"You ain't no damn game warden, are ya?" the poacher snarled. I looked him straight in the eye and lied, "Game warden? I ain't no game warden!" The poacher paused, mulling over my answer, and added quietly, "Then why you askin' so many questions?
Thus begins the story of R. T. Stewart's career as an undercover wildlife law enforcement officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. For nearly two decades, Stewart infiltrated poaching rings throughout Ohio, the Midwest, and beyond. Poachers Were My Prey chronicles his many exciting undercover adventures, detailing the techniques he used in putting poachers behind bars. It also reveals, for the first time, the secrets employed by undercover wildlife officers in catching the bad guys.
In Poachers Were My Prey, listeners look over R. T. Stewart's shoulder as he deals with the temptations offered an undercover officer, including money, sex, and drugs, and watch as he gets the job done and brings the poachers to justice.
In his honest storytelling style, Stewart also recounts some of the more humorous episodes of undercover work, as when, early in his career, he was so nervous around a group of poachers that he inadvertently put a lit cigar in his mouth backwards.
Poachers Were My Prey will be enjoyed by listeners interested in law enforcement, wildlife, preservation, hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.
The book is published by The Kent State University Press.
©2012 The Kent State University Press (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks
This was a great "behind the scenes" look at undercover work in the US wildlife services. Across 18 years Stewart worked as an undercover agent, catching poachers. The book covers those 18 years detailing the major operations he was involved in. It goes through each operation chronologically giving details of who, what where and when. Each operation is similar but different enough to keep it interesting.
It finished off with details on some of the technology changes across those 18 years, different training and development done, and talking about the toll it takes on those undercover such as the inability to swap back and forth between the two..
My main complaint on the book would probably be that those final things are broken out at the end, rather than scattered throughout. I think blending the conversation about how the tech changed from one op to the next would have worked better. And a little more detail on the logistics of leading a double life (how often he got home, depending on the requirements of the op) and how it affected him would have been good too. He touches on the marital issues it cause and the occasional "losing yourself", but doesn't give much details. The undercover operations are the focus.
Thus in the end we know the undercover game well, but we don't really know the person doing it and who he is and how he thought.
Cory Snow does great with the narration. It is not highly memorable, but I think that is what you want with something like this. He is clear and engaging. He is solid and enjoyable and very easy to just forget that it is a narrator. He provides a slight variation for voices of different 'characters' but it is subtle. Which works well here, because this is Stewart saying what these guys said. I actually think full different voices/accents would have taken me out of the book. So overall very happy with Snow's work
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