NEWS

Jeff Obrecht, Game and Fish public information officer retires

Jeff Obrecht, public information officer with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, is retiring after 32 years with Game and Fish.

7/23/2018 1:34:59 PM

Cheyenne - Jeff Obrecht, public information officer with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, is retiring after 32 years with Game and Fish. Obrecht’s words and insights into hunting and fishing are well-known to sportspeople and wildlife enthusiasts because of outreach to hunters and anglers, work with the media and writing and editing the Wyoming Wildlife magazine.

A Nebraska native, Obrecht graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management and a minor in agricultural journalism. It wasn’t long after graduation that Obrecht began work with Game and Fish in 1986 as an information officer. While his initial duties included writing press releases for newspapers, radio and television and working to keep the public informed of Game and Fish initiatives, his role quickly expanded. He contributed stories to and worked on the editorial staff of Wyoming Wildlife magazine, a publication he later steered as interim-edited from 2015-2016. Obrecht also helped lead the charge in Wyoming’s shotgun education courses, especially during the transition to non-toxic shot. Obrecht’s skills and knowledge of firearms as well as wildlife, hunting and fishing in Wyoming made him a popular guest speaker for hunter education classes and other conservation education events. Never a stranger in a classroom, on the phone, or anywhere between, Obrecht willingly shared his passion for the outdoors with anyone ranging from kindergarteners exploring the letter “W” to hunters with detailed questions about their fall excursions.

“Throughout his long career Jeff has helped advance conservation by sharing his passion for wildlife, hunting and fishing in all kinds of media. I want to thank him for that and for his work in classrooms and in fields as he has educated and mentored hundreds of people,” said Scott Talbott, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.”

Obrecht's body of work with Game and Fish includes countless radio shows and news. He is the editor of the Game and Fish book Wildlife Crimes which recounts 90 of the most memorable enforcement cases from 1998 to 2013. He’s been a regular contributor to Wyoming Wildlife and penned many columns, most recently “Look Back,” where Obrecht recounts historical Game and Fish initiatives. After more than three-decades of writing, the stories he reflects most fondly upon writing are state-record fish and his history pieces. In the last months of his work, Obrecht was able to write two more state-record fish stories and signs off with a final “Look Back” piece titled “Staff gathers at gun club to film 1971 TV spot on sighting-in” in the August Wyoming Wildlife issue. But, there are a few stories that stand out as his favorites.

“I’ve had the privilege to craft prose for the magazine, and one of my favorites was the Young family who pioneered an amazing life on the Greys River, established the Box Y Ranch and helped save the life of Game Warden Bob Brown whose airplane crashed in the valley in March 1945,” said Obrecht.
“Another favorite was the development of Goshen County into a famed Canada goose destination.”

While writing consumed the majority of Obrecht’s time, he found the most rewards in education; specifically witnessing youngsters seize the meaning of habitat and experience breaking their first clay pigeon.

“Hands down-it’s most fulfilling to spend time with kids,” Obrecht said. “Teaching them something and seeing the lights turn on. I know when I was a youngster I would have thought it was cool to have Game and Fish over my shoulder teaching me how to use a firearm.”

To recognize his contributions to his workplace and Wyoming, Obrecht received multiple awards over his career. He’s the recipient of the Game and Fish 1999 Peer Recognition Award, the 2006 Cheyenne Office Peer Recognition Award and the Wyoming Game Warden Association’s 2006 Support Person of the Year Award.

“Those awards are indicative of some of Jeff’s contributions, but an even better reflection of his legacy have come in the form of hundreds of handwritten notes sent in by kids and adults alike from across the state, saying thanks to Jeff. I join all of those people in offering my appreciation and best wishes,” said Renny MacKay, communications director at Game and Fish,”

Obrecht's last day with Game and Fish is July 27. He has plans to spend time with his wife, Linda, three grown sons and their families, including six grandchildren. Obrecht expects to continue to teach as a substitute teacher in Laramie County and take on more duties with his German longhaired pointer bird dog club.

 

(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))

- WGFD -


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