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The Warden's Words

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An introduction to Idaho Game Wardens

    This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing column for this newspaper. I know I will be able to reach many folks on both sides of the border. What I will be writing about is meant to be informative or to recount my observations during my work. This will not be a technical column advising where to fish or hunt nor what equipment to use. I am sure most of you reading this would be able to teach me. Matter of fact the folks living in the Clark Fork River Valley have been my teachers for the 21 years I have been the Game Warden in Clark Fork. You would not believe the stuff I have been taught.

    That’s right, I did say Game Warden. Now, before deciding to skip the rest of the article, give me a chance to introduce the Idaho Wardens you may meet. I do not plan to introduce you to the entire Fish and Game Department for Idaho, just those folks you may encounter while playing in the Idaho Panhandle.

    The southern end of the North district is handled by Larry Miller.  Stationed in the Rathdrum area he covers the area south of Sandpoint. Ed Jochum, stationed in Sandpoint, is our supervisor, and covers the area in and around Sandpoint. Don Carr, 28 year veteran, recently retired from the Priest River district and his replacement, ten- year veteran Rob Soumas, is in the process of getting his feet on the ground. Greg Johnson is stationed in the Bonners Ferry area. We also have two specialty officers. Brian Johnson is the Grizzly Bear and Caribou officer and Tom Whalen is the Bull Trout officer. And, yours truly, John “JJ” Scott working out of Clark Fork.

    As you can see there are only seven officers to handle most everything north of Coeur d’Alene. We do our best and wish we could do more. One thing I hope to accomplish, with these articles, is to show that wardens are human. We live in our communities, raise our families and make mistakes just like all of you. We are dedicated to our work and the reasons are as varied as the officers. I can write more about that in another article.

    I do want to mention a little about an important program in its second year. Citizens have been involved in salvaging game animals; processing and distributing the meat to those folks needing a little help. Last year the salvage groups processed 17 moose and over 70 deer and helped over 175 families or individuals. They do this to help their community. They are hard at it again this year and have meat available. If you could use a little help or know someone that could, give me a call at 266-1501. More on this program in a later article.

    As this is my first article and I am not a writer, my eyes are beginning to cross. I need to get outside and maybe go for a snowmobile ride. I’m out of here. Enjoy what we have—enjoy it with the family and leave it better than when you found it.


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JJ Scott JJ Scott was a Fish & Game warden for the state of Idaho, now retired

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