Ever wonder what it’s like to be a game warden? The National Geographic Channel’s new show can give you a pretty good idea. All photos courtesy of National Geographic
The show follows a team of California wardens as they work to capture poachers, stop illegal marijuana growers and enforce game laws.
The wardens typically work alone or in small teams which makes their job even more dangerous, as backup could be miles away.
Here’s Kyle Kroll and his trusted partner, Buck. Kroll and Buck have been partners for six years.
The wardens’ encounters can range from a typical stop and check to a dangerous drug bust.
Adding to the drama is the fact that California has a variety of diverse natural habitats as well as diverse cultures and populations.
Here’s Warden William O’Brien with an animal penis of unknown origin found during a raid in Chinatown.
One of the Wild Justice episodes sheds light on bear poaching. Black bear gallbladders are highly sought after for traditional Chinese medicine and the demand brings high prices that drive poachers to kill bears.
Here the wardens are gearing up for a potential bust on illegal marijuana growers.
The dangerous situations call for military tactics and equipment.
Filming all of the action live was no easy task. “One of the things that we’re learning in the process of shooting this show, is that we’re at the whim of the bad guy. What I mean by that is the bad guys don’t operate on a 9-5, 5 day-a-week schedule. They keep odd hours, they have odd habits, and it’s a matter of timing, hard work, and good luck that enables the wardens to be successful (and if the warden’s are successful, then we’re successful),” Eric Leemon, the show’s supervising producer writes on nationalgeographic.com.
Anderson Reservoir, CA: Director of Photography Justin Spina attaches a camera to warden Chris Stoots.
Here the wardens are executing helicopter training.
The wardens on the show treat their job with deadly seriousness. “This is my purpose in life. God has sent me to protect wildlife from such perpetrators and there is no one or nothing that can stop me. God will decide when my efforts will retire. I am so thankful for this mission. There is no better satisfaction to me than to sneak up on poachers and to see the look of utter shock on their faces when I jump out of a tree on them,” Warden Brian Boyd told the National Geographic crew.
Wild Justice airs on the National Geographic Channel with new episodes on Wednesday at 10pm ET/PT.
To learn more about the show go to http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/wild-justice//
The National Geographic Channel has a new series that takes an inside-look at one of the toughest and most important jobs: a game warden.