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The Maine Warden Service is a law enforcement agency that is part of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Game wardens are positioned all over Maine to protect wilderness and animal habitats. They enforce safety laws for all terrain vehicles and snowmobilesas well as Maine's fish and game laws. They investigate hunting-related shooting accidents and ATV or snowmobile crashes. The service launches search and rescue operations, and patrols the lakes and woods of Maine using snowmobiles, ATVs, planes, and trucks.
The Maine Warden Service dates back to 1880, when the first wardens were appointed to enforce laws giving Maine's moose and deer their first legal protection. The service's first enforcement action occurred on March 12, 1880 when two men were apprehended for killing a doe in closed season. Since the Services beginning 15 officers have died in the line of duty.
The Warden Service is also made up of several "specialty teams". They are Aviation, Canine, Special Investigations, Dive Team, Evidence Recovery, Firearms, Forensic Mapping, Honor Guard, and Incident Management. Each team is made up of fully fledged Wardens. The Aviation Department is made up of four aircraft and three full time pilots. They engage in search-and-rescue operations, fish-stocking, and other activities such as surveillance. The most recent Warden to die in the field was pilot Daryl R. Gordon when his ski-equipped Cessna 185 crashed onto the frozen surface Clear Lake in Northern Maine.
Game Warden's participate in the same training as State Troopers. After graduating from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Wardens move onto training programs specializing in Maine's Fish and Game Laws.