Wildlife Commission Honors Longest-serving Game Warden

March 8, 2018

Gathered to honor the longest-tenured Oklahoma Game Warden for 45 years of service are, from left,
J.D. Strong, Wildlife Department Director; Wildlife Commissioner Bill Brewster; honoree Game Warden Lt. Arthur Joe Young;
Wade Free, Department Assistant Director; Bill Hale, Law Enforcement Chief; and Nathan Erdman,
Law Enforcement Assistant Chief. (Photo by Don P. Brown/ODWC)

Wildlife Commission Honors

Longest-serving Game Warden

The longest tenured Game Warden in Oklahoma received recognition for his 45 years of service during the regular March meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Lt. Arthur Joe Young, based in Atoka County, retired Feb. 28. He told Commissioners that “no one could be prouder than me to have worked for ODWC.”

Young was hired as a Game Warden in 1973, based in Cleveland County. “I still have the first contract that I signed with the Department.” He told Commissioners that he began his working life as an elementary schoolteacher, but that once he decided to join the Wildlife Department, “I saved a lot of children from misery!”

After a few years in the Norman area, Young began serving in northern Pushmataha County. He quickly developed a reputation for catching poachers throughout the Kiamichi and Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma. In 2000, he was promoted to a lieutenant in District 3, which includes the seven counties in the southeastern corner of the state. He was supervisor for seven Game Wardens.

In a sendoff on the Oklahoma Game Wardens Facebook page, his colleagues wrote, “Joe has been a mentor, father figure and friend to ‘his men.’ We are sad to see him go.”

He and his wife, Carolyn, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June. They reside in Atoka, have raised two sons and a daughter, and have 10 grandchildren. Mrs. Young wrote, “He has loved every minute of his job. He would work another 45 years if humanly possible.

“I used to tease him … that he was the only one I ever knew who would pay his employers to work for them.”

In other business, Commissioners:

  • Received reports on the status of current federal and state legislation proposals that could affect Wildlife Department operations if passed.
  • Recognized Jimmy Foster, communications manager, for 30 years of service.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate. 

The next scheduled Commission meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, April 9, 2018, in Miami, Okla.

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