Retired game warden Steven T. Callan’s love of nature and passion for protecting wildlife took root long before he experienced the adventures described in his memoir, Badges, Bears, and Eagles. In The Game Warden’s Son, he recounts more of his own investigations, along with those of his game warden father and their colleagues. Intertwined with a half century of adventures and investigations is a story of the lifelong relationship between a boy and his father.
The book begins in the 1950s in the canyons and on the beaches of San Diego with incidents that sparked Steven’s youthful imagination. After an idyllic boyhood in the Northern Sacramento Valley farm town of Orland, where he rode on patrol with his father, Steven became a game warden himself in the early ’70s, joining the desert rats who patrolled the California counties banking the Colorado River.
With wry humor, Callan tells how he and his fellow officers outwitted the perpetrators—most of them crafty, some of them hilariously foolish—who poached deer, lobsters, and abalone, baited bears and sold their parts, shot wild ducks to supply restaurants, and killed songbirds for epicurean dinner tables. Their cases took them across the Channel Islands, through the back alleys of San Francisco, up the Sacramento Valley, into the Sierras, and along California’s pristine North Coast. While these dedicated wardens saw their share of greed, they also appreciated the many hunters and fishermen who obeyed the laws and respected the earth’s resources.
In the end, it was all about protecting California’s natural resources for future generations, which is what Callan and company did, enjoying themselves every step of the way.
THE GAME WARDEN’S SON is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and bookstores and retailers everywhere. You’ll find a schedule of upcoming book signings and presentations on Steve’s “Events” page.
Over his thirty-year career as a wildlife protection officer for the California Department of Fish and Game, Steve Callan conducted some of the most fascinating, complex, and highly successful wildlife investigations in California history. He also collected a wealth of true stories—action-packed, suspenseful, and often humorous.In Badges, Bears and Eagles, Steve provides a vivid first-person account of his adventures. The author and his colleagues outsmart game hogs, thwart fish thieves, and foil outlaws with names like “Squeaky.”
Steve is even stalked by African lions and mauled by a five-hundred pound Bengal tiger. One of the most important cases of his career begins with a slain bald eagle dropped on the doorstep of the Fish and Game office, along with a note threatening the life of a fellow warden.
A decade later, Steve and his longtime working partner Dave Szody conduct the investigation of their lives, uncovering a statewide criminal conspiracy to kill California black bears for their valuable gallbladders. It’s not all about catching bad guys—in “Saving Lake Mathews,” Steve chronicles how he helped save a beloved wildlife sanctuary from development.