Badges, Bears, and Eagles: The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden

Badges, Bears, and Eagles: The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden

by Steve Callan


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Badges, Bears, and Eagles: The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden by Steve Callan

Over his thirty-year career as a wildlife protection officer for the California Department of Fish and Game, Steve Callan and his longtime working partner, Dave Szody, conducted some of the most fascinating, complex and highly successful wildlife investigations in California history. Callan also collected a wealth of true stories--action-packed, suspenseful and often humorous. In Badges, Bears, and Eagles, Steve provides a vivid first-person account of his adventures. The author and his colleagues outsmart game hogs, thwart fish thieves, and foil outlaws with names like "Squeaky." Steve is even stalked by African lions and mauled by a five-hundred pound Bengal tiger. One of the most important cases of his career begins with a slain bald eagle dropped on the doorstep of the Fish and Game office, along with a note threatening the life of a fellow warden. A decade later, Steve and Dave conduct the investigation of their lives, uncovering a statewide criminal conspiracy to kill California black bears for their valuable gall bladders. It's not all about catching bad guys--in "Saving Lake Mathews," Steve chronicles how he helped save a beloved wildlife sanctuary from development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603811583
Publisher: Epicenter Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Pages: 242
Sales rank: 644,097
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)
Age Range: 15 Years

About the Author

Steven Callan was born in San Diego, California. In 1960, Callan's family moved to the small Northern California farm town of Orland. Steve spent his high school years playing baseball, basketball, hunting and fishing. 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. Callan 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, Warden Steve Callan's first assignment was the Earp Patrol District on the Colorado River. He was promoted to patrol lieutenant in January of 1978, leaving the desert and moving to the metropolitan area of Riverside/San Bernardino. Transferring north to Shasta County in 1981, Lieutenant Callan spent the remainder of his thirty-year enforcement career in Redding. His many adventures and accomplishments are documented in his memoir, BADGES, BEARS AND EAGLES. Steve and his wife, Kathleen, a retired science teacher, are passionate about the environment. They are longtime members of no fewer than a dozen environmental organizations and actively promote environmental causes. Callan has played competitive softball throughout the United States since his college days and in 2004 was inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame. You can find Steven online at

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii
Introduction 1
The Eagle Case 5
Desert Rats 27
Squeaky 33
Dove Opener 41
Swans for Thanksgiving 49
Crowley Trout Opener 55
Metro Wardens 65
Sidewinders 77
Saving Lake Mathews 83
Redding 87
Assault with a Deadly Salmon 91
Big Night at Bull Creek 99
Night Patrol on Lake Shasta 103
Gill Netters 109
Outnumbered 117
Patrol to Fenders Ferry 123
The Unfortunate Tale of Lester Vail 129
Working the Tribs 135
The Fall River Elk Killings 141
Sentinel of the North Coast 155
Banko's Bait Pile 165
Not in My Stream 173
Bears and Bad Guys 179

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Badges, Bears, and Eagles: The True Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To whom it may concern, I would like to precede this post with an introduction, as I am one of several principal characters in the book “Badges Bears & Eagles”. The chapter entails a fabricated series of events depicting the elk poaching incident of 1991 in Fall River Mills California. You can call me Robert Stokes Jr. Hunting is a privilege not a right. I believe my friends, father, and I paid our just dues in regards to our roles in the case. I have since developed a profound respect for the sport and am able to say that I have had my hunting privileges restored. The gaming warden that was on the case actually wrote a letter of recommendation in regards to my character and changed disposition.  It has been nearly twenty two years since the incident and I had thought that I had put my past behind me and moved on, having learned my lesson.  However with the publication of this story, I have a certain amount of angst that I feel would best be expressed in the form of a blog posting on the authors site.  I am not upset, you see, that the story of the case was published. It is true, it happened, I am not proud. I will not make excuses for myself or the others involved; the events are no secret nor are they a great mystery. As stated in the book, the case was highly publicized locally, and the story has circulated through our small town many times. What I find disturbing are: the personal attacks on character, the implication that both my mother and grandfather were involved, and the bastardized facts regarding the evidence, and events that least to our arrests and convictions. First, I would like to address the depictions of the persons within the story. I feel that those involved were depicted as unintelligent hicks with no sense of self preservation. If you have never been to Fall River Mills allow me to inform you that not every rancher has a thick southern drawl, nor do we constantly abbreviate words longer than two syllables.  I, myself, was depicted as a blabbering idiot, jabber jaw. I suppose Mr. Jacobs would have liked to have slept on the flight. What was not written in the book was while sitting handcuffed in the airport I noticed that Jacobs’ money clip had fallen out of his pocket. I was trying to inform him that it had fallen from his pocket but wasn’t able to get out a full sentence before being cut off by a ‘be quiet’ or ‘shut up’. He walked away while a stranger picked and carried off with the clip.  It is also stated “Robbie fled to Alaska instead of going home and facing the music.” I had purchased my tickets for the trip months in advance.  I realize that the time was inopportune. When I was driving back to a friend’s house I met with some suits. Upon asking if I could assist them they informed me that they were looking for a Robert Stokes Jr. “well,” I said “you’re looking at him.” I was assisted in parking the truck at my friend’s before being detained.  I came willingly, and amiably. Secondly, my implicated family were never convicted nor involved. There is no evidence to support the authors own thoughts and opinions. The author is clever for changing the names of the characters within the story. Guaranteeing himself the benefits of the royalties, with impunity. He should be slapped with a few law suits under slander or perjury.  The officials in the case knew who the culprits were. I digress, the floors of the garages, my father’s pickup and any and all tools used were in no way covered in blood, tissue, and hair. They were very, thoroughly, and meticulously cleaned. We realized that what had done wrong, and weren’t senseless about leaving behind tangible evidence. In conclusion, the elk poaching incident was moment of very poor judgment, and a clarification of my objectivity to situations and compulsive decision making in my young adult life. I refuse however to allow a self-proclaimed non-fiction author to propagate and receive money for dramatizing, lying, and insinuating falsehoods regarding my life experience.  Noting the many inaccuracies within my own story I am persuaded that many of the other stories compose are riddled with fabrications. If you ever feel so inclined to learn the truth about what really happened and how our case truly proceeded, please, contact me. No matter how flat the pancake, there are always two sides. Sincerely,  Charles Bethel Jr… similarly Robbie Stokes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Highly recommended.
Clayton_Bardwell More than 1 year ago
Badges, Bears, and Eagles When Badges, Bears, and Eagles arrived in my mailbox I had just started a newly released e-book that I had consulted on as a technical advisor.  I was interested to see how my advice had been put to use. In addition, I had two novels and a war documentary I was in the middle of , not to mention a few must reads on my book shelf and one book-on-tape I was listening to while I traveled for my job. I put the new book on the stack and vowed to get to it when I could.  Then I thought, ‘I’ll just skim it to get the feel for it.’  That lead to reading a few paragraphs and the next thing you know, I’m on the last chapter. Callan does a masterful job of drawing us in.  Unlike other books about game warden adventures, this book gives us the sense that we are getting the whole story, the good and the bad.   Regaled with the misadventures as well as the successes of these brave wardens we learn through clever dialogue how despicable some humans are in their treatment of our sacred natural resources. Badges, Bears, and Eagles is a wild ride you don’t want to miss. Art
CaptainJackEdwards More than 1 year ago
I have read almost every author who writes stories about game wardens and conservation officers and how they protect the fish and wildlife resources of their respective states and provinces. Steve is the best new author I have read in years. If you have read Jim Wictum, Terry Hodges or Terry Grosz, you will love Steve Callan. I am a retired game warden and Steve took me back into the field. It felt like I was on patrol again. His stories and attention to detail are right on. You have to read this book! I am ready for his next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I heartily recommend to anyone, especially anyone who has ever been fishing, hunting, or in any way enjoying the beauty of California's lakes, streams, and trails. Each chapter will hold your interest as you read of the author's long career, as well as those he served with. When you reach the last chapter it will leave you wanting more. The book is nicely written by the author, Steve Callan, and is suitable for both male and female readers.