by James A. Swan, Ph.D. - Tuesday, September 6, 2016
We hunters and Americans in general owe many thanks to our nation’s game wardens. In addition to enforcing our nation’s laws against poaching, these wildlife and conservation law officers constantly patrol our state and federal lands and also respond to violations on private property all to keep wildlife held in the public trust protected for the public. And they do not hesitate to put their lives on the line. Here is just one case in point.
At 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) game warden on patrol in Humbolt County, Calif., observed a vehicle with several persons spotlighting deer. The warden attempted to conduct a law-enforcement stop when someone in the rear of the vehicle fired at him. A vehicle pursuit ensued with the suspects crashing off the road then fleeing into the woods.
The reality is that wardens typically patrol alone and without immediate backup.
“Due to the presence of multiple suspects, their intent on shooting him and lack of immediate assistance, the warden waited for help before continuing the search,” according to CAFW information officer, Captain Patrick Foy.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s (DA) Office immediately took over the investigation. When investigators learned that 24-year-old Shawn Eugene Hof Jr. was one of the suspects, the Sheriff’s Office obtained a $500,000 Ramey Warrant for Hof’s arrest. Hof is described as 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information regarding this case or related criminal activity should contact the sheriff’s office at (707)-445-7251 or its Crime Tip line at (707)-268-2539. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to Hof's capture, arrest, and conviction.
State game wardens put their lives on the line every day in the name of wildlife management and conservation for the benefit of all. They are also the only law enforcement officers who teach law-abiding Americans to hunt and shoot as part of their job in support of our outdoor heritage. As you go hunting, fishing or wildlife watching, if you see a state or federal game warden, know that they are short-handed and need all the support they can get.
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