And just as I am beginning to look over the activity that is going on down around the Water-Bridge, and up and down stream from it, a voice speaks from through the window on the passenger’s side of the truck, "Have your Lisence?"
Reflexively I straighten up and instinctively reach for my wallet.
I look over to the window to see the face of the Clover County Game Protector, Ranger Warden staring at me through the side window.
"Don’t bother," he reassures me, "I just saw you sitting there and couldn’t resist the oppurtunity."
"Fine," I say, as I reseat, "A game warden with a sense of humor."
"The State Agency has directed all of us Wardens to find more ways to relate to our outdoor cliental," Rnger Warden explains.
As the Old-timers tell it, Ranger Warden had been one of those kids that ever since he’d seen his first Smokey Bear poster, had wanted to become a forest ranger. Thus his dad had taken to calling him, ‘Ranger.’
And as events had worked out, instead of forest Ranger, Ranger Warden had become a game protector and had eventually ended up being sent to Clover County on an assignment to better educate the oudoors-people there about the outdoors.
Ever since we’d been in school, Ranger Warden had explained to us that he’d move on to get the assignment in the State Capital when he’d finished his job of educating the people of Clover County about the outdoors. Turned out that Clover County needed lots of extended education, and years later Ranger Warden’s work here had yet to be finished.
You might suspicion that Ranger Warden wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He enjoyed the outdoors, and was around enough, that other than the usual cases of expired fish lisences, nobody bothered to try and pull off many game violations.
To his credit, Ranger Warden would just as likely be the first one to help track down someone’s lost hound, or show people proper fishing technique, as well as enforce the regs.
Regaining my seating I ask, "Sensitive Biological Survey? What gives?"
Ranger Warden nods down toward the people in bermuda cut-offs, busy seining above and below the water-bridge in the Too Much Creek, "From the Community College, doing a census to survey the number of Stick Bass and Algeal CatFish in Too Much Creek, think they might find a new subspecies."
"Stick Bass? Algae Catfish?" I speak up.
Ranger Warden looks over at me evenly, "Seems a couple of smarty-alecks made mention of it whan they filled out their fishing surveys."