A Day in the Life: Fort Sill Game Wardens

A Day in the Life: Fort Sill Game Wardens-12/31/20

FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) -The Game Wardens and conservation officials on Fort Sill work to keep the outdoorsman, soldiers, and the wildlife safe at all times.

They do this through controlled hunts, and making sure hunting and fishing rules and regulations are followed.

In this A Day in the Life segment, 7 News Anchor Makenzie Burk explains why their jobs are important.

Fort Sill hunting and fishing opportunities are reserved for a select few, including active duty soldiers, retirees, DOD employees, NAF employees, and their family members.

Lance Brantner, one of the Conservation Law Enforcement Officers on post, says part of his job is making sure those hunting and fishing there, are allowed to be there.

“Essentially I’m like a state game warden, or one of the game wardens that you might run into on the wildlife refuge,” said Brantner. “My job is to patrol the ranges here on Fort Sill enforcing all the hunting and fishing rules and regulations that the state has as well as Fort Sill.”

Chris Deurmyer, is the Supervisory National Resources Administrator on post.

“My mission is to help facilitate the hunts that have the accountability and safety and the management needs to meet all the needs of the ARMY as a landowner dealing with threatened and endangered species, ag lease program, and some other issues when you get into migratory birds and stuff,” said Deurmyer.

Deurmyer says the controlled deer and elk hunts each year are important for the habitat.

“It’s important because, on the harvest, we harvest the deer and elk specifically to manage them,” said Deurmyer. “If there wasn’t hunting you would have overpopulation and there would be problems with that.”

Unlike state game wardens, Brantner says their areas of jurisdiction include areas of military training...and keeping people out of the impact areas is a big part of their jobs.

“It helps keep people safe, they don’t get injured,” said Brantner. “There’s a lot of unexploded ordnances that have been out there for 30, 40, 50 years. Some even date back to the early 1900s, so they could be very sensitive, and very temperamental.”

It’s not just peoples safety they’re concerned about, but the animals too. Recently a 500 pound ordnance was found on post, and conservation officials were called in to assist.

“We got a phone call that they were getting ready to blow that ammunition, and there were some elk out there inside the blast radius,” said Deurmyer. “So just like any good elk, listening to somebody they’re not used to, they left the area just as we arrived. Which was great, the best case scenario.”

Brantner says he’s an avid outdoorsman himself, so he truly loves his job.

“As a lot of game wardens would say, if you’ve ever watched Northwood Law, they’re living the dream,” said Brantner. “They get paid to do what they love, which is enjoy the outdoors.”

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