At DownEast.com, George Smith has an informative post about the range of duties that occupied Maine game wardens' days during the past year. As I note in all my books, wardens have a diverse set of responsibilities that change with the season and the weather. The job is never boring, to say the least, and the ever-changing assignments certainly offer good material for a crime novelist. It's worth reading George's entire post (which provides historical context), but the recent numbers themselves tell a surprising story.
In 2011 Maine wardens spent:
- 30.1 percent of their time on hunting, trapping, and wildlife enforcement
- 20.9 percent on fishing enforcement
- 13.8 percent watercraft enforcement
- 10 percent administration
- 7.2 percent ATV enforcement
- 6.2 percent snowmobile enforcement
- 3.7 percent search and rescue
- 3.3 percent training
- 1.6 percent general law enforcement
- 1.3 percent wildlife/human conflicts
- 1.1 percent assisting other agencies
- .8 percent aviation
To me the big suprise was how little time the Warden Service spent on search and rescue, considering the amount of media coverage it gets in the state of Maine. Then again, one has to admit that "administration" doesn't make for gripping TV news segments.