Fish and game wardens enforce the laws that protect fish and wildlife.
Fish and game wardens perform the following duties:
- Monitor wildlife
- Enforce laws
- Work with the public
Fish and game wardens monitor wildlife populations. The term wildlife applies to animals that are not raised by humans, such as deer and wolves. Wardens want to be sure there are not too many or too few of each type of animal. Wardens gather data through research and observation. If the number of animals is low, wardens recommend changes to protect animals. If the number of animals is high, wardens must determine how to decrease the number. In addition, wardens must determine whether the change in the number of animals is a long-term event or just a one-year change.
Wardens also enforce hunting and fishing laws. They check that hunters and fishers have the proper licenses and are not taking too many animals. Wardens may write tickets when they find people who have broken the law. They may also seize hunters' or fishers' gear, or their catch if it was caught illegally. In addition, they promote hunter safety and investigate hunting accidents. Fish and game wardens may use cars, boats, horses, or airplanes to monitor wildlife areas.
Some wardens become wildlife inspectors or special agents. Wildlife inspectors work at major U.S. entry ports to decrease the illegal trade of fish and wildlife. Special agents are trained as criminal investigators. They may work undercover to expose illegal businesses, such as people hunting animals that are at risk of being extinct.
Work with the public
Fish and game wardens frequently work with the public. They may make presentations to schools or sporting clubs about where animals live, how they survive, and what is being done to protect them.
Fish and game wardens also work with people who live near wildlife areas. They investigate property or crops that may have been damaged by animals. Wardens suggest ways that property owners can prevent future damage. They also record the amount of damage and estimate how much the owners will be paid for their loss.