Game warden talks “North Woods Law”
By Jacqueline Weaver
WINTER HARBOR — With “North Woods Law” a wrap, Game Warden John MacDonald is out spreading the word about his agency to potential recruits and the general public.
MacDonald, a corporal with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said in a talk at the Schoodic Institute that recruitment has increased 400 percent since the show was aired by “Animal Planet.”
“North Woods Law” featured 75 episodes over four years and featured game wardens in their everyday jobs, although the agency retained editing rights.
Prior to the show, about 150 people would be applying to be game wardens in any given year. “Now it’s 750 to 1,000,” MacDonald said.
The agency also saw an increase in followers on its Facebook page — from 20,000 to 105,000 — along with up to 1 million “hits” online.
MacDonald said he began routinely receiving calls from news outlets such as “Good Morning America” and the British Broadcasting Corporation.
“Social media is a very, very powerful tool,” he said.
Camp North Woods, which the department initiated in 2015, is a direct result of the growth of interest in the show.
The camp is designed to provide youth and their families with opportunities to learn lifelong outdoor skills and become educated about the importance of sustaining Maine’s natural resources, according to the agency.
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