Misconceptions, challenges of wildlife biology profession

A sea otter researcher with USGS tracks a radio-tagged sea otter near Morro Bay, California.
©Lilian Carswell/Pacific Southwest Region USFWS

One thing sportsmen should know about wildlife biologists is that they aren’t out of touch with hunters and landowners — they just simply ­cannot be everywhere all the time, according to four state wildlife biologists who recently participated in a Q&A with Outdoor Life magazine. “We can’t be everywhere, so we often have to rely on surveys to reach out to a large amount of hunters and find out what they are seeing on the ground,” said David Stainbrook, deer & moose project leader at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, in his interview with Outdoor Life. Ryan Walker, Tex Creek District Habitat Biologist at the Idaho Department of Game and Fish, echoed Stainbrook’s sentiments, noting that it is a matter of scale, where biologists are focusing on entire populations. The four biologists are all members of The Wildlife Society from each corner of the U.S., and they covered a range of topics from other aspects of their relationship with sportsmen to the best and worst part of their jobs.