Retired Wildlifers: Career Spotlights

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Read tales from the field and career spotlights from some of TWS’s retired and life members, as well as retired wildlife professionals.

Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places, By Bruce Smith: Bruce Smith is pleased to announce the publication of his new book. The book contains 16 essays ranging from humorous to harrowing encounters with wildlife, lightning, avalanches, mishaps in helicopters, and other wildland adventures.  You can learn more about the book at www.brucesmithwildlife.com and order it from your local bookstore or from online booksellers. Smith has been a member of TWS since 1973.

A Career and a Half, By Dale Jones: Dale Jones had no idea what he wanted to be when he grew up. A California native, he enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from high school at the age of 17. In 1946, he discovered that wildlife and forestry may be right up his alley. Sure enough, Jones’s career in the wildlife profession lasted 30+ years and he continues to put his expertise to good use during retirement.  Read Jones’s story and learn how this Past-President of The Wildlife Society and 65-year member left his mark on the wildlife profession and TWS.’


The Winter 2013 issue of The Wildlife Professional focused on retired wildlife professionals and how they continue to work for wildlife during retirement.

“Our profession is full of committed and energetic people who remain active well after receiving their last paycheck. Several such retirees have stepped up to share their inspirational stories in this issue of The Wildlife Professional. These articles prove that the passion never dies, and that retired wildlifers find all kinds of meaningful ways to invest their time, talent, and wealth of knowledge. I hope your fear of retiring will vanish, replaced by dreams about the contributions and adventures to come!”

-Winifred B. Kessler, PhD, CWB®, Past-President of TWS

Forget the Couch-Potato Image, by Winifred B. Kessler

From the Panhandle to the Platte, by Carl Wolfe

Living a Dream, by Randy Rodgers

From Albuquerque to Africa, by Gail Tunberg

Freedom from Bureaucracy, by Mike McEnroe

A Trip Down Memory Lane, By Herb Goulden, Brian Gillespie, and Larry Bidlake

Shifting Gears, by Reed Sanderson


Thagard R. Colvin, a TWS member since 1983, recently authored a book titled, “Alapaha River Night Hunters”.  The book is a novel but is based from Colvin’s time (1968-1978) as a wildlife biologist in south Georgia when tracking black bears and eastern indigo snakes.  The area out from the Okefenokee Swamp was wild and woolly.   It tells a lot of what was faced as wildlife biologists long ago. The novel is available on Amazon.


Video: Dogs and Lions – In this interview for The Black Range Rag, Harley Shaw discusses his life as one of America’s preeminent Mountain Lion Researchers. He covers topics as diverse as how packs of hounds were used to tree Lions so that they could be tagged and the advent of radio telemetry to track animals and his role in the development of those techniques. Harley Shaw has been a member of TWS since 1958.


View interviews with retired wildlifers and learn about their careers and involvement with TWS.