Wild Justice: California 911

Photography by NGT

Written by Molly Mayock, Series Producer

Most people think of Fish & Game wardens solely as “wildlife cops” and protectors of natural resources.  Most people also assume wardens only deal with wildlife cases that arise in rural areas.  Mountains.  Rivers.  Your basic “field & stream” situations.  But wardens do so much more than that… and they do it in cities, suburbs and on oceans, too.

Wardens are 100% cops (“peace officers” is the official terminology) with 100% of the same skills, training and responsibilities as all other law enforcement officers, but with a lot more training in biology, environmental and wildlife studies.  While we’ve been in production on Wild Justice, Fish & Game wardens have been called in to assist in all sorts of functions by other law enforcement agencies.

In Fresno, where recently there have been more than fifty inner city gang shootings, the wardens joined 100 other police officers to storm houses and do parole searches for weapons, drugs and other illegal contraband.

The US Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force got the expert help of Fish & Game wardens when they surrounded a remote mountain compound of a fugitive who tried to stab his wife (and who is now romantically involved with his wife’s sister).

Sometimes Fish & Game wardens are the only “badge” for hundreds of miles in remote areas.  They are often first responders in emergency situations, providing first aid and rescue functions.  In one tragic situation, an elderly couple’s car crashed off a cliff into a raging river.  Warden Kyle Kroll was first on-scene and heroically tended to both of the wounded victims and stabilized their teetering vehicle until paramedics and other rescue agencies arrived 40 minutes later and airlifted the married couple to the hospital.  The wife survived, but we were deeply saddened to learn that the husband later passed away.


Wild Justice is a law enforcement series that follows the dedicated wardens of the California Department of Fish & Game as they protect and preserve the state’s wild life resources and environment from poachers and other violators. Tune in to Wild Justice, tonight: Monday, May 21st at 9p.m. et/pt.


  1. Bill
    July 2, 2012, 7:07 pm

    It didn’t take long before I hated watching Wild Justice. I completely understand how tough their job is and I greatly appreciate having game wardens across the country. What made me sick about this show is the arrogance and many completely acting like idiots. The game wardens that I’ve come across are all great people and perform outstanding work. On this show, they’re more worried about looking “good” than performing a quality job. I’ll continue watching the guys from Maine, but not the California show. Stop demeaning the job. Worry about your job and not the tv crews. Trust me, the viewers aren’t impressed.

  2. anne
    August 27, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Regarding the August 27 episode: The dog that attacked the deer is erroneously identified as a Siberian Husky. It is actually a Malamute.

  3. Paul
    October 2, 2012, 2:42 pm

    The one thing that comes to mind when watching this program is the modern “whip cracker” and slavery. What happened to freedom in the United States? I understand the importance of Game Wardens and I support the effort in most cases but these Wardens are abusive. I can’t help but think how this country is slowly turning into a version of Nazi Germany. I have changed my opinion of California after watching this program. Intimidation, accusation, abuse of the public in every imaginable way and being guilty until proven innocent is demonstrated in this program. How they can get away with this harassment of the public is beyond me. What have we become?

    October 29, 2012, 7:50 pm

    We in the public do not understand that people will do all kinds of taking of wildlife without rules to follow.As you can see it is very dangerous.

  5. Nature
    December 28, 2012, 11:47 am

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  6. lamont
    inland empire
    March 13, 2013, 4:15 pm

    i watch the show for a while didnt understand at first why we waste our fed $$$$ on this ,,,,,to save wild life for the future,,,,then on ABC channell 7 news it said fish n wildlife mistreated millions of $$$$$ that was set aside for wildlife .now fish and wildlife arnt any differant from the people doing ilegall fishing n hunting

  7. Cheryl
    May 29, 2013, 9:55 pm

    In reply to Paul from “klahoma”, with your pretty outlandish accusations; Nazi, Germany?? Really?? Then Lamont had some solid concerns about the Fish & Wildlife Dept. as a whole, misusing funds. I’m sure there are bad game wardens just like there are bad cops, bad doctors, etc, etc…. But, you can’t blame the whole institution on a few bad apples. The majority of them are protecting and saving our wildlife from people who are cruel and uncaring, unlawful, self serving, selfish, etc, etc. I applaud them and am grateful that they are enforcing laws that will ensure us that our great grandchildren will have a chance to enjoy animals in their natural habitat. After reading those two blogs though, I wish we had spent a bit more funding on education, and maybe we could enjoy improved spelling!!

  8. Lisa DeGennaro
    West Virginia
    June 22, 2013, 9:47 pm

    I just saw my first and last 2 minutes of Wild Justice. Who do these wardens think they are???? Guns drawn, busting into a home to snag some sturgeon poachers???? Are you kidding me??? Anything to make a TV show. NOT IMPRESSED. You are abusing your authority and the American people!!!

  9. Cheryl
    June 24, 2013, 10:55 pm

    Lisa….Since you are in West Virginia I am trying really hard to overlook your ignorance about fish poaching. I lived on the Oregon Coast for 25 years and my husband and I were in the Marine business. Because of these POACHERS, (Not just in California, they are EVERYWHERE!) the fishing season dwindled down to almost nothing, and the fishing season was all but cancelled, several years in a row. As a result, our business and livelihood was in the toilet. Before you shoot off your opinion please know what you are talking about!! Do not minimize the importance of our natural resources and do not minimize the seriousness of lawbreakers. Today, maybe they’re poaching a sturgeon….Tomorrow, they may be robbing your families business. Lack of respect for the law has no boundaries!!

  10. Tandra
    July 6, 2013, 6:52 pm

    I just found Wild Justice a couple of weeks ago. I am so glad they are playing reruns, so I can catch up on what I’ve missed for the last two or so years. My husband and family have started watching it now. I dvr so I don’t miss.
    I have family member that are true sheriff depart deputy’s and police officers, and they have told me Game Wardens are true officers. But I really don’t give a hoot about that, I like this show!
    The Wardens on Wild Justice are fun and entertaining and I’ve learned a lot about wild life. It’s a tv show, if ya don’t like it, turn the channel.
    I really am looking to buy Wild Justice tee shirts. So far, I haven’t found a site either from Nat Geo nor National Geographic Home sites. Can anyone help me with this?
    Wild Justice people, a big thank you, for the work and for making the tv show!!

  11. Arlene
    August 14, 2013, 8:07 pm

    I like the show Wild Justice and have learned a lot from it. I hope Nat Geo will have a season 4. Thanks.

    United States
    April 7, 2014, 10:31 am

    Wild Justice is the best show on tv…The wardens risk there lives to keep the cartels in check and as for poachers they are just plain scumbags, wardens should them on site, do the world a favor

    April 7, 2014, 10:43 am

    Shoot them on site

  14. Paul
    January 6, 2015, 2:52 pm

    What an abuse of authority. The game wardens in the state I live in don’t act like this and do a very good job of protecting our wildlife. This show, these wardens and the people on there crying over a dead squirrel make me laugh. What a waste of ctaxpayer money. Good for you California ya bunch of fruit cakes.

  15. Chad
    san jose
    January 10, 2015, 8:46 pm

    Just watched the Wild Justice where they busted an aquarium shop for having a black tip shark that they have had for 13 years. Why don’t they spend their time busting real poachers? I fish and hunt legally and think this is a gross misuse of tax dollars. Don’t know what else to say…

  16. dave james
    February 25, 2015, 2:49 pm

    I’m tired of all these dam cop shows then you get real non TV cops out on the streets acting like assholes. We are accused and arrested for just about everything now a day. what the hell ever happened to innocent till proven guilty not no more This country is one big police state and we have all types of cops gunning people down in the streets and getting away with it
    I say now who’s the dam criminals NOW

  17. marty errecart
    March 31, 2015, 1:29 pm

    I wish this show would come back because of wildlife variety shown, ( deer, bear, elk, hogs, abalone, lobster, salmon, birds, etc. ) and also the sickness of these poachers that will kill these animals with any illegal means available. With shows like building wild, spending millionaire dollars to build in the wild, and tree houses, spending millionaire dollars to build million dollar tree houses, shows like wild justice and North woods law are a breath of fresh air. Northwood’s Law, 70% chasing 12 year olds on ATV’s, 30% moose hunters and fish snagging, does not come close to matching the diversity of wild justices’ subject mater.
    I guess that’s why I live in CA, and a real man like Paul lives in SC.

  18. Rod Smith
    San Diego
    April 20, 2015, 12:08 pm

    California game wardens perform professional and readily enforce game and fish laws. The poachers they deal with
    are really scum and bottom feeders. They deserve to be
    caught, fined, jailed and lose their licenses. I would not like to think what we would lose if game wardens were not out there protecting our wild life. To those morons who criticize our wardens, shame you and if you do not like the shows, don’t watch.
    Rod Smith

  19. Rick Denney
    United States
    April 25, 2015, 2:53 pm

    I have watched a few episodes of wild justice. the one thing I can say is they need to watch Wardens on the outdoor channel. The wardens of outdoor channel are true professional officers. No bullshit and actually treat people with respect. unlike some of the wardens on wild justice. So if a person wants to watch a classy show watch Wardens on outdoor channel. Not a bunch of wardens playing as the old show cops.

  20. rusty nail
    north america
    September 14, 2016, 10:04 am

    I have to say watching this show only strengthens my convictions and opinions of all law enforcement who just happen to be on TV. This show shows just how far gone our rights and liberties have are. These reality actors are out there treading all over the constitutional rights of Americans, by publicly giving their personal opinions and there bullish views of every suspect even before they’re are given their day in court. They for get the public pays their salaries and for the vehicles, computers, radios , guns & ammunition, bullet vest, uniforms, boots, and every other piece of equipment they use. There fore these public employees should refrain from acting like high school bullies and nor do wells while out in the public and or on national television. The public is loosing it’s trust in the govt. is it any wonder why when every level of govt whether it be a judge or a park ranger, cop or state attorney, janitor or commissioner there is enough corruption to go around. If they can swing the long arm of the law and keep their boots on the American peoples neck applying pressure as they wish , then it’s the American peoples duty as citizens of this country to take down the govt. officials who miss behave or miss treats the people and abuses their authority and our constitutional rights to be free from tyranny and any other miscarriages of justice, pray for America and take our country back it’s our duty and the high cost of being free.