By Doug Leier
When I was a kid, I thought being a game warden would be a neat career, but certainly a difficult job to land.
As a former warden who understands the time commitment of the job, challenges and rewards I initially fell into the category of wrongly thinking I wouldn’t get hired. Yet, I did, and so could you and the only way to find out is to apply.
The reason I bring this up is the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled an examination to select district game warden candidates. The test is June 11 at 10 a.m. at the department’s main office in Bismarck.
The hiring process isn’t open a few times a year, every year or on any regular schedule. The Game and Fish Department schedules the test when they have open positions.
As sought after as the career is typically, the competition is keen and the job requirements mean the testing, training and field training, along with fulfilling the probationary period, are all necessary to make sure the Department and wardens meet the standards established to ensure the job duties are met.
The first step is meeting the eligibility requirements:
- Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree at time of hire.
- Have a valid driver’s license and a current North Dakota peace officer license.
- Or be eligible to be licensed.
- Candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive background check.
- Must not have a record of any felony convictions.
Within the job eligibility requirements, a degree in criminal justice, fisheries and wildlife management or related field is not required, but is beneficial. Game wardens have been hired from various backgrounds and part of the pedigree would include an interest in law enforcement and knowledge of fish and wildlife, but if you do meet the requirements, I’d encourage you to apply. Don’t hesitate to contact your local warden or the enforcement division headquarters in Bismarck if you have any questions.
Wardens typically work alone under varied conditions, at all hours of the day, night and weekends. In addition to law enforcement duties, wardens assist in the areas of public relations, education programs and hunter and boat safety education.
Understand, the work of a game warden closely follows hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation, but a great angler or avid hunter doesn’t equate to a preferred game warden candidate as much as being a baseball fan means you’d be a great pitcher or coach.
I can relate on a personal note as one who started off my Game and Fish career as a warden in Bottineau and then West Fargo, the work is second to none in many categories and can attest to the personal thought of wondering if I’d make the cut. I did and enjoyed the job.
There’s no need to put it off and say, “maybe next time.” Take the test and see what happens.
For more information, see the district game warden job announcement on the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.
Applicants must register no later than June 8 by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.