I am happy to announce that we will have Lucas Swanson joining the Northwest Gun Magazine writing team, and he’ll be covering various hunting related topics that are a part of his daily experiences in Idaho. I’ll let Lucas introduce himself here!
Hello my name is Lucas Swanson, I currently work for the great state of Idaho as a conservation officer with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. I worked seasonally for the department on a fisheries crew before being hired on full time as a conservation officer in 2008. Background qualifications to get the job included earning a bachelors degree in wildlife resources from the University of Idaho and spending four years in the Marine Corps infantry. For those unfamiliar with what conservation officers do or how much training they get, it is a lot. All conservation officers in Idaho are certified peace officers and have been through the state patrol officer academy. Additionally, Idaho Fish and Game has their own intensive field training package, semi-annual physical fitness tests, firearms and tactical training and a bunch of other miscellaneous requirements that all officers have had to go through or are required to retest every year.
I am currently assigned the Powell patrol area in the Clearwater/Nez Perce National Forests which includes a huge chunk of real estate along the Lochsa and Selway Rivers. Both are world class trout rivers. My patrol area borders Montana on one side and encompasses a large portion of the 1.3 million acre Selway/Bitterroot Wilderness Area. It is the 3rd largest wilderness in the lower 48. Since only a small percentage of my patrol area has roads I cover it using a variety of different means- boat, horse, foot, atv, pickup, and snowmobile patrols. Different duties associated with my job include everything from checking hunters/anglers/trappers for compliance with wildlife laws, teaching hunter education classes or other education programs to school age kids or interested groups, assisting fish or wildlife biologists with various projects, responding to nuisance or injured animal complaints, helping out on public assistance calls such as vehicle crashes or search and rescue efforts, and basically anything else that comes up from spitting on the sidewalk to weapons of mass destruction. You never know what will happen with this job and it is almost never boring.
I am married to a wonderful woman who lives with me in the woods and loves it. She shot her first deer when she was nearly 7 months pregnant with our first daughter and now is addicted to bear hunting. We currently have two beautiful daughters who already are showing interest in all things outdoors. They ask me whenever I come home from work “can we go fishing again Dad?” or “what did you get today?” It makes it easy to go home.
For my own beginnings in the outdoors, I began accompanying my dad on hunting and fishing trips at the age of 5. I started hunting myself at the age of 9. I have been fortunate to hunt and harvest a number of different big game animals such as moose, elk, bear, wolf, mountain lion, and 3 species of deer(mule, blacktail and whitetail). Although it might sound like big game is a primary pursuit, my first love was waterfowl and upland bird hunting. Salmon and steelhead are my preferred angling quarry although I enjoy everything from fly fishing for trout to bobber fishing for bluegills. I think that about covers my background so good luck and stay safe out there.
Welcome aboard Lucas! Can’t wait to read more about hunting and wildlife in Idaho.