ATLANTA — Even though it might seem like it to some outdoorsmen, game wardens aren’t lurking in every field, forest and body of water in Georgia.
Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams told an Effingham County contingent on Jan. 22 that there are only 200 game wardens in the state.
“Going into the last (legislative) session, we had 49 counties without a game warden,” Williams said during Effingham Day at the Capitol. “So we asked the legislature to let us raise our license fees. They hadn’t been raised in 29 years.”
The fee hike paved the way for hiring more game wardens and raising their pay. Now the average salary is about $35,760 a year.. Salaries typically start at $25,890 and go up to $53,960.
“With that raise, we are still just in the middle (for pay) in the southeastern United States,” Williams said.
Williams, a Jesup resident appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal, said there are currently 18 game warden candidates in school.
See the Jan. 31 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.