More Great Stories from a South Dakota game warden

After reading D.B. McCrea’s first book about his adventures as a South Dakota game warden, I couldn’t wait to read his second book, and it is also a keeper.

In book #2, The Forgotten Lawmen 2, McCrea has moved to the Sioux Falls area, the fastest growing section of South Dakota, and a place filled with poachers. And McCrea is all about catching and stopping them. And that he does. He is both diligent and determined.

He is all over poachers of deer, mourning doves, fish, and more. And his stories will both entertain and amaze you.

But you may be surprised at his disdain for his superiors in the Warden Service. Here’s how it is explained on the back of the book:

“After just eight years he is bestowed with a tremendous professional honor: 1991 Wildlife Officer of the Year. He received this highest honor for his outstanding service to the public and his developing expertise in wildlife law enforcement. But his professionalism and dedication come at a cost. Warden McCrea not only has to battle against committed, unrepentant poachers, he realizes he has to battle against two new and unexpected foes. The first is the ugly and demoralizing actions of state politicians, some of whom seek to diminish, even destroy, his profession. The second, and most disheartening, battle is waged against elements within his own agency. Specifically, the corrupt, unreasonable, often toxic actions and expectations of unsympathetic co-workers who simply refuse to recognize the seemingly endless demands on Warden McCrea and his fellow district game wardens.”


Despite all of that, Warden McCrea remains focused on his important work, and he does that work very well. I guarantee you will enjoy all of his stories in this book. And you will very much appreciate his dedication and service.

As he reports in the final paragraph of this book: “Catching and convicting a poacher was salve to my soul and was the one thing that helped me cope with the inter-agency insanity. Just like a traffic cop can’t catch all the speeders, I knew I couldn’t even begin to catch all the poachers. Even so, I knew if I continued to work hard and brought enough poachers to justice… there were some things I could do.

“I could slow it down and save a lot of wildlife. I could turn a few poachers into reformed poachers who were willing to work with me rather than against me. I could even win the support of a few prickly and pretentious politicians. Best of all was knowing I could take all the fun out of poaching!”

Well said, Warden McCrea, and well done.

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,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.