Maine Names Their Game Warden Of The Year! - The Fisherman

Maine Names Their Game Warden Of The Year!

Game Warden Joe McBrine of the Machias district was honored as the Maine Game Warden of the Year at the annual Maine Warden Service Awards Ceremony at the Winslow VFW last month. McBrine patrols the Downeast region of Maine and is stationed in Division C in Bangor.

Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso was the featured speaker at the awards ceremony, which was held in person for the first time since 2019. The awards ceremony gives special recognition to game wardens for exceptional performance during 2021. It also includes the recipient of the Maine Game Warden of the Year Award, and recognizes the Game Warden Supervisor of the Year, the Legendary Game Warden of the Year and highlights individuals and groups who assisted the Maine Warden Service.

“It is an honor to recognize the outstanding work of those protecting Maines natural resources, and protecting those that enjoy them,” said Camuso. The outstanding work of the men and women in the Maine Warden Service is well known not only in Maine, but beyond our borders as well.


Achievements that were recognized included incidents where human lives were saved, and other awards highlighted the conservation of Maine’s fish and wildlife resources in ways deserving of special recognition. The following were recipients of this year’s annual awards.

2021 Maine Game Warden of the Year: Game Warden Joe McBrine, (Machias District) has served as a Maine Game Warden for 27 years. He was assigned his first district in western Maine, where he spent a short period of time before transferring to Downeast Maine, where he has remained. Warden McBrine spent the majority of his career in the Lubec patrol, and has recently transferred to the Machias patrol where he has spent the last five years.

McBrine was recognized for multiple accomplishments including his work in 2021. During the 2021 fall hunting season, Warden McBrine was also the top performer not only in his division, but statewide as well when it came to apprehensions during the months of September, October, and November. Warden McBrine had a total of 52 cases during these months, more than anyone else. He had several high-profile convictions.

McBrine was also recognized for his work as a Warden Training Officer. McBrine has vast experience to offer to new Game Wardens, and his dedication, thoroughness, and his skillset in apprehending intentional violators has made him an ideal member of the WTO team.

Another example of Warden McBrine going above and beyond was the work that he did in establishing the DNA program at University of Maine in Machias. Warden McBrine served as the liaison for the Warden Service and worked closely with Dr. Gerry Zeger in laying the blueprint for what was needed to establish a DNA program to assist in providing DNA evidence in wildlife crimes. Warden McBrine was on the forefront of obtained DNA samples for Dr. Zeger to establish a baseline, which was needed to get the program on its feet. In late 2020, the program became operational.

The Game Warden of the Year Award shall be presented to any member of Warden Service who, consistently in the past has conducted themselves in such a manner as to display an exceptional expertise in the areas of conservation law enforcement, management, community and public relations and all aspects of a game wardens duties and during the past year has performed in a manner that reflects continued performance in this manner.