256 pages, b/w illustrations
In the underbelly of Florida, hardened poachers operate in the dark, out of sight and away from residents who sleep soundly through the night. But poachers are not the only midnight hunters. In the state's public wilderness tracts, cattle ranches, and water courses, wildlife thieves are stealthily and silently tracked. Most people have never imagined the often dicey, comical, and sometimes bizarre job of a Florida game warden. Backcountry Lawman tells what it's like to catch an armed poacher in the act – alone, at night, without backup or a decent radio to call for help. These stories describe the cat-and-mouse games often played between game wardens and poachers of ducks, turkeys, hogs, deer, gators, and other species.
Few people realize that "monkey fishing" – electrocution of catfish – had the same outlaw mystique in the rivers of Florida as moonshining once did in the hills of Georgia and Tennessee. With thirty years of backcountry patrol experience in Florida, Bob Lee has lived through incidents of legend, including one of the biggest environmental busts in Florida history. His fascinating memoir reveals the danger and the humor in the unsung exploits of game wardens.
"If you enjoy outdoor adventure flavored with colorful characters and wry humor, this book is for you. Follow dedicated wildlife officers as they use their wits and skills in the pursuit of poachers and wildlife law violators."
– Tom Mastin, forester and managing broker, Mossy Oak Properties Legacy Realty Services
"Lee recounts his amazing and challenging career as a Florida game warden with wit, wisdom, and careful attention to detail. You will travel with him as he boats the St. Johns River, walk beside him as he wades past resting alligators, and listen for that gunshot on a cold Putnam County night."
– Jeff Hahr, former patrol supervisor, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Bob H. Lee spent over three decades as a water patrol officer on the St. Johns River and a land patrol lieutenant in Putnam, St. Johns, and Flagler counties. Before retiring in 2007, he taught man-tracking classes through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.