The Shikar-Safari Club International is an organization dedicated to preserving wildlife through sportsmanship and conservation and each year they recognize outstanding wildlife officers throughout North America.
North Jackson Senior Game Warden Jon Stephens has been named their 2022 Wildlife Officer of the Year for Wyoming. The award, honors a wildlife officer whose efforts during the year displayed outstanding performance and achievement.
Rick King, Wyoming Game and Fish Department chief game warden said that Warden Stephens is a top hand and an exceptional wildlife officer who is dedicated to serving his community and protecting wildlife.
Stephens is a nearly 20-year veteran of Game and Fish. His district includes the Absaroka Mountains from the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park along the Continental Divide south to the high peaks of Gros Ventre Range.
Stephens’ district involves some of the most complex wildlife issues in the state, including grizzly bears, wolves, elk feedgrounds and moose, bison, and bighorn sheep herds. He regularly represents Game and Fish on high-level management discussions with Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge and Bridger-Teton National Forest. His extraordinary ability to make objective decisions and apply realistic solutions to difficult management issues has proven to be an invaluable asset to Game and Fish.
“I feel very grateful just to receive the nomination, and it’s rewarding to be recognized by some of your peers,” Stephens said. “One of the appealing components of the job is all of the respective challenges. That is related to the country you work in, the resource we work with and try to protect, and also all the different interest groups that are out there. Working with the different groups and trying to reach a balance with all of them is definitely challenging, but that’s part of what makes it such a great job.”
The people he serves within his region are diverse and range from hunters, anglers and landowners to other wildlife enthusiasts who visit Teton County. Within his community he is known as a strong mentor and inspiration to younger wardens with his strong work ethic, dedication to wildlife resources and service to the public.
“Warden Stephens is an excellent role model and has helped new game wardens understand everything Wyoming expects from them,” King said. “Thanks to Jon’s influence and guidance, new game wardens are exposed to the skills they need to be successful.”