The job of a conservation officer is possibly one of the most vital jobs to the outdoorsman; they are responsible for catching and punishing the people that threaten the resource. Because the DNR provides such an important service and because they are constantly talking with hunters and anglers they often have a high stress and danger level.
Michigan DNR officers for example have to deal with a variety of conditions, up here in Michigan we can get snow, ice, and rain all within a short period of time. This means that officers must be constantly evaluating the situation and constantly thinking on their feet. Another obstacle that DNR officers must overcome is deciphering people, the ability to know if somebody is telling the truth or not is vital when trying to stay a few steps ahead of the poachers.
In order for an officer to become skilled in this kind of occupation officers must first attend a training academy, however, most states also require their officers to have a bachelor degree in zoology, marine biology, phycology, and/or other science degrees. While having schooling is great the officer must also be able to handle themselves and the people and resources they are striving to serve and protect. Indiana for example trains their DNR officers with a variety firearms and tactics, some officers even get the chance to train with the military.
Even with the dangers and stresses of the job it is still a highly sought after job, in Michigan there is only 230 concervation officers in employment. This means that there is rarely openings, but when there is openings you can bet there will be thousands of applications for that one opening. Remember, when you apply for this job you aren’t applying to be just a concervation officer, you are also applying to become a peace officer, border patrol, and drug enforcement. Not only does a DNR officer have to complete all of these jobs, they are often outnumbered. In 2010 there was 686,000 hunters and roughly 750,000 anglers, that alone equals out to being out numbered 6243:1, not counting criminals and poachers.
The job of a game warden is a dangerous but rewarding job, anybody who loves the resource and wants to become a police officer should look into what it takes to become one of the elite, game wardens. They would much rather be out talking shop with anglers and hunters than be out arresting them, help make their job and your life easier by being a responsible outdoorsman.