This news release was archived on Friday, June 22, 2012
Eight members of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Region 6 Enforcement Bureau team took first place at a recent shooting marksmanship competition in Helena.
The Region 6 team included Sgt. Shane Reno and Warden Ron Howell of Havre, Plentywood-area Warden Ryan Linder, Wardens Mike Lee and Dirk Paulsen of Malta, Wardens Todd Tryan and Todd Anderson of Glasgow, and Criminal Investigator Lennie Buhmann. Warden Capt. Mike Herman supervises the group.
The shooting competition took place between seven teams of FWP wardens and an eighth team made up of Enforcement Bureau staff from Helena. The competition was part of the bureau’s annual training seminar at Fort Harrison. While there, Reno was recognized for his 20 years of service with FWP, Linder and Anderson were recognized for 10 years of service, and Howell and Paulsen were recognized for 5 years of service.
The Region 6 team took first place and came home with the coveted Sara Trophy, named after Gene Sara, one of nine Montana wardens who have died in the line of duty. Gene Sara, an ex-U.S. Marine who served in both World War II and Korea, was shot and killed in 1974 while helping other law enforcement personnel respond to a domestic abuse call in Thompson Falls.
At the time, department policy did not allow wardens to carry sidearms. Following Sara’s death, however, the policy was changed and FWP officers have routinely carried sidearms and other weapons since, says Assistant Enforcement Bureau Chief Mike Korn.
“Gene was an avid shooter, involved in both sport hunting and shooting competition,” Korn says. “He had been a long-time advocate that wardens should be armed in the field. Many wardens had participated in competitive shoots, and there were annual competitions between wardens. Following Gene’s death, the annual competition was named for him, as a memorial to his love of the shooting sports, and also his sacrifice on behalf of Montana’s wild resources.”