Shikar-Safari Club International presented its 2018 Wildlife Officer of the Year award to Game Warden Jay Harvey during the regular meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission on Dec. 3 in Oklahoma City.
Harvey is the first Game Warden in the 109-year history of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to be selected for this honor twice. He also won the award in 2010.
Harvey, who has served as a game warden for 26 years, was selected by his peers to receive the honor. Shikar-SCI representatives Raegen Siegfried and Suzie Brewster presented Harvey with a framed certificate and a commemorative metal plate after introductions by Lt. Col. Nathan Erdman, assistant chief of law enforcement for the Wildlife Department.
Harvey began his Wildlife Department career in 1992. Currently serving as a Game Warden based in Atoka County, he served most of his career based in Bryan and Choctaw Counties.
He was recognized by his peers for his experience, dedication, efficiency and effectiveness. Harvey excels in teamwork and public outreach.
Among his achievements:
- Since the Wildlife Youth Camp began in 1998, Harvey has volunteered his time to help operate the weeklong event, and for many years served as its coordinator.
- In November 2017, Harvey’s familiarity with McGee Creek Wildlife Management Area helped him locate and rescue a lost 69-year-old hunter.
- Harvey’s proficiency in airboat operations allowed the rescue or evacuation of more than 200 people as he volunteered for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.
Game wardens are among the most widely recognized members of the wildlife conservation team. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation employs more than 100 wardens, who are dispersed among eight law enforcement districts statewide.
Oklahoma’s game wardens are public servants sworn to protect wildlife and the public’s interests in the outdoors. All wardens are state-certified peace officers, allowing them to enforce all state laws, and all are commissioned federal game wardens, allowing them to enforce Lacey Act violations.
Shikar-Safari Club International began more than a half-century ago and is limited to 200 members worldwide. It is dedicated to the protection, enhancement and preservation of wildlife, with particular emphasis on endangered and threatened species through the promotion of enforcement of conservation laws and regulations. The club’s foundation puts more than $1 million into wildlife and conservation efforts each year, including more than 30 scholarships annually for game wardens and their children in hope of building interest in wildlife careers and conservation.