I've had the pleasure this week of riding in the boat of Shane Fields from McAlester, Oklahoma. He's been ferrying Steve Bowman and myself around Lake Texoma. And we've been a handful, as usual.
Fields is State Game Warden for Pittsburg and Latimer Counties. And he's the father of two girls, Autumn, 11, Madison 10, and married to Benella. He attended Southeastern State University, right here in Durant.
Fields has been a game warden for 20 years. Law enforcement is the family business. His dad was a deputy sheriff, his uncle was a game warden, and he has two cousins who are game wardens. By the way, he was named National Game Warden of the Year by the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Among other things, Fields deals with people fishing without a license, and hunters who are trespassing.
"There's less public land to hunt on now," he said. "So we find people poaching from the road."
He occasionally gets involved in cases that take a dramatic turn. A few years ago he started tracking a guy who had killed 100 deer. The Drug Enforcement Agency got involved when authorities discovered the man was also a meth kingpin.
What does Fields like about his job? "My office is everything outside," he said. "And I like working with kids. Educating them. It's a way for me to give back."
Fields also has an entrepreneurial bent. He has reached the level of Presidential Director with Zurvita, which sells nutrition drinks and protein shakes. "It helps me fund my vices in hunting and fishing," he said with a laugh. "If I help enough people get what they want, God is going to reward me tenfold."
And he recently signed with Kistler Rods to help with their pro staff.
Shane, thanks for helping us cover Bassfest!