Praise

The Game Warden’s Son

“A witty and enlightening memoir, The Game Warden’s Son brims over with tales of stake-outs using disguises and subterfuge to trap transgressors. . . . The book’s slang or jargon related to wildlife is a fun bonus and makes the timely account of environmental protection even more enjoyable.”
—Jane Manaster for the Manhattan Book Review  (Five-Star Review)

“Filled with true-life stories, they are all written in an exciting manner that puts you in the middle of the action. And action there is! Game wardens seldom have nearby backup, and they need to be resourceful and self-confident when enforcing game laws. After all, almost everyone they come in contact with is armed! Fascinating book, and a must-read.”
—Bill Karr, Editor, Western Outdoor News

“Callan’s writing is dynamic and authoritative, with an episodic structure that will keep experts and novice readers turning the pages. The dialogue, sharp and resourceful, helps to move the story forward without bogging down the narrative structure.”

—Dan Good, NY Daily News

“An exciting series of easy-to-read and gripping detective stories . . . It was extremely hard to put down. Callan is a fine storyteller. Each chapter stands on its own and is a fun read.”
—Frank Galusha, founder and former editor and publisher of MyOutdoorBuddy.com

“I am happy to report that I have read The Game Warden’s Son and that I enjoyed it very much. The Game Warden’s Son holds the reader’s attention with interesting narration of a variety of hunting and fishing violations in the deserts, valleys, mountains, and coastal areas of California. It has lively character portrayal and good insight into human nature, especially the crass disregard that many people have toward wildlife. Even more, this book is a wonderful tribute to the legacy of a father, a son, and many other wildlife professionals dedicated to protecting all of California’s natural resources.”
—John D. Nesbitt, award-winning author of Field Work and Dark Prairie

“What a great book! The Game Warden’s Son not only captures the essence of the adventures of being a game warden, it sets the groundwork on how the passion to protect the wildlife resources can be inspired in a young person’s upbringing! Steve does a wonderful job of re-creating the stories so others can enjoy the adventure. I was impressed by the fact that the stories from the 1950s have changed very little over the past 60 years. I was entertained and reminded of the many stories I was lucky enough to have experienced myself during my career as a game warden.”
—Michael P. Carion, retired Deputy Director/Chief of the Law Enforcement Division of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Game Warden’s Son is a stellar follow-up to Callan’s first book.”
—Gerry Lister for International Game Warden Magazine

“After two and a half decades as a California game warden myself, and nearing the end of my career, my desire to continue the same battles protecting fish and wildlife has been rejuvenated by reading Steve’s book. It’s as if I were a brand new warden just out of the academy! I just can’t get enough of it and know how important our role is. I’m pleased to see Steve’s true accounts again shine a light on what it takes to wear the badge on behalf of wildlife.”
—Jerry Karnow, Jr., Past President of the California Fish and Game Wardens Association

“You might have thought the Wild West was tamed 150 years ago. Not so. In recounting stories from his real action-packed life growing up as a game warden’s son and his own career as a California Fish and Game warden, Steve Callan will keep you on the edge of your seat and show you that law and order comes in many guises.”
—Patricia Lawrence, executive producer, Travel Radio International and reporter for the Palo Cedro East Valley Times

“These are stories of wardens’ dogged determination, long stakeouts and creative stings, all for the love of nature. As a tribute to Wally Callan, his son could do no better.” Read full review.
—Dan Barnett, Chico Enterprise-Record

Badges, Bears, and Eagles

“This engrossing memoir by debut author Callan lets readers in on highlights of his 30-year career as a California wildlife officer. With a healthy dose of bravado, he always gets his perps, though he credits his fellow officers, like long-time partner Dave Szody, and the roles they’ve played in cases brought against poachers and other law-breakers. He recalls stories from back into the 1970’s, his memory matched by a knack for pacing and recognition of how much information readers need to understand the dynamics of the cases. From beer-swilling poacher flunkies to “entrepreneurs” dealing in black bear gall bladder for use in Chinese medicine, Callan and his partner sent a lot of wild characters to jail. The vignettes are jaw-dropping, funny, tragic, enraging, exciting, and hopeful—sometimes all at once. An avid outdoorsman with respect for the land and its inhabitants, Callan shares some of the ecological and social history of each California region he’s worked; while those without knowledge of hunting will soon learn the intricacies of California’s byzantine regulations. Never wavering from his ideals, Callan demonstrates an enviable love of his life’s work and has plenty of adventure stories to share.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Exceptionally well written . . . The writing style is almost flawless, and reading this gem is pure effortless joy. The variety of tales that are told keeps the book fresh throughout. . . .”
—Gerry Lister, International Game Warden magazine

“A thrilling ride into the heart of bad guy country. Which is pretty much anywhere in the state, any place that people can abuse wildlife and habitats for a profit . . .  The author has reconstructed his and other cases from memory, interviews and court documents. The result is a series of suspenseful, well-written procedurals in which good triumphs, but not without a lot of foot work and tense dealings with well armed scofflaws. . . . It’s compelling reading about true public service.”  Read full review.
—Dan Barnett, Chico Enterprise Record

“Steve Callan has written an honest and compelling memoir of his career as a warden for the California Department of Fish & Game. Game wardens usually work alone, rarely with back-up, and often must deal with men carrying loaded firearms. It’s not a calling for the faint at heart, but one requiring high intelligence, tact, and insight into human nature. Californians are fortunate to have wardens of Callan’s distinguished character protecting their wildlife.”
—Boyd Gibbons, former Director of the California Department of Fish & Game, retired President of The Johnson Foundation and former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Interior

“Most people do not think of a game warden as a detective. In Badges, Bears and Eagles, Steve Callan—Californian, detective, environmentalist, wildlife protection officer, and outdoorsman—takes the reader on a thrilling adventure, providing an inside look at what a dedicated game warden truly does.”
—Randal Hendricks, sports agent, attorney, and award-winning author of Inside the Strike Zone

“Always alone, with backup (if any) an hour and a half away, the game warden is usually dealing with people carrying guns. This book is a genuine chronicle of the very unusual and exciting life of a California game warden. Steve Callan always managed to bring me the most unusual cases any prosecutor would ever see.”
—Larry Allen, District Attorney, Sierra County, CA, and former Shasta County Deputy District Attorney and Environmental Prosecutor

“Callan is John Grisham for the Outdoorsman. Conservationists will applaud his sometimes ‘unique’ efforts to protect our natural resources from those who would abuse them. Whoever knew there was so much intrigue in Fish and Game cases?”
—McGregor Scott, former Shasta County District Attorney and former United States Attorney-Sacramento

“Callan’s chronicle of the life of a California Fish and Game warden stands out because in addition to the typical illegal hunting and fishing cases, he provides the reader with real life examples of wardens protecting wildlife habitat and conducting exhaustive undercover operations. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.”
—Donald Koch, retired Director of the California Department of Fish and Game

“I can attest to the integrity of Steve and his writings. Badges, Bears and Eagles will be an honest and truthful account of his and Dave Szody’s experiences as two of the most outstanding and dedicated stewards of wildlife and wildlands I have ever known. As a former senior wildlife forensic biologist, I had the privilege of assisting and supporting Steve on many of his wildlife cases in the field, in the laboratory and in the courts of law. His book will bring back wonderful memories and will remind me of how much Steve contributed and is still helping to save our wildlife.”
—James Banks, retired Senior Wildlife Forensic Biologist, California Department of Fish and Game