While the work of a Maine Game Warden can certainly be fraught with its share of peril, and dolor, it is also not without moments of sheer hilarity.
One summer while on patrol I decided to check a boat landing that is popular with shore anglers.
Sure enough there were two adult males on the dock. As I surreptitiously drew closer I could see that the two men were covered in tattoos. They had long hair, “do rags” with skull & cross bones motifs, were clad in black leather vests, and wearing dark sunglasses. You could almost hear George Thorogood and the Destroyers playing “Bad to the Bone” in the background.
After watching the pair make several casts, and retrieves I was then satisfied that they were well and truly fishing, and therefore in need of valid fishing licenses. One man seemed to have a very short fishing rod. As I approached they suddenly lost interest in fishing. I greeted the men cordially, asked how the fishing was, and then asked the question that they were dreading. “Can I check your licenses?” The two looked at each other and then confirmed the obvious, “we don’t have licenses.” I said, “OK, well I will need to see some identification from you both.”
Now that I was up close I could see that the short rod was actually some kind of a child’s fishing rod. As I wrote out the summonses, with all the seriousness I could muster, I said; “is that a Snoopy rod?” The born to be wild biker hung his head and sighed, “no…it’s a Kung Fu Panda. It’s my little girl’s rod.”
There is no doubt that it is hard to look like a bad dude when you are fishing with a Kung Fu Panda rod.
Dave Craven is a sergeant with the Maine Warden Service.