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.
|Publisher:||Epicenter Press, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||(w) x (h) x 0.60(d)|
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. Callan's first book, Badges, Bears, and Eagles, was selected as a 2013 "Book of the Year" finalist by ForeWord Reviews. Steve has also earned the 2014 and 2015 "Best Outdoor Magazine Column" awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of California.
You can find Steven online at steventcallan.com.
Read an Excerpt
"Is there some kind of problem, Bill?" said Dykstra.
Arnold remained uncharacteristically silent.
"Warden Callan is going to come aboard," announced Plett.
Arnold had been silent long enough. He let out with a bellow, his voice so loud it flushed a congregation of gulls and cormorants that were perched on the rocky cliffs above. "What the hell does he need to come aboard for? We ain't done nothin'."
Hearing all the clamor and my father's name mentioned, I climbed the steps and peeked out from below deck. Concerned for my father's safety, I watched as he climbed down from the Marlin and boarded the decrepit old lobster boat.
"We received information that you gentlemen have been taking short lobsters," said my father. "Do you have any short lobsters or unattached lobster tails on board?"
"Hell no, we ain't got no--"
"Easy, Nate," interrupted Dykstra. "They can search all they want. We've got nothin' to hide."
Dad walked past Dykstra and Arnold, headed straight for the cabin entrance. The two lobster fishermen whipped their heads around, slack-jawed and obviously concerned. Arnold must have caught a glimpse of me, because he did a double take and turned his head back in my direction. I quickly ducked below deck.
Meanwhile, my father began his search by opening a small ice box in the Rascal's galley. The box was conspicuously empty. After examining every possible hiding place in the galley, he proceeded to the bunk area. Checking under each mattress, he found nothing but candy wrappers and empty cigarette packages.
About to give up and return to the upper deck, the determined warden noticed a scrap of hinged plywood where the door to the head had once hung. The so-called head was such a tight squeeze, it was difficult to imagine how anyone as large as Nate Arnold could fit inside. The paint was peeling off the walls and the toilet paper holder was a rusty shark hook. Lying on the floor, next to the toilet, was an eighteen-inch stack of tattered magazines.
What attracted my father's attention was the toilet seat: it was down and so was the seat cover. "How many men put the seats down unless their wives tell them to?" my father would later ask the crew. With the toe of his shoe, Dad carefully lifted the seat. Inside the bowl were enough undersized lobster tails for a gourmet dinner. Needless to say, these specimens would never see the inside of a boiling pot.
Table of Contents
The Early Years: 1948-1960
San Diego 5
A Trip to the Islands 14
The Road Hunter 25
Sage Advice 30
Small-Town Warden: 1960-1970
Greenheads and Muddy Sneakers 45
The Road to Plaskett Meadows 59
Game Wardens and Ghost Towns 70
The Next Generation: 1970-1980
River Days 87
Sometimes the Good Guys Lose 99
The A-Frame 106
The Lobster Tale 117
Black Market Abs 125
The Kneeland Prairie Deer Investigation 132
Changing Times: 1980-1990
Stakeout at Battle Creek 147
Undercover Joe 156
Eagle Feathers 171
Mollusk Madness 183
Deer Meat for Mr. Big 189
End of an Era: The 1990s and Beyond
The Headhunter 209
The Terror of Humboldt Bay 219
The Badger Mountain Bait Pile 224
Fish Hogs 236
Handlines and Panga Boats 242
Epilogue: Return to Plaskett Meadows 251