TRUE STORIES OF THE MAINE WARDEN SERVICE
MORE TALES OF NORTH WOODS LAW
Open Season began as a collection of stories with my father-in-law, retired Lieutenant Nathaniel Berry. After amassing enough tales of north woods law to fill half a book, we got other Maine game wardens involved, and in the end, I faced the tough challenge of cutting some of Nat's stories to better balance Open Season. My Maine upbringing taught me not to be wasteful, so here's the surplus. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did writing them.
Warden Nathaniel Berry was brushing his teeth for bed on a cold January night in 1981 when the phone rang. Late-night calls are an ominous sign in any household, but for a Maine game warden, it’s seldom good news. On this evening, the Pineland Hospital and Training Center, a state-run inpatient institute for the mentally challenged, was missing a patient. It wasn't uncommon for patients to wander off, but the center rarely asked for help. There was only one reason Pineland was calling now—they were desperate.
A diseased moose is wreaking havoc in Portland, and it's up to the Maine Warden Service to dispatch the animal before anyone is harmed. Easier said than done.
Wardens Nat Berry and Charlie Rice were working an abandoned farm on Turkey Lane in Cumberland. The rolling fields around the property were a known night-hunting hotspot for locals and, Nat had reason to believe, one of Cumberland’s finest.
Please Support the Maine Game Warden Foundation
As a thank you to the wardens who contributed their experiences to Open Season, we have started a fund for the Maine Game Warden Foundation. The MGWF, a non-profit run by retired game wardens, supports natural resource conservation, youth programs, families in need, public safety, and other social services. Please join us in supporting the MGWF. No gift is too small (or, for that matter, too large).
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