Braden is Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer
By Eugenia Jones
McCreary County’s most recently hired Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer is both a resident and native of McCreary County. Joey Braden, who spent six years serving in a National Guard aviation unit and previously worked for the federal prison in McCreary County and the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department, began his training with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife in January of 2020. Although some of his training was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Braden was able to graduate from the Fish and Wildlife Academy in February 2021. During his training, Braden successfully completed all requirements including twelve weeks of instruction from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Academy, training from the Department of Criminal Justice, and twelve weeks of field training.
“It has been a busy year,” Braden said with a grin.
Braden, who is a 2009 McCreary County graduate and is married with two sons, was drawn to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife because of his love of hunting and the outdoors.
According to Braden, the best part of his job is being outdoors alongside those who enjoy hunting and fishing. The most difficult aspect is dealing with impaired boaters. Braden’s biggest surprise thus far in his work has been discovering a bobcat in McCreary County.
Braden said Fish and Wildlife law enforcement can be contacted for emergency help with nuisance bears or to report activity such as poaching or spotlighting by calling KSP Post 11 at 606-878-6622.