Retired Chief Warden Parker Tripp spills his stories

8496370Game wardens everywhere have great stories to tell and many choose to tell them in book form.  John Ford’s books are a phenomenon – or perhaps I should say John is a phenomenon.

Now along comes Mainer Parker Tripp, retired Chief Warden, and I have to say, he’s got some wonderful stories to tell. Parker turned for help to Megan Price, an award-winning journalist and author of other books including Vermont Wild – Adventures of Fish & Game Wardens.

Maine Wild, Adventures of Fish and Game Wardens, was written by Price, but it reads as if Parker is sitting in your living room telling you his stories.

There’s the time he apprehended a group of deer poachers in his underwear, with not so much as a badge or gun in his possession. In fact, he chased three of them down in the woods after they shot at him, rammed his vehicle, and then jumped out of their truck and fled into the woods. Boy, that video would have gone viral these days!

I especially enjoyed the story “Smelt Help,” and got a kick out of the photo of Parker in his smelting disguise. “Smelt fishing and beer drinking just seemed to go together for a lot of people I caught breaking the law,” he says. “This is probably because catching smelt is about the easiest fishing there is, once you locate them. If you can bend your knees, dip a net, pull it up and dump it into a bucket, you’re good to go. That’s a problem for smelt. Which is why wardens work hard to protect the fishery.”

Parker’s story, “If You Knew Susie,” is a beaut, about the time he encountered a pregnant lady fishing without a license. After a lengthy argument, Parker says Susie grabbed a fishing rod, “swings back around and with an evil glare swings the pole as hard as she can at my head. (Her husband) John jumps in front of me and she laces her husband a good one.”

Parker seemed to have particular trouble with women, one of whom tried to smash his head in with a pick axe. Men seemed to handle their violations a bit better. There was the group from Massachusetts, camping in a remote section of the North Woods, who couldn’t wait for opening day of the deer season, so they hunted on Sunday. After Parker had caught them and written them all summonses, the group asked him for a group photo!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.