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 Game Warden's Son 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.
"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
"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
"My desire to continue the same battles protecting fish and wildlife has been rejuvenated by reading Steve's book."
– Jerry Karnow, Jr., Past President of the California Fish and Game Wardens Association
"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
"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
"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
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Steven Callan was born in San Diego, California. In 1960, Callan s family moved to the small Northern California farm town of Orland. Steve spent his high school years playing baseball, basketball, hunting and fishing. With an insatiable interest in wildlife, particularly waterfowl, he never missed an opportunity to ride along on patrol with his father, a California Fish and Game warden. Callan graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1970 and continued with graduate work at California State University, Sacramento. Hired by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1974, Warden Steve Callan's first assignment was the Earp Patrol District on the Colorado River. He was promoted to patrol lieutenant in January of 1978, leaving the desert and moving to the metropolitan area of Riverside/San Bernardino. Transferring north to Shasta County in 1981, Lieutenant Callan spent the remainder of his thirty-year enforcement career in Redding. His many adventures and accomplishments are documented in his memoir, Badges, Bears and Eagles. Steve and his wife, Kathleen, a retired science teacher, are passionate about the environment. They are longtime members of no fewer than a dozen environmental organizations and actively promote environmental causes. Callan has played competitive softball throughout the United States since his college days and in 2004 was inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame. Callan's first book, Badges, Bears, and Eagles, was selected as a 2013 Book of the Year finalist by ForeWord Reviews. Steve has also earned the 2014 and 2015 Best Outdoor Magazine Column awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of California.