Filling Multiple Shoes
District Game Warden Clayton Edstrom
It seems like it was just the other day that I began my journey with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
But, I have been working in four divisions in three locations since 2020.
It all started back when I was in college at North Dakota State University when my college roommate told me that I should apply to a be a fisheries seasonal in Williston.
At first, I was hesitant because I had never been to that area before and I would not know anyone within 200 miles.
But my roommate explained to me how great the job was and more importantly, how great the other employees were.
So, I took a chance and set off for Williston while I was still finishing up my bachelor’s degree online in biology.
Throughout that summer, I learned a lot about fisheries management techniques and by the end had gained a lot of knowledge.
I then was offered to stay a little longer to assist the Wildlife Health Lab and take CWD samples during deer season and learned about disease and how it effects different animals.
I was taught a lot about both the fisheries and the wildlife that the state of North Dakota had to offer, along with meeting a lot of great people at the Williston office that I still keep in contact with today.
After that summer, I knew that I needed to go back because I liked it so much.
The following summer, I went back to Williston and this time, as a wildlife seasonal.
At this point in time, I knew I wanted to become a game warden and I wanted to experience both sides of the spectrum, both fisheries and wildlife.
During the time I was working as a wildlife seasonal, I had noticed a job opening in Bismarck for a wildlife technician for the Wildlife Health Lab.
With the knowledge I gained from my time spent as a wildlife seasonal along with my fisheries experience and taking CWD samples the fall before, I applied for the job, and it was offered to me.
At the same time, there were openings for being a game warden and I had also applied for that position.
On my very first day of being a wildlife technician, I had received a call from chief warden Scott Winkelman offering me a position as a game warden.
I felt honored at the opportunity to become a game warden for a state with so many fishing and hunting opportunities and accepted the position at the Killdeer duty station.
I have been living in Killdeer coming up on two years now and have experienced a lot throughout the job.
I appreciate all the opportunities that the department has offered me throughout my career.
If you’re reading this article, there’s no question that you appreciate the fish and wildlife that the state of North Dakota has to offer, just like me, and I encourage you to learn from my journey and get experience wherever and with whatever the department has to offer.