A Century of Service

Welcome! To the home page of the Virginia Game Warden Association

Notification of Game Warden Recruitment

(Law Enforcement Officer II)

Geographic Areas Duty Stations*
Smith Mountain Lake: Counties of Franklin (2), Roanoke, and Patrick
Lake Anna: County of Louisa
Shenandoah Valley: Counties of Alleghany, Highland, Madison, and Rockingham
Tidewater: City of Virginia Beach, Counties of Accomack or Northampton, and James City
Northern Neck: Counties of Essex and Westmoreland
Richmond Metro: Counties of Chesterfield (2) and Henrico (2)
Central Virginia: County of King William
Northern Virginia: Counties of Fauquier (2) and Stafford
South East Virginia: County of Sussex

* Applicants will specify their preferred duty station locations when they apply for a Game Warden position.

Expected Hiring Range:

$30,146** - $40,095

** Starting salary is dependent on job-related salary history. Selected candidates whose starting salary is less than $32,956 may be eligible for a salary increase to that level after successfully completing their probationary period.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Enforces fish, wildlife, and boating laws and regulations by exercising general law enforcement powers with statewide jurisdiction. Promotes safety and conservation through outdoor education programs for youth and adults. Patrols assigned areas in vehicles and boats, detects law violations, conducts investigations, apprehends and arrests violators, prepares cases for trial, and presents findings in court. Informs and educates the public about wildlife resources, recreational opportunities, and department programs and facilities during law enforcement patrols and through public relations programs. Investigates landowner complaints concerning wildlife damage and provides solutions consistent with wildlife management practices. Maintains department-issued equipment. Records daily activities and completes required reports. Develops effective relationships within the community and with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure that the department's mission is accomplished.

Qualification Guide

Some knowledge of law enforcement procedures applicable to wildlife management and boating programs. Ability to plan and perform enforcement and educational activities; conduct thorough investigations; collect and preserve evidence; provide legally relevant courtroom testimony; understand laws and regulations; comply with agency procedures; effect a forcible arrest; communicate effectively; work cooperatively with agency staff; and deal courteously and tactfully with the public. Demonstrated ability to meet the physical demands of the job, including the ability to swim and tread water unassisted.

A high school diploma or equivalent and one year of post-secondary training; possession of, or eligibility for, a valid Virginia driver's license and a safe driving history; at least 20/100 binocular vision, correctable to 20/20 with no job-related color deficiency; and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. Ability to hear normal frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 hertz at a pure tone level of 25 decibels or less and no greater than 45 decibels at 4000 and 6000 hertz as verified by an audiometer test. Applicants must be willing to work rotating schedules and weekends, and must be 21 years old by the date of employment.

Medical, psychological, and polygraph examinations will be conducted as a part of the selection process. Additionally, candidates for employment must be able to successfully complete a background investigation that will include educational achievements, prior work experience, character and reputation, credit history, and a finger-print based criminal history record check. Federal law prohibits a person convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" from carrying a firearm [Title 18, U.S. Code, section 922(g)(9)].

Applicants hired without police officer certification from, or approved by, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services will receive basic training at department expense subject to the provisions of a tuition reimbursement agreement. Successful completion of basic training is necessary to meet law enforcement standards established in the Code of Virginia. At the completion of basic training, a game warden must also demonstrate working skill in the safe and effective use of automobiles, watercraft, communication equipment, and firearms.

Selected candidates will be required to complete successfully one-year of probationary employment during which they must demonstrate a working knowledge of criminal laws, rules of evidence, lawful search and seizure, court rulings, opinions of the Attorney General, and law enforcement practices as they apply to the enforcement of fish, wildlife, and boat laws and regulations.

Residence Requirements: Selected candidates must establish and physically occupy on a regular basis a residence that is within the jurisdictional boundaries of the duty station, or at a location in a county or city contiguous to the duty station that is:

  • within 15 air miles of the jurisdictional boundary of the duty station,
  • within the Commonwealth of Virginia, and
  • not in excess of 30 minutes actual drive time, at posted highway speeds, from the residence to the jurisdictional boundary of the duty station

MUST APPLY ONLINE AT jobs.agencies.virginia.gov, NO LATER THAN 5:00 PM ON APRIL 2, 2007.

For additional information contact Senior Officer Mike Hill at (804) 367-DGIF.


               "To Protect and Conserve"
Protecting Virginia's wildlife resources and citizens since 1903
            Virginia Game Warden Facts:

Virginia Game Wardens are sworn law enforcement officers and have full police powers with statewide jurisdiction. They primarily protect Virginia’s wildlife and boating public from criminal behavior, but they also provide public safety, homeland security and disaster response to all Virginians.

Game Wardens are the second largest statewide uniformed police force, second only to the Virginia State Police. Game Wardens police remote areas, such as Virginia’s forests and waterways. They provide a law enforcement presence where other police agencies do not routinely patrol.

During the last three years, Game Wardens have issued an average of 9,776 summonses and 2,254 written warnings per year for wildlife, fish and boating violations. Even though DGIF receives no funding for general law enforcement, Game Wardens also make arrests incidental to their primary mission. Arrest data shows from 2001 thru 2006: 146 convicted felons in possession of a firearm, 251 reckless drivers, 660 illegal possession of controlled substances, 113 driving under the influence, 76 illegal possession of a concealed weapon, 666 littering, 419 general trespassing, 220 underage possession of alcohol, 158 reckless handling of a firearm, 218 drinking in a public place and 307 arrests and 54 written warnings for the illegal operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) under the motor vehicle code. Game Wardens receive many requests from landowners and other law enforcement agencies for assistance with illegal ATV operation on private and public property. All Game Wardens are trained in the operation of ATVs and DGIF has at least one patrol ATV in each district.

Game Wardens are highly trained and specially equipped. They receive specialized training in fugitive tracking. Each officer is issued a marked four-wheel drive patrol vehicle, night vision optics and military rifle. They use large and small patrol boats. The Department alsohas teams of trained divers.

Virginia Game Wardens and over 800 DGIF volunteer instructors are specially trained to teach hunter safety education to approximately 13,000 students annually. Since Hunter Education became mandatory for most young hunters in 1988, the number of hunting-related shooting incidents has decreased by more than 50%. Fatalities have decreased by an even greater percentage, and last year had the lowest number ever recorded.

During the last 5 years Game Warden’s have reported 254 job related injuries resulting in $2,213,714.24 in workers compensation claims. These statistics show that the duties of a Virginia Game Warden are physically demanding and often dangerous.

September 2005 to October 2006 the law enforcement communications center received 13,545 calls. During the same period Game Wardens responded to 179 boating/drowning accidents of which 16 were fatal boating accidents, 60 hunting accidents of which 3 were fatal, 393 mutual aid responses such as domestic disputes, vehicle accidents, and search and rescue operations. Wardens conducted 256 traffic stops and responded to 627 reported trespassing complaints.

On August 21, 2006, several Game Wardens trained in tactical man tracking
assisted in the search for a 21-year-old fugitive inmate suspected of shooting a security guard and killing a sheriff’s deputy in the Blacksburg area. The suspect had fled into a wooded area near the Virginia Tech campus. The suspect was apprehended 150-yards from the Game Warden

tracking team. DGIF is in the process of training all Game Wardens in Tactical Tracking. This is a week-long training event. DGIF also provided this training to Virginia State Police Tactical Teams and has trained ATF agents and US Fish and Wildlife Service officers.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Game Wardens were part of a relief team that provided law enforcement services on the coast of Mississippi. Game Wardens worked in Harrison and Hancock Counties, some of the hardest hit areas, assisting local law enforcement. During this period, Game Wardens patrolled for looters, conducted check points, provided back up to local law enforcement, responded to motor vehicle accidents, conducted drug and driving under the influence interdiction, responded to domestic violence calls, conducted searches for the bodies of hurricane victims and assisted with motor vehicle enforcement.

In September 2003, Game Wardens assisted local authorities with response to the extensive damage left in the wake of Hurricane Isabel. Using their issued patrol boats and four-wheel drive vehicles, Game Wardens conducted search and rescue missions in flooded areas, located and handled hazardous materials, recovered property, assisted citizens and assisted local law enforcement with an increased police presence.

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries conducts their own Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy in Richmond, VA. This basic training not only exceeds the standards set Department of Criminal Justice Services, but it also provides training in the many non-traditional law enforcement functions expected of Virginia Game Wardens. This academy is a full-service academy, providing basic training as well as in-service training to Game Wardens and other law enforcement officers in Virginia. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Training Academy has extended invitations to other Natural Resource Law Enforcement Agencies in Virginia, such as the VA Marine Resources Commission and the Department of Conservation and Recreation to attend training.

During a recent investigation into a hunting related fatality in southwest Virginia, Game Wardens were able to secure charges against the suspected shooter through a Grand Juryfor second-degree murder, reckless handling of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of a schedule II

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