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Backcountry Lawman: True Stories from a Florida Game Warden

Backcountry Lawman: True Stories from a Florida Game Warden

by Bob H Lee


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First Place, Florida Outdoor Writers Association Excellence in Craft Award

“High speed chases, shootouts, monkey-fishing, and being urinated on: is Backcountry Lawman a thrilling non-fiction book or just a really good Saturday night?”—Florida Book Review

"If you enjoy outdoor adventure flavored with colorful characters and wry humor, this book is for you. Follow dedicated wildlife officers as they use their wits and skills in the pursuit of poachers and wildlife law violators."—Tom Mastin, forester and managing broker, Mossy Oak Properties Legacy Realty Services
"Lee recounts his amazing and challenging career as a Florida game warden with wit, wisdom, and careful attention to detail. You will travel with him as he boats the St. Johns River, walk beside him as he wades past resting alligators, and listen for that gunshot on a cold Putnam County night."—Jeff Hahr, former patrol supervisor, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
In the underbelly of Florida, hardened poachers operate in the dark, out of sight and away from residents who sleep soundly through the night. But poachers are not the only midnight hunters. In the state’s public wilderness tracts, cattle ranches, and water courses, wildlife thieves are stealthily and silently tracked.
Most people have never imagined the often dicey, comical, and sometimes bizarre job of a Florida game warden. Backcountry Lawman tells what it’s like to catch an armed poacher in the act—alone, at night, without backup or a decent radio to call for help. These stories describe the cat-and-mouse games often played between game wardens and poachers of ducks, turkeys, hogs, deer, gators, and other species. Few people realize that "monkey fishing"—electrocution of catfish—had the same outlaw mystique in the rivers of Florida as moonshining once did in the hills of Georgia and Tennessee.
With thirty years of backcountry patrol experience in Florida, Bob Lee has lived through incidents of legend, including one of the biggest environmental busts in Florida history. His fascinating memoir reveals the danger and the humor in the unsung exploits of game wardens.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813061283
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Series: Florida History and Culture
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 343,119
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Bob H. Lee spent over three decades as a water patrol officer on the St. Johns River and a land patrol lieutenant in Putnam, St. Johns, and Flagler counties. Before retiring in 2007, he taught man-tracking classes through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Author's Notes xi

Introduction 1

1 Meeting the Enemy 3

2 How I Became a Game Warden 13

3 Midnight Ride on a Six-Gallon Gas Can 25

4 Patience 35

5 Running over Vernon Bennett 45

6 Night Poaching on a Motorcycle 55

7 All for a Sack of Fish 70

8 The Cackling Man 77

9 Reconnaissance 84

10 Warden Guy "Gator" Banks 94

11 Night Chase on the St. Johns River 105

12 Thanksgiving Turkey 118

13 Ocklawaha River Boat Chase 125

14 The Choo-Choo-Poo-Poo Case 135

15 When Feathers Fly, Birds Die 152

16 Summer Turkeys 160

17 The Daniel Boone Syndrome 169

18 Close Call 176

19 Night Run 183

20 Warden Hank Starling and Buckshot the Decoy Deer 194

21 Survival Notes 202

22 Marsh Hens, High Tides, and Warden Gator Banks 213

23 Finding Lost Tire Tracks 223

24 Burn Marks 232

Epilogue 237

Acknowledgments 243

Index 245

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