Episode 17: How to Become a PA State Game Warden, Part Two

If you ask a Pennsylvania state game warden what their dream job is, they are likely to tell you that it’s being a game warden. In part two of “How to Become a State Game Warden” Pennsylvania Game Commission Marketing Director Matt Morrett talks with Assistant Director of Training Joel Gibble and State Game Warden (SGW) Travis O’Neill about how becoming a game warden is the career they wanted to pursue.

Every state has some form of wildlife protection. Here in Pennsylvania, we refer to our officers as game wardens. The Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg is the academy where our game wardens go to train. In addition to the physical and educational requirements, game wardens must have an appreciation for wildlife and natural resources to be truly successful in their careers.

Assistant Director Gibble and SGW O’Neill grew up with true passions for the outdoors, from hunting, fishing and beyond. They have both served our country in the military and they both work every day to serve the mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The pair discusses the unique role that game wardens have and how their primary mission is protecting wildlife, but the ways in which that is accomplished – through education, communication and enforcement – can look a little different on a daily basis.

Assistant Director Gibble served as a game warden in Schuylkill County for several years before coming on board to help train the next generation of game wardens. He gives plenty of advice to those interested in becoming a game warden and also touches on some of the other opportunities that are available within the agency. He also shares memories from some of his best days and worst days in the field and how they helped to shape his career as a game warden.

SGW O’Neill is an Allegheny County native and recent graduate of the Ross Leffler School of Conservation’s 32nd class. Believe it or not, he nearly talked himself out of applying for the class, which he explains in the episode. He went on to receive the class award for academics, with a score of 96.9 percent and gave the class speech at the graduation in February. Watch it here: He was recently assigned to his first district in Butler County and he tells some stories about his first few weeks on the job.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is now accepting applications through April 10 for its 34th class of state game wardens. Learn more or apply here: Click here to listen to “How to Become a State Game Warden, Part One:”

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