Conservation Officer Trainee, Department of Game, Fish, and Parks

Various locations in South Dakota

Job Title: Conservation Officer Trainee

Organization: Department of Game, Fish, and Parks of South Dakota

Type of opportunity: Enforces conservation and other laws and provides for public safety; manages wildlife, fisheries, water, and land resources; implements and delivers department programs and services; represents the department to the public, and secures hunter and angler access and provides for recreational opportunities.

These are positions in training to become fully certified Conservation Officers (CO) for the Division of Wildlife. CO Trainees must enter the training program with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of expertise related to fish and wildlife management; they cannot be gained from the training programs provided.

CO Trainees begin by entering the South Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pierre and complete thirteen weeks of training in a general law enforcement curriculum. In order to retain employment and proceed to the next phase of training, incumbents must graduate from the Academy and become certified as law enforcement officers in South Dakota.

Minimum Qualifications:  Incumbent will be required to work a significant number of weekends throughout the year, especially during primary fishing and hunting seasons, outdoors and sometimes in extreme weather and under arduous physical conditions. Incumbent must be 21 years of age, have valid driver’s license, and have the ability pass semi-annual qualifications in defensive tactics and firearms.

Candidates must provide copies of high school/college diplomas and college transcripts upon request.

Successful applicants will be required to successfully complete psychological testing and a polygraph examination. This is a safety sensitive position and the incumbents are subject to State of South Dakota drug testing requirements.

Preferred Qualifications: A bachelor’s of science in wildlife and fisheries or equivalent degree and/or experience is preferred. Exceptional interpersonal communication skills; the ability to deal effectively with people, especially in stressful situations; effective organizational skills, writing skills, the ability to speak in public; strong organizational skills; and competent problem-solving skills.

Knowledge of:

  • conservation law enforcement principles, practices, techniques, and tactics;
  • fish, wildlife, and habitat conservation and management practices;
  • biological principles and practices pertaining to fish and wildlife;
  • an understanding of habitat management practices beneficial to fish and wildlife;
  • agency programs that promote public access;
  • wildlife damage management techniques and practices;
  • state and federal laws, regulations, and agency policies that govern hunting, fishing, trapping, and boating;
  • court and criminal procedures, rules of evidence collection, and preservation and criminal investigative techniques.

Skill to:

  • identify native fish, wildlife, and plants;
  • collect and preserve evidence and provide effective courtroom testimony;
  • interview witnesses and suspects and write clear and concise reports;
  • effectively collect data while conducting fish and wildlife surveys and make sound fish and wildlife harvest recommendations.

Ability to:

  • effectively deal with people from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds;
  • establish and maintain relationships with landowners and sportsmen;
  • promote conservation law enforcement, fish and wildlife management, hunter/angler access opportunities;
  • deliver wildlife damage program services;
  • de-escalate conflict and problem solve;
  • operate boats, snowmobiles, ATVs, firearms and other specialized equipment;
  • effectively present educational and outreach programs.

Salary/pay: $20.03/hour

How to apply: Click here

Application deadline: October 13, 2020