(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – Coordinating the investigation of a quadruple moose poaching case near Hudson in 2012, combined with a history of sorting out complicated interstate poaching cases has earned Lander Wildlife Investigator Scott Browning the “Officer of the Year Award” from the Wyoming Game Warden’s Association. The association also honored the Park County Attorney’s Office with the “Support Person of the Year Award.”
Browning, 51, began his Game and Fish career in 1988 as a summer game warden patrolling North Platte River reservoirs. He worked the 1989 summer patrolling Lake DeSmet and Keyhole Reservoir. He served as a game warden trainee in Casper before being promoted to be the Medicine Bow District game warden in August 1990. In June 1995, he was promoted to be the wildlife investigator or detective in Casper. He transferred to Green River that October and to Lander in September 2001.
In the multiple moose poaching case, Browning quickly identified a 72-year-old lead suspect.
“I’m here to tell you that this guy was the toughest ‘nut to crack’ and had obviously been around the block before,” said Riverton game warden Brad Gibb who assisted with the interview. “To make a long story short, Scott conducted the most artful and strategic interview I have ever witnessed in my 25-plus years as a game warden and the suspect ultimately admitted to the crimes.”
Browning was also commended for representing Montana, Arizona and Alaska, in addition to Wyoming, in the successful 2010 -2011 investigation of a Jackson man’s multi-state license fraud scheme. The 25-year Game and Fish veteran also tracked a bighorn sheep poacher through three states in 2006-2007 before obtaining a conviction.
In addition to his interviewing skills, Browning is also respected throughout the law enforcement community for his prowess executing search warrants.
Browning is an Arvada, Colo. native and attended the Colorado School of Mines before earning a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Prior to joining the Game and Fish, he worked for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Crafting five search warrants for game wardens in 2013 and transcribing 197 pages of suspect interviews from tapes were among the accolades cited in honoring the Park County Attorney’s Office as the association’s “Support Person of the Year.”
“Brian Skoric [county attorney] and the Park County Attorney’s Office have a long history of high profile wildlife crime convictions including Gary Vorhies’ sheep poaching case, seizure of a helicopter used in a elk poaching case and the Colton Lapp deer poaching case, just to name a few,” said Irah Leonetti, Cody Region wildlife investigator.
The awards were presented at the Wyoming Game Warden’s Association’s annual convention in Cody. The association sports a membership of 170 active and retired wildlife officers. Since it was founded in 1973, the association has awarded nearly $300,000 in college scholarships and charitable gifts.
–Provided by Wyoming Game & Fish Department