A Maine game warden keeps an eye on boating activity on Sebago Lake. PHOTO BY JOEL CRABTREE/MDIFW

Deputy game wardens

When I was a kid growing up in Maine, I and most of my playmates, who spent our waking lives outdoors, daydreamed of becoming either a Navy carrier pilot or a Maine game warden when we grew up. That never worked out. I split the difference, getting a private pilot’s license and a Maine Guide’s license.

My how times have changed! Kids today spend a lot more of their free time on their iPhones or video games than they do catching exotic butterflies for mounting or chasing chipmunks with BB guns. And, sadly, our contemporary cancel culture movement has seen to it that a career in law enforcement is apparently no longer attractive.

Everything has consequences. Maine’s game warden recruitment program has suffered because of this cultural shift. There was a day, not so long ago, that the Maine Warden Service was inundated with aspiring game warden candidates, whenever it put out the call. Not so today, according to a spokesman for the Maine Warden Service.

So it is a “buyer’s market,” so to speak, and, if you have considered carving a career as a Maine game warden, there is no time like the present. Applications are being accepted for both full-time game wardens and deputy game wardens. 

If the outdoors is where you like to be, if you are physically fit, can pass a background check and would like to dedicate your working life to safeguarding Maine’s fish and wildlife resources and helping others, the Maine Warden Service may be your calling.

The deputy warden program, which offers part-time positions during the summer months, is a good starting point for an aspiring game warden. A deputy warden is involved mainly in boating safety and boating law enforcement, patrolling lakes and inspecting boats for boating law compliance. A successful candidate must possess knowledge of wildlife, hunting, fishing and trapping and a strong desire to work in law enforcement. A willingness to work out of doors in adverse weather conditions, often without assistance, is also important.

As you might surmise, game wardens don’t get rich, but the best ones lead interesting, satisfying careers doing what they love, making a difference, and doing so with honor and a degree of prestige and respect from the communities they serve.

To learn more, go to mainegamewarden.com/gethired.

The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. His email address is [email protected]

V. Paul Reynolds

Columnist at Ellsworth American
The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. His email address is [email protected]

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