January 24, 2013

Show tracks the wild life of Maine game wardens

Maine's Warden Service is pleasantly surprised by the success of 'North Woods Law.'

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Warden Alan Curtis checks a trap "Downeast". Featured in March episode of 'North Woods Law.'

Photo courtesy of Animal Planet

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Warden Kris MacCabe with Producer Ben Shank and Cameraman Joe Brunette near Canadian border.

Photo courtesy of Animal Planet

The 95 or so field officers of the Maine Warden Service are basically "off-road law enforcement officers," said MacDonald. They attend the state's police academy and a warden academy, and are armed in the field.

They work within the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, so they enforce laws related to hunting and fishing, and do all sorts of law enforcement in natural areas -- where other law enforcement officers aren't as well equipped or trained to reach.

So in terms of fodder for a show, "North Woods Law" offers a lot.

On one upcoming episode, Spahr must investigate deer traps set up to protect an illegal marijuana patch. Another episode will feature wardens searching for a boy lost in the woods. Thursday's episode was shot last summer, and includes encounters with ATV riders and a search for an alligator.

For most episodes, wardens are followed by two camera operators and a field producer, said Devon Platte, the show's co-executive producer and a Portland resident whose past credits include "The Amazing Race" for CBS.

Platte said trust is an important part of the relationship between the crews and the wardens. He thinks the episode focusing on LaFlamme and the bear illustrates that trust.

Crews were going to meet LaFlamme around 9 a.m. that day, but he called them around 4:30 a.m. to alert them to the bear.

"We have to keep up with the wardens, not slow them down, and show them they can trust us," said Platte. "Early on, I think we figured that out, and it's worked out for everyone."


Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:



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