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Behind the Badge

Boat on trailer in truck rearview mirror

Avoiding Trouble

In this Behind the Badge, Warden Kenneth Skuza offers some simple tips to smooth your summer boating experience.

Graphic of two people stranded on an island

The Ill-Advised Float Trip

The link between actions and probable consequences sometimes escapes us when we’re young as was the case with the young gentlemen in this Behind the Badge by Warden Shawn Sperling.


The Paddlefish

Paddlefish season in North Dakota generally lasts just 2-3 weeks each spring and is never boring for game wardens. Read some of their stories in this post by Warden Keenan Snyder.

Award winners

North Dakota Peace Officers Association Lifesaving Award

Game wardens Jerad Bluem and Jeff Sieger have been awarded the North Dakota Peace Officers Association Lifesaving Award for their role in saving the life of a boater. 

Illustration of smartphone with gun and pheasants flying out of it

Technologically Challenged

Technology, as is so often the case, is a double-edged sword both for those who hunt and fish and for those tasked with enforcing hunting and fishing laws, as is evidenced by this post by Game Warden Erik Schmidt.

Girl ice fishing

A First

Sometimes it is the little things you remember most as demonstrated in this post by Game Warden Michael Sedlacek.

Poaching Charges - Boutilier

The McLean County States Attorney’s office has charged Gordon Boutilier, Hazen, with exploitation of wildlife, a class C felony. Boutilier is accused of repeatedly hunting and fishing when his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were under suspension.


Becoming a Game Warden

Getting hired is just the first step in becoming a game warden. Learn more about the extensive training new wardens receive in this post by Game Warden Blake Riewer.

Wardens patrolling in boat

District Game Warden Employment Opportunity (Spring 2022)

Testing Announcement – The Department will be holding a test for a District Game Warden position on May 24, 2022 in Bismarck, ND.

prairie potholes seen from the air

A Day in the Life of (Installment 3)

There are 32 field game wardens in North Dakota to cover the state’s approximately 70,700 square miles. Get a feel for what the job is like in this post by Game Warden Peter Miley.

Wardens working in the field

The Year-Round Busy Season

With each of North Dakota’s seasons comes a shift in focus for the state’s game wardens. Follow one warden, Joseph Lucas, through the seasons in this Behind the Badge.

Map with red pins

A Day in the Life of (Installment 2)...

In this post, ride along with District Game Warden Connor Folkers as he navigates a day in the life of a game warden.

Complaints Department sign

Oh the Things You’ll Hear…

A sense of humor is virtually a job requirement for game wardens. Learn why in this Behind the Badge.

White-tailed deer fighting

Lessons Learned

Oftentimes in the field things don't go according to plan which can sometimes make a day on the job as a game warden...well...a wee bit problematic.

Dead cow moose

Moose Poaching - Request for Information

Between the hours of 5:00 p.m. on February 24 and 8:00 a.m. on February 25, 2022, a cow moose was shot and left to rot on the side of the road approximately 1 mile south of Hanks, ND in Williams County.

Path with signpost

My Path to the Badge

The path to becoming a Game Warden can take many twists and turns. Read one warden's story in this week's Behind the Badge.

Sign post

Honesty Matters

At times honesty can seem like a rare and undervalued resource. But honesty still means something and can make a big difference in difficult situations as Game Warden Peter Miley relates in this Behind the Badge post.

Duck Hunters

The Duck

How many hunters does it take to harvest a duck? More than you might think...

White-tailed deer with locked antlers

Deer Duel

Sometimes in a battle between rutting bucks neither wins. Sometimes both are lucky to survive. Read one pair's story from District Game Warden Alan Howard.

Ice fishing pole and line at ice hole

Tall Tales - Ice Fishing Edition

For some anglers, the legal maximum limit of poles just seems too limiting, and they're willing to go the extra mile to try and hide that illegal additional pole or 2...or 3...or 11...

Cartoon car packed with fish

Hot Bite on a Cold Day

Devils Lake can offer some amazing fall fishing making it easy for anglers to catch their limit of fish…and then some. Read more in this Behind The Badge post from Game Warden Drew Johnson.

Wardens with trick-or-treating kids

Positive Times

Game wardens do a lot for our communities including stepping outside of their core duties and assisting with efforts to provide our kids with positive experiences. Learn more in this post by Game Warden Jerad Bluem.

Moose running


When dealing with people who have committed a hunting violation, wardens are often treated to lies and evasion, so much so that encountering honesty and integrity can come as a bit of a shock.

Deer target

You Never Know...

Sometimes the call from dispatch ends up being about a serious incident, sometimes...not so much...

People working on getting an ice house and truck out of the water

Treacherous Ice

Ice fishing is a much loved and time honored sport here in North Dakota, but it has its treacherous side as Warden Ken Skuza can attest. 

People in a boat on a ND lake

Boating Lifestyle

While boating started out as a hobby for District Game Warden Shawn Sperling, it led him to his profession. 

Young hunters duck hunting at sunrise

Stories from the Old-Timer

Sometimes the experience of mentoring a new hunter can rival the experience of hunting itself and create cherished memories, as Warden Tim Phalen illustrates in this Stories from the Old-Timer.

Poached deer

Deer Poaching - Request for Information

Game and Fish officials are looking for information in connection to a deer poaching case at the Cass County wildlife club gun range near Casselton. One young button buck was shot and left on the gun range west of Casselton. The deer was most likely shot in the evening of October 15 or early morning of October 16, 2021.