Jerry Karnow
No. 1 wildlife detective, the political leader of game wardens in California, and an avid hunter and angler – 2011

Karnow is the state’s No. 1 wildlife detective, the political leader of game wardens in California, and an avid hunter and angler with a specialty for tracking big game in remote locations.

As a game warden, Karnow has donated thousands of hours beyond his normal shifts, using FBI-type detective skills, to bust hundreds of poaching cases. One such case was profiled on national television and attracted attention to California’s force of game wardens from across America.

He is the political leader for game wardens; after election, Gov. Jerry Brown had a meeting with Karnow.

He’s an avid hunter and angler, fishing salt and freshwater, and hunting deer, elk, antelope, upland game and waterfowl throughout the west. The past season he took a lifetime-best mule deer in remote terrain that required 11 hours to pack out.

Karnow has an easy, friendly personality that engages the public and puts people at ease, regardless of their backgrounds. In the process, he has become one of the state’s most effective advocates for fishing and wildlife conservation and enforcement.