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Sportsman Outdoors

Do you want to be a conservation officer?

Jack Danchak
Posted 11/25/22

In New York, the NYDEC calls their law enforcement Conservation Officers. In Pennsylvania, the Game Commission calls their law enforcement Game Wardens. They both are very similar for what they …

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Sportsman Outdoors

Do you want to be a conservation officer?

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In New York, the NYDEC calls their law enforcement Conservation Officers. In Pennsylvania, the Game Commission calls their law enforcement Game Wardens. They both are very similar for what they do. 

Pennsylvania Game Commission this year held the first two Junior Game Warden Camps in the northcentral and southeast regions of the state. 

The game warden camps give children ages 11 to 15 the opportunity to spend the day with game wardens, gaining hands on experience into all facets of the job, and methods used by game wardens to catch poachers and solve wildlife related crimes. Other activities involve wildlife capture techniques, woodland tracking, and outdoor survival. Game Commission Information and Education Bureau Director Steve Smith said, “When we rolled it out at the beginning to see the response, it proved to be very successful. The camps reached maximum capacity quickly.”

This year marked the first time a camp was offered in every region, and each one reached maximum capacity within hours of being posted on the commission’s website. Approximately 243 children participated in the camps, along with many parents who were invited to watch.

Smith said, “We got a lot of positive comments from the parents who had no idea about all the things that a game warden does. In addition to learning about the skillets of a game warden, campers join Wardens in light physical fitness, activities, confidence building exercises and at hands-on learning stations during the one-day camp.”

Smith visualizes a possible week-long camp held in a central location that gives more in-depth into the job specifics being a game warden. The camp could be implemented in 2023 or 2024 for students in 10th through 12th grades, and prior participation in the junior camp would be required. “It would be for individuals demonstrating a significant interest in becoming game wardens. We intend to continue to develop it.” 

Plans are being made for another round of camps in each region for next year, and dates and locations will be posted on the game commissions website. And just like this year Smith expects each camp to fill quickly.  

Wishing hunters good luck that are going afield for the Pennsylvania firearms deer season that starts on Saturday, November 26. And remember, deer taken in Wayne County, Pa are eligible to be entered in the Democrat newspaper Big Buck Contest.

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