Rosie helps Shikar-Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year Bill Haley get to the remote reaches of his district in the Snowy Range.
CHEYENNE - Trouble shooting wildlife damage situations, pursuing public hunting access and positive interaction with a wide variety of publics are among the commendations earning South Laramie Game Warden Bill Haley the Shikar-Safari International “2013 Wildlife Officer of the Year Award” for Wyoming.
“One of the things that makes Bill an outstanding game warden is his keen ability to interact with diverse publics – whether it’s a spotlighting poacher, a prominent rancher or a youngster learning how to fish,” said Brian Nesvik, chief game warden. “He has inherent people skills that ultimately benefit the resource and the people we serve.”
Haley is a 38-year Game and Fish veteran who started his career as a special deputy warden or “weekend warrior” while attending the University of Wyoming. He had seasonal positions as an elk feeder, hay hauler and grizzly bear trapper. He started his permanent service as the North Laramie game warden in April 1978 and transferred to his current district in September 1980.
In addition to identifying damage situations before they become problems, Rick King, wildlife supervisor in Laramie cites Haley for helping prevent wildlife violations. Following a four-deer, one-elk poaching case that resulted in convictions of four Wyoming Technical Institute students, Haley worked with the staff to develop a “Stop Poaching” poster to help alert institute students to the consequences of wildlife violations.
“Bill knows the importance of education and would rather prevent a person from becoming a violator than losing some wildlife and dealing with a crime,” said King, who nominated Haley for the award.
Haley, 62, lists his hometown as “navy brat” due to his family frequently moving with his father’s U.S. Navy career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from the University of Wyoming in August 1975. He serves as the trophy game coordinator for southeast Wyoming and assists with bear and mountain lion problems across the region. In 2007, he was honored as the “Lawman of the Year” by the American Legion of Wyoming.
King also cited Haley for maintaining a high enforcement/public contact presence in his district, which includes the east slope of the Snowy Range and helping with front counter duties during busy periods at the Laramie Office. Haley has also been instrumental in enrolling several ranches in his district in the department’s Hunter Management Program for public elk and pronghorn hunting.
“Bill holds himself to high standards and tenaciously pursues wildlife violators while treating hunters and anglers in a fair and cordial manner,” King added.
Other finalists for the 2013 Shikar-Safari award were Lander Wildlife Investigator Scott Browning and game wardens Jon Stephens of Torrington, Jim Seeman of Buffalo and Bill Robertson of Greybull.
In addition to receiving an engraved silver plate, the award includes a contribution in Haley’s name for families of wildlife officers killed or injured in the line of duty.
Shikar-Safari International is an organization dedicated to preserving wildlife through sportsmanship and conservation. An outstanding wildlife officer in each state and Canadian province is awarded annually.
The award will be officially presented to Haley at the Game and Fish Commission meeting July 9 in Saratoga.
(Contact: Jeff Obrecht (307) 777-4532)