The Game Warden’s Son by Steven T. Callan
Awarded “Best Outdoor Book” of 2016 by the Outdoor Writers Association of California
The Game Warden’s Son (272 pages), is the new memoir by retired fish and game warden, Steven T. Callan. In a follow-up to his 2013 memoir, Badges, Bears, and Eagles, Callan relates a half century of adventures and investigations from the early 1950s into the 21st century, featuring California wildlife officers: the author’s father, his colleagues, and himself.
“Callan’s writing is dynamic and authoritative, with an episodic structure that will keep experts and novice readers turning the pages. The dialogue, sharp and resourceful, helps to move the story forward without bogging down the narrative structure.”
—Dan Good, NY Daily News
“Filled with true-life stories, they are all written in an exciting manner that puts you in the middle of the action. And action there is! Game wardens seldom have nearby backup, and they need to be resourceful and self-confident when enforcing game laws. After all, almost everyone they come in contact with is armed! Fascinating book, and a must-read.”
—Bill Karr, Western Outdoor News
“A witty and enlightening memoir, The Game Warden’s Son brims over with tales of stake-outs using disguises and subterfuge to trap transgressors…. The book’s slang or jargon related to wildlife is a fun bonus and makes the timely account of environmental protection even more enjoyable.” Read more….
—Jane Manaster for The Manhattan Book Review
Publishers Weekly called Badges, Bears, and Eagles, “Jaw-dropping, funny, tragic, enraging, exciting, and hopeful—sometimes all at once.” The memoir was a ForeWord Reviews 2013 Book of the Year Finalist.
Retired game warden Steven T. Callan’s love of nature and passion for protecting wildlife took root long before he experienced the adventures described in his memoir, Badges, Bears, and Eagles. In The Game Warden’s Son, he recounts more of his own investigations, along with those of his game warden father and their colleagues. Intertwined with a half century of adventures and investigations is a story of the lifelong relationship between a boy and his father.
The book begins in the 1950s in the canyons and on the beaches of San Diego with incidents that sparked Steven’s youthful imagination. After an idyllic boyhood in the Northern Sacramento Valley farm town of Orland, where he rode on patrol with his father, Steven became a game warden himself in the early ’70s, joining the “desert rats” who patrolled the California counties banking the Colorado River.
With wry humor, Callan tells how he and his fellow officers outwitted the perpetrators—most of them crafty, some of them hilariously foolish—who poached deer, lobsters, and abalone, baited bears and sold their parts, shot wild ducks to supply restaurants, and killed songbirds for epicurean dinner tables. Their cases took them across the Channel Islands, through the back alleys of San Francisco, up the Sacramento Valley, into the Sierras, and along California’s pristine North Coast. While these dedicated wardens saw their share of greed, they also appreciated the many hunters and fishermen who obeyed the laws and respected the earth’s resources.
In the end, it was all about protecting California’s natural resources for future generations, which is what Callan and company did, enjoying themselves every step of the way.
Says Callan, “Writing this follow-up to Badges, Bears, and Eagles has been a labor of love, involving countless hours of research, reconnection with old friends and associates, and endless hours of writing and rewriting. During the process, I called to mind a lifetime of unforgettable experiences, a treasure trove of fond memories, and more than a few laughs.”
Steven T. Callan was born in San Diego, California. With an insatiable interest in wildlife, particularly waterfowl, he never missed an opportunity to ride along on patrol with his father, a California Fish and Game warden. Steve graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1970 and continued with graduate work at California State University, Sacramento. Hired by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1974, he spent thirty years as a warden/patrol lieutenant, starting his career near the Colorado River, moving on to Riverside/San Bernardino, and finally ending up in Shasta County (Redding). Steve and his wife, Kathleen, support many environmental causes. Click here to find Steven online.
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