- Conservationist wardens help keep you safe while hunting or ice fishing.
“Most of what we do, and most of the rules that we regulate, are surrounded by safety rules," says James Yung, conservationist warden for the Department of Natural Resources.
Safety may not be what you’d think wardens are solely focused on, but for James Yung it is.
Yung has met hunters unwilling to follow the rules, but hunters like Michael Baran, think wardens and the rules they enforce are necessary.
“Wardens aren’t as bad as most people think. I mean, they’re doing their job, so we appreciate it," says Baran.
Baran has been hunting for most of his life. His family had hunted at the same camp for three generations.
They’ve always believed wardens help protect the hunting tradition.
“It’s very important. We do our part to make sure that we’re not breaking any laws. And if we see other people that are, that’s what wardens are there for," says Baran. "We’ll send in a tip if something doesn’t seem right to us, but it’s very important to us to keep everyone able to hunt."
Wardens don’t just stick to the woods to make sure people are following the rules. They also patrol the lakes to ensure ice fisherman are following safety rules.
Warden Yung believes people who aren’t following the rules don’t know the rules. He encourages everyone hunting or fishing to educate themselves.
“It doesn’t pay to take a risk, to maybe harvest a fish, or harvest a deer, that could potentially be a danger to somebody else," says Yung.
The rules are what prevents those risks. People who want to see changes in the rules, can make them.
“They have opportunities to come to our public hearings to have input. The rules are really rules that aren’t just made up in Madison. The public does have a role in those rules," says Yung.
Written By: Kalia Baker