhier and Susan Cover wrote this story that appeared in the Kennebec Journal on January 24, 2013.

Isn’t it amazing what Maine game wardens are doing (and what sportsmen are paying for) these days?

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. George also hosts, with Harry Vanderweide, a TV talk show called Wildfire, now in its 13th year and focused on hunting, fishing, environmental, and conservation issues. The show is owned and produced by Maine Audubon and seen on its website as well as on the Time Warner cable TV station throughout the state.