STATEWIDE — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is experiencing a shortage of game wardens.
Throughout the past several years, the Maine Warden Service has been losing staff members.
“Mostly due to retirements and kind of natural progression of where we’re at as an agency,” said Lt. Aaron Cross of the Maine Warden Service.
According to Cross, the warden service is actively recruiting to fill positions.
“We had 14 vacancies, and we recently hired seven, so we were able to hire seven of those,” said Sgt. Tom McKenney of the Maine Warden Service. “It’s been going well. We do have struggles along with probably every other law enforcement agency.”
Cross said game wardens are responsible for enforcing recreational vehicle rules and fish and wildlife rules as well as responding to search and rescue calls.
“All of those things combined are calls for service throughout the state are always on the rise, so any shortage of staff at all creates extra burden on our current staff,” Cross said. “We’re always gonna be there to respond to calls and make sure people are safe and enjoying the outdoors responsibly.”
Although folks are hired from all walks of life, McKenney said the ideal game warden candidate is someone who has spent a lot of time outdoors doing things, such as hunting and fishing.
“We also look for people that are hardworking people that are social that are able to interact with the public,” McKenney said.
“We’re looking for honest, hardworking folks that are self-motivated,” Cross said.
McKenney said the first two steps required for applying to the position are taking an alert test and a PT test.
“It’s a way for us to evaluate the person and if they’re a qualified candidate for us,” he said.
If you are interested in becoming a game warden, Cross recommends reaching out to your local game warden to learn more about the job and then visiting the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s website to find out more about the application process.