Game warden slain by poacher remembered

Game Warden Supervisor Arnold Magoon

Game Warden Supervisor Arnold Magoon was killed by a poacher 43 Years ago today.  The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is asking Vermonters to take a moment to honor the memory of State Game Warden Arnold Magoon of Brandon and all of Vermont’s fallen officers. 

Arnold Magoon was killed in the line of duty in 1978 and is the only Vermont State Game Warden to lose his or her life on the job. The following details are reprinted from a 2016 post on

“In the very late hours of the night, the 18-year veteran of Vermont Fish & Game Department (VFGD), Game Warden Arnold J Magoon was at his home and station post, in Brandon, when he heard a gunshot in the middle of the night. With Warden Magoon’s home being close to State Forests, he suspected he was hearing the results of a poacher.

“He got into his patrol vehicle and headed in the direction of where he believed the gun shot to have originated from, about a half mile from his home. Warden Magoon discovered three men in a vehicle, who were known deer poachers. The three men started arguing with Warden Magoon, and then one of the men, Scott Johnson, began fighting with Warden Magoon.

“During the fight, Warden Magoon’s flashlight, a heavy six-cell Maglite, was loose, at which point Johnson grabbed a hold of it, striking Warden Magoon three times on his head. Warden Magoon was eventually taken to a hospital, where he died.”

“It was a sad day for wardens and a sad day for Vermonters, many of whom still remember Arnold as a ‘gentle giant’ of a man,” said Colonel Jason Batchelder, Vermont’s chief warden.

 “It is important that we all remember our fallen officers, both for their memories and as a service to ourselves.  Law Enforcement is rewarding but dangerous and honoring Arnold each April 27 keeps his memory alive and keeps us vigilant in our day-to-day work.”

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6 replies »

  1. I remember Vermont Game Warden Magoon and when he was murdered in the Line of Duty. A good man who died performing his law enforcement duties.

  2. Lest we forget, thanks for the opportunity to remember and reflect. God bless all that serve.

  3. Defunding police is a cover for an attempt to create violent revolution. I even photographed a teacher at a school in Hardwicke leading his students in a demonstration in Hardwicke with banners urging “Defund Police”.

  4. I remember the details posted from that day. What is missing? The lessons learned and the consequences for those perpetrators are missing and need to be remembered, too. Warden Magoon was out numbered and too trusting (Hint: “Canine backup” would have been a “game changer” for Magoon). All law enforcement personnel deserve and require the utmost respect while doing their job. Sometimes they don’t get that. It can be a “lousy job” and those who step up and take it on need the support and backing of law abiding citizens in every situation. The teacher as noted above did not teach and support the fundamentals of our Republic and so is not fit for that job. Corrective action is needed. If parents of those kids (among others) were doing their job, the teacher, the principle, and the superintendent would be gone now. Still time to get that done. BLM is a domestic terrorist organization that teaches and demonstrates lawlessness as a “political action” option. I see signs of that ignorance (stupidity?) in front of numerous homes in Vermont. The greatest proponent of that method in my lifetime was Adolf Hitler. It is time for that lesson to be retaught at home and in schools and not permitted to be destructively demonstrated in the streets. Teaching through consequences here is needed and will be coming. The degree of the consequences will likely depend on the time lag before correction is initiated. The preferred solutions: “Ballots over bullets and rope over same, but all options are on the table.”

  5. I conducted the funeral for Vermont Game Warden Arnold Magoon 43 years ago. It was a tragic loss for both his family and his community. Communities tend to move on but unfortunately, the impact on the family is for life and is often overlooked or forgotten.

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