Generally, the applicant pool for game warden positions is huge. However, this is not currently the case in Maine.
The game warden Sergeant in charge of hiring new wardens for Maine told the Bangor Daily News about the precipitous drop in the number of applicants. When Den Menard sought to become a game warden in the early 1990s, 1700 other people applied for the ten positions available. Now he says that the number of applicants has ranged from 47 to 80 since he took over the position in 2008.
The Maine Warden Service is currently in the midst of hiring new game wardens, and they are looking for a larger pool of recruits. They are taking proactive steps to make this happen. For instance, instead of a six-week period of accepting applications, the agency has extended it to three months. The current application process runs through June 22.
Menard thinks that many people have a misconception about what it takes to become a game warden in Maine. For instance, the agency does not require a college degree. He also thinks that many qualified candidates do not realize they have what it takes to become a game warden. Maine’s Warden Service is looking for people that like to hunt, fish, and spend time in the outdoors. Many don’t realize they are totally qualified to become game wardens.
Another strategy is to focus on different regions of Maine. Menard said that the Warden Service had trouble filling positions in rural areas like Washington and Arroostook counties. To counter this, they will be holding informational meetings about becoming a game warden in Fort Kent, Houlton, Presque Isle, East Machias, Dover-Foxcroft, and Scarborough. Recruiters hope that as people in these areas become more enlightened about what being a game warden entails, they may realize they want to become one.
The Maine Warden Service has become more high profile since the debut of the Animal Planet show North Woods Law, but many of its fans are too young to become game wardens. Menard expects that once they become older, they may capitalize on their passion for the outdoors and pursue a career with the Maine Warden Service.