WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) chose Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Ripley County Conservation Agent Darren Killian as Wildlife Officer of the Year for Missouri. Killian was presented the award on Feb. 16 at the NWTF’s national convention in Nashville, Tenn.
MDC Protection Regional Supervisor Gary Cravens, who is Killian’s supervisor, said Killian is known for making unique and quality wildlife arrests.
“Darren continually strives to improve the professionalism of wildlife law enforcement and has done a tremendous job in maintaining a well-rounded conservation agent program. He covers all aspects of assigned duties and he always places a strong emphasis on wild turkey regulation enforcement,” Cravens said.
Killian is in his thirteenth year as a conservation agent in Ripley County. He is consistently one of the top agents in the region for cases related to illegal turkey hunting, according to Cravens. During his tenure, he has cited more than 65 individuals for hunting turkeys during the closed season.
Killian is also involved with the NWTF JAKES program and the Kiwanis Club. He contributes to a monthly radio program and he plays an active role with the feral hog eradication project in Ripley County.
One of Killian’s other great characteristics is his ability to relate and work well with children, Cravens said. He enjoys training and teaching children about the outdoors. This year he gave presentations on gun safety at two JAKES events, helped instruct the clay bird shoot, and served as a judge in the youth turkey calling competition.
“Killian is one of our most respected officers in the Ozark Region with his approach and creativity in enforcement,” Cravens said. “Conservation agents look to him for guidance because of his effectiveness in building difficult cases. He conveys a humble attitude and is a shining example for all Department of Conservation employees.”
A Sikeston native, Killian earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Southeast Missouri State University prior to his training at the Conservation Agent Academy.
For more information about conservation agent jobs in Missouri, go online to mdc.mo.gov.