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Conservation officer

Conservation officer Alex Hasenauer assists a young angler at Carp-O-Rama at Lake Maloney State Recreation Area near North Platte this summer.

Consider these statements:

“I love the outdoors and wanted to protect wildlife for future generations.”

“I grew up hunting and fishing and wanted a career working outside.”

“It was my dream job as a child.”

Do these sound like you?

These are all common reasons that Nebraska Game and Parks Commission conservation officers give when asked why they were interested in their career choice. For me, it was the opportunity to serve the public and protect our natural resources.

If any of those statements resonates with you, now may be the time to act. Game and Parks is currently hiring conservation officers. Nebraska conservation officers are fully certified peace officers whose primary responsibilities are to enforce hunting, fishing, boating, and state parks laws throughout the state.

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It’s been nearly 15 years since I began my career as a conservation officer and, like all of our officers, I’ve had some amazing experiences in my endeavor to be a steward for our state's natural resources.

When I began my career, I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to fly in a plane to search for deer poachers, work on a black market caviar investigation, or spend my evenings patrolling a lake from a personal watercraft. And that smile on the face of a young hunter who just harvested their first deer or caught their first “giant” catfish will never get old. I also enjoy the opportunity to help our other Game and Parks staff electrofish, survey bobwhite quail and conduct prescribed burns on wildlife management areas.

There are still a couple of weeks left to apply for the conservation officer positions. The process begins with submitting your application and attending one of the testing days in Grand Island.

Ultimately, we hope to hire up to six new conservation officers over the next 18 months. Applicants who are not already certified law enforcement officers will be sponsored by our agency to attend the basic law enforcement academy at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center.

After the completion of basic training, new officers complete a field training program, which will introduce them to fish, wildlife, boating and parks laws. This is a great experience and allows new officers to hone their conservation law enforcement skills while traveling around Nebraska.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity. You have until Aug. 26 to submit your application. For more information on the conservation officer career or to apply for one of our positions, visit our conservation officer career page at outdoornebraska.gov/lawenforcementcareers.

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Travis Shepler is an assistant division administrator in the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Law Enforcement Division. Contact him at travis.shepler@nebraska.gov.

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