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  • Question about Conservation Officers!

    I am a mother if a incoming high school freshman...He has expressed intrest to become a conservation officer....Does anyone have any helpful information that would help us gear his education towards his goal... What classes should he take, both in high school and in college.....We live in Central Illinois...

    Thanks
    Val

  • #2
    Conservation Officers

    Originally posted by valsalon View Post
    I am a mother if a incoming high school freshman...He has expressed intrest to become a conservation officer....Does anyone have any helpful information that would help us gear his education towards his goal... What classes should he take, both in high school and in college.....We live in Central Illinois...

    Thanks
    Val
    Obviously, the first thing your young man needs to do is graduate from high school. His normal high school curriculum should do him quite well. I would suggest he do well in Math,(not necessarily higher Math, it's OK too),English, Grammar and Composition. If he has the opportunity, writing for the school paper, or being on the yearbook staff could be quite helpful. These activities can hone writing skills, which are a requirement for any Law Enforcement Officer. Your son needs to avoid any situations involving underage drinking, and any use of illegal drugs/substances. Traffic citations, especially involving multiple citations need to be avoided. College can be helpful, as can a successful tour in the Armed Forces. Volunteer work, either through school, church, or other avenues, can be very helpful. Have your Son check out your State's Conservation Dept website. A great deal of information concerning Game Warden qualifications/requirements can be obtained there. Tell your young Man to stay focussed. If he becomes interested in other lines of work, that's okay too. Hope this helps a little.

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    • #3
      Here ya go... http://dnr.state.il.us/Law3/careernew.htm

      My advice is to encourage him to earn a B.A. in his second choice career in case the first choice doesn't work out.

      IDNR doesn't care what a candidates degree is in, they simply require that he/she has one.

      Buisness Mgmt. might be a good choice.

      There is a lot of competition for very few positions. It'll help if he's in very good physical condition. Participation on the track team ain't a bad thing down here as our cadets run 21 miles per week during training.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Camo Cop View Post
        There is a lot of competition for very few positions.
        That's the case around here as well. Its a very tough field to break into, but can be one of the more rewarding LE career fields, especially for those with a strong love of the outdoors.
        Originally posted by kontemplerande
        Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by valsalon View Post
          I am a mother if a incoming high school freshman...He has expressed intrest to become a conservation officer....Does anyone have any helpful information that would help us gear his education towards his goal... What classes should he take, both in high school and in college.....We live in Central Illinois...

          Thanks
          Val
          Hi, Mom

          I started off as a conservation officer. I kinda got through the back door, so I'm an exception to the general rule.

          In my state, for about any state job, it takes persistance and a political ally. That's your job. Lots of people want to be conservation officers, but the positions are limited and they are very low on the State's budget agenda. Rank is hard to get, and the job does not pay in accordance with the effort the Game Wardens put out. It's a fine job, but it's no way to make a great deal of money.

          No special talent, just pretty good grades and stay out of trouble. They'll teach the kid all he needs to know at the academy.

          Keep hanging in there, and speak with your representative frequently about your son's desire. A good relationship with a state represenative can mean a lot.

          Sorry, but that's the way it works. At least in my state.
          "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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          • #6
            Don't overlook Federal jobs with Fish & Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, National Marine Fisheries, etc. They can provide wider opportunities all across the country. He might also consider some courses in Biology, and some colleges offer Game Management courses.
            "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
            John Stuart Mill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
              Don't overlook Federal jobs with Fish & Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, National Marine Fisheries, etc. They can provide wider opportunities all across the country. He might also consider some courses in Biology, and some colleges offer Game Management courses.
              That's a good idea. When someone says "Conservation Officer" I tend to see it in LE terms, and this being a LE board, I assumed that the son wanted to actually enforce laws.

              US Park Rangers generally don't carry weapons, but they should. They wear big hats and talk to people and write tickets for campfires, etc. I don't know about the other agencies.

              But you really don't need a college degree to enforce game laws, any more than you need one to enforce traffic laws. Nor do you need any special knowledge of wildlife.
              "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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              • #8
                Gene, the agencies I listed (and many others) are every bit as Law Enforcement as you are. BLM Rangers, Forest Service LEO, NMF Agents, Fish & Wildlife officers all make arrests, but their crooks go to Federal Court. And they can get more time in the slammer than in state court for poaching, envronmental crimes, and CITES viloations (Convention on the International Traffic in Endangered Species). Plus all the usual DUI/assault/murder/traffic that they happen into.
                "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                John Stuart Mill

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                • #9
                  I live in central illinois and i know many conservation officers. Illinois is one of the better paying states for CPO' s they are on par with the state police. Tell your son to study hard and make good grades both in high school and college. In addition if he is interested in law enforcement in general, encourage him to apply with local PD's until he gets hired, many CPO's i know came from local police depts. Also when he is in college, it might not hurt for him to volunteer for your district reps and state senator in the general assembly. Its not right, but a letter and a call from these individuals can help him get hired....hope this helps.
                  "I am... reminded of something Cardinal Wolsey once told me. That I should only ever tell the king what he ought to do, not what he could do; for if the lion knows his own strength, no man could control him". Sir Thomas More

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gene L View Post
                    That's a good idea. When someone says "Conservation Officer" I tend to see it in LE terms, and this being a LE board, I assumed that the son wanted to actually enforce laws.

                    US Park Rangers generally don't carry weapons, but they should. They wear big hats and talk to people and write tickets for campfires, etc. I don't know about the other agencies.

                    But you really don't need a college degree to enforce game laws, any more than you need one to enforce traffic laws. Nor do you need any special knowledge of wildlife.

                    The U.S. National Park Service has two people-oriented ranger positions. Interpretive positions talk to people, give tours, research the natural history of the area, and often they help out with prescribed burns and search and rescue.

                    The protective rangers are full law enforcement officers. They've been to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy (if they're full time), they make arrests, carry guns, and participate in every arean of law enforcement: criminal, traffic, highway, interdiction, wildlife and boating enforcement, etc. so they don't just wear big hats and talk to people.

                    THERE ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT NATIONAL PARK RANGERS...even at the state level here in Arkansas.

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                    • #11
                      It's a great career to get in, but VERY tough. If he's interested in being a Conservation Officer I'm sure that he's interested in natural resources. A B.S. in some sort of natural resource management or resource recreation will go a long way for him. Just north of you in Wisconsin is one of the best Natural Resource Colleges in the country, my good old alma mater, UW-Stevens Point. I just graduated with a BS in General Resource Management and a minor in environmental law enforcement. UWSP also has the Student Law Enforcement Association (SLEA) which emphasizes the role of conservation wardens. Hundreds of opportunities exist with SLEA, up to and including offering internships with Wisconsin wardens. (http://www.uwsp.edu/stuorg/stulawenforce/) if you're curious.

                      I'm sure there's a number of good colleges in Illinois offering degrees in some sort of NR management as well.

                      With the competition for Wardens being so tough, the NR degree will also allow him to work in another field, and the ELE minor also makes him certifiable as a LEO in Wisconsin (the academy is a requirement for the minor). If LE really interests him, he can work "regular" LE for a while and work his way into the Conservation Enforcement.

                      Wisconsin also has fully certified park rangers, or natural resource officers, which is what I'm currently doing.

                      Best of luck to your son!

                      P.S. I just re-read your post and it says he's in incoming high school freshmen. This is still a great time for him to work his way in. In high school I did a couple of ride-alongs with the warden in my county. He could probably try setting something up with an Illinois Warden and getting an early start. Most importantly, get that high school diploma and stay out of trouble!
                      Last edited by Guams; 06-06-2007, 11:06 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Thank You

                        Thank you to everyone that posted on this thread for me....All of you have good information...I don't think he will have a problem with any of the enviromental sciences part of any program...he is a wiz at them now....as matter of fact he has already taken out a study hall next year for a biology/science class.....He has read all of your posts, and his number one comment about them is.....he will definatly stay out of trouble....we as a parent to child relationship have a real good line of communication and talk about everything..drugs....booze...sex....so he knows how I feel, and so far so good on turning down the peer pressure from other kids, I am really proud of him.....Again Thanks For all your comments


                        Val

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                        • #13
                          I asked myself what a "conversation officer" was about 12 times before my dyslexia subsided and I realized that you were talking about conservation.
                          "The majority of people are sheep. Wolves prey on the sheep. You are the sheepdog. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. " -Lt. Col. Grossman

                          "We are righteous under the law, and we are righteous under God!" -Chief T. Fleming

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                          • #14
                            I also work in central Illinois. Because I am a deputy I work close from time to time with conservation officers.
                            From my observations, and I could be incorrect, conservation officers are generally the hunting and wildlife types. What I mean is they were well into hunting and boating and the like well before they got the job. Just like any other department they have their upside and downside. I personally do not have any interest in the job, I would be lost, but the guys I know who work the job seem to enjoy it.
                            Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pujolsfan146 View Post
                              I also work in central Illinois. Because I am a deputy I work close from time to time with conservation officers.
                              From my observations, and I could be incorrect, conservation officers are generally the hunting and wildlife types. What I mean is they were well into hunting and boating and the like well before they got the job. Just like any other department they have their upside and downside. I personally do not have any interest in the job, I would be lost, but the guys I know who work the job seem to enjoy it.
                              Going off what pujolsfan146 said, if your son enjoys hunting, fishing, etc he may want to consider working in a different state. Seeing as how they enforce the game/fish/recreation laws, he won't receive much, if any, time off during those seasons, mainly the hunting season, to partake. All of the Wardens I've ever talked to express that. AND they love their job.
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