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I am 15-years old and thinking about a career in Fish and Game. What are the Requirements to become a fish and game officer in Idaho? Would it help to have a degree in wildlife biology?

Answer

Although a degree is not necessary, at least 4 upper level college courses in wildlife/fish management are. These courses may include Wildlife Management, Fishery Management, Population Ecology, Mammalogy, Ornithology, Wildlife Ecology, etc. Those applicants with a BS degree in Wildlife/Fish Management are most competitive.

 

Conservation Officers are the Idaho Fish and Game’s front lines to local communities. It is important that they can communicate to sportsmen the principles and reasons why seasons, bag limits, and rules exist. They must also communicate their field observations to fish and wildlife managers in a credible manner.

 

In addition to the educational requirements,we look for Conservation Officers who demonstrate the following characteristics:

To be a CO, we are more interested in finding those folks with the educational background that have the right ‘talents’ or gifts to be a CO. These talents include:

  • Good communication skills that allow you to visit with landowners, sportsmen, the public, agency personnel. You have to be able to interact with all these people, understanding that each group may have a different culture and require you to communicate to them in terms they understand and can relate to.
  • CO’s need to learn and adapt quickly to understand complex information in order to be a problem solver.
  • CO’s need ‘high energy levels’; self starters, multi-taskers and self-motivators
  • CO’s need to be somewhat assertive: When the situation calls for quick action and decision making, CO’s have to be assertive. But they also need to understand and be diplomatic. This is a tough line to understand and walk
  • Although we need you to be diplomatic and communicate and interact with others, CO’s also need to be somewhat skeptical. In LE situations, some people are going to hide things from you. Diplomatically, you need to interact with them, knowing that they may be violating and hiding something from you.
  • CO’s need to be able to work alone and don’t require others present. CO’s work in remote areas by themselves. Again, this is tough. We want you to be able to interact with others, but your inner self needs to be comfortable when you are working by yourself for a couple of days in a row. CO’s are independent and adventurous.
  • Being alone and self-motivators, CO’s have to be decisive, making the right decisions quickly, accepting those risks associated with quick decisions.