More great South Dakota game warden stories

I’m not sure if South Dakota game warden D.B. McCrea is ever going to run out of stories.

I enjoyed and wrote about McCrea’s first two books, The Forgotten Lawmen, Parts 1 and 2. But I have to say his new short book, The Forgotten Lawmen 3, includes some of his best stories.

Now I’m wondering if he’s saving the very best stories for his last book. Will there be a last book? If book 3 is his last book, I can only thank him for sharing these stories with us.

I have to also say that poachers in South Dakota are very clever, but not clever enough to avoid arrest by officer McCrea.

The story about the guys who were sneaking onto private land to club racoons to death with baseball bats is amazing. One guy actually took along a chainsaw so he could cut down trees which had coons hiding in them!

The start of the open water fishing season provided some entertaining stories too, including the “more ambitious” university students who, trying to avoid a summons for fishing without a license, jumped into the lake.

“I’d get on my truck’s public address system,” reports MacCrea, “and tell them they had about five minutes before they drowned in the cold water.”

And then there was the guy who, spotting the warden’s truck approaching, jumped off the bridge with his fishing rod. “He tore the Rapala lure from his line,” reports McCrea, “and managed to embed two gang hooks into the palm of his right hand.”

Ouch! The guy had to sign with his left hand to keep the blood from ruining the ticket.

There are more dangerous stories, including brawls, gun threats, and even a tragic plane crash.

Now, I am hoping McCrea has more great stories to share with us. Keep ‘em coming D.B.!

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.