Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officers

Deputy Officer.Neely

What is the difference between a deputy wildlife conservation (DWCO) officer and a wildlife conservation officer (WCO)?

A deputy wildlife conservation officer volunteers to aid officers and the public with wildlife law enforcement concerns and interests, whereas a wildlife conservation officer is a full-time law enforcement employee of the Game Commission. Deputies support the employed officers, however they cannot complete the full range of duties that an officer is permitted to conduct.

Why are deputy wildlife conservation officers important?

We have 1.4 million acres of state game land in addition to other hunting land and wildlife areas. Wildlife Conservation Officers cannot be everywhere at all times and lean heavily on the support of deputy conservation officers.

What duties to Deputy Conservation Officers fulfill?

– enforce the law

– conduct educational programming

– respond to wildlife concerns

What training do DWCOs receive?

First Year:

-A basic training at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg: 75 hours of training over the course of a week

– On-the-job training with a Wildlife Conservation Officer during the probationary year: 80 hours


Following Years DWCOs must attend annually:

-At least four district training sessions

-Two firearms qualifications shoots

-Eight hours of defensive tactics training

-Legal updates training

-Verbal Communications training

District training sessions cover such topics as law enforcement methods and techniques, wildlife law and regulations, principles of wildlife management, land management practices, conservation education, public relations and hazardous materials/employee right-to-know.

How to apply:

Call the training division and request an information packet.  (717) 787-3168.

Learn more here.

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