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Be Safe Out There – Recruitment Effort Underway for State Game Wardens image
February 22, 2024
Be Safe Out There – Recruitment Effort Underway for State Game Wardens

DiscoverNEPA is all about celebrating Northeastern Pennsylvania’s abundant and vibrant natural spaces. We want you to get outside, relax and unwind in the mountain air, among the towering trees, along the crystal-clear lakes and streams. We just want to make sure everyone enjoys these places safely and respectfully.

That’s why we’re teaming up with state agencies, local conservation authorities and outdoor enthusiasts to bring you expert advice, tips and so much more to help you enjoy NEPA’s great outdoors.

PA Game Commission On Lookout for Qualified State Game Warden Candidates

Game Protector, Conservation Officer, Conservation Agent, Wildlife Trooper, Game Warden. Throughout the United States, we go by many titles (dictated by that specific state’s wildlife agency). At the end of the day, we all have the same duties and goals in mind — to protect that which cannot protect itself, to protect one of our most valuable natural resources, our wildlife resource. To manage and protect wildlife and their habitats, while promoting hunting and trapping for both current and future generations, is a mission statement that guides our everyday duties.


Photo courtesy of PA Game Commission.


In Pennsylvania, we are called State Game Wardens.

Game Wardens have a unique, interesting, and ever important responsibility. Being able to meet those challenges and responsibilities requires men and women who have a passion, respect and overall admiration of all wild places and wild things.

Game Wardens were born out of necessity. In the early 19th century, market hunting was common practice which resulted in dwindling wildlife numbers. Market hunting is the practice of killing and then selling wildlife, with no seasons and bag limits in place. Wildlife and hunting laws had yet to be written and signed into law. This caused the extinction and extirpation of many wildlife species. Something had to be done. And it was.


Photo courtesy of PA Game Commission.


In 1930, Ross Leffler, then president of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, proposed the establishment of a training school for game protectors.

When the training school opened its doors in 1932, in Brockway, Jefferson County, it was the first such conservation officer training school in the world and served as a model for other states to follow. The training school grew in necessity and in 1986, the Ross Leffler School of Conservation moved to the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters, where game wardens are still being trained to this very day.

Game Wardens, by law, are tasked with the enforcement of all wildlife, hunting and trapping laws within Pennsylvania. Although, our jurisdiction goes much further than that. Also, through statutory authority, Game Wardens are sworn officers of the Commonwealth that have the authority to enforce all laws of a misdemeanor or felony, not just game and wildlife laws.


Photo courtesy of PA Game Commission.


Every day is an adventure.

Other duties that are required of a Game Warden can range from wildlife forensics, conducting wildlife surveys, hunter education instruction, public relations and so much more. Game Wardens are truly the jack of all trades. To quote President Theodore Roosevelt, “I want as game protectors men of courage, resolution, and hardihood, who can handle the rifle, ax, and paddle; who can camp out in summer or winter; who can go on snow-shoes, if necessary; who can go through the woods by day or by night without regard to trails.”


Currently, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is seeking qualified candidates to make a career-long commitment to be a Pennsylvania State Game Warden.

If you are interested in a unique law enforcement career and are looking for a demanding, yet fulfilling lifestyle, please visit Game Warden Careers (  for more information. The testing cycle for the 37th class of State Game Warden Cadets will be open until March 7, 2024.


Featured image (top) courtesy of PA Game Commission.