Retired California Game Warden

Warden Badges

As one might expect, various badges were worn by Game Wardens, Deputy Wardens, Reserve Wardens and others over the years.

Thanks to the hard work by representatives from three Departments within the Resources Agency, a Sesquicentennial Badge was created and made available to officers from those three departments; the Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Fish and Game in 1999 & 2000.

In addition to creating the special badge, they also compiled information on the badges worn by each of their respective agencies over the years and provided a copy of the book to each officer who purchased one of the special badges.

We all owe a special thanks to Park Ranger Mike Lynch, Game Warden Doug Messer and Firefighter Steven D. Huntington for their efforts.

The pages that pertain to the Department of Fish and Game are shown below.

Badges Page 2

Badges Page 3

Badges Page 1

Pictured below is thought to be an early hat piece worn on the officer’s dress uniform hat. We think it was used in the 1920’s &1930’s which is earlier than the hat pieces shown in the document below. A special thanks to Richard Bower for taking the time to contact the Department regarding this important part of our history.


Photo by Richard Bower

Badges Page 4


12 thoughts on “Warden Badges

  1. Aaron Galwey

    Good morning,

    I am a California game warden and have been since 2004. For Christmas this year, I received a “Fish and Game Protector” badge #177. It is the same style badge that you have listed as the circa 1920s hat badge. I think it’s a neat piece of history and was wondering if you had any additional information on that style badge?

    Aaron Galwey

    1. JackEdwards

      Aaron: I don’t have any additional info. As you can see, when Warden Doug Messer did the original history of badges and hat pieces, he did not discover this older hat piece either. Happy to have you out there protecting the wildlife resources. You came on just after I retired in 2003. If you come across any other historical info, don’t hesitate to send me a photo.

      Thanks, Jack

  2. Kyle Kroll

    Hi Jack! Excellent website, I have been extremely impressed with it and spent quite a bit a time reading about our history here!
    I had a question regarding the warden badges section. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to collect a few old warden badges and have them identified through your report here. One badge I have, that appears to be the oldest one I have, is not referenced, and I was hoping you may have some info or know who or where I could look to find out more. The badge is the typical six point star size and style, and in blue letters states: “California Fish & game commission”.
    On the back of the badge is the number 17, then “BBCO STER”. Would this be one of the first badges? In reading the history of the department, it appears that after 1883 the board of fish commissioners established a bureau of patrol and law enforcement. I am curious if it could possibly be that old?? But then again it says California fish and game commission, not fish commission.
    Do you know when the commission change names from Fish commission to fish and game commission?
    Thank you again for all your information here, and any information you may be able to provide!
    -Kyle Kroll

    1. JackEdwards

      The badge you are describing was issued to members of the Fish and Game Commission, not to the deputies or game wardens, which is why it is not shown in the badge history for the game wardens. In 1909, the Board of Fish Commission’s name was changed to the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) to reflect the importance of game conservation as part, its responsibilities.

  3. Kyle Kroll

    Just did a little more research on the old California fish and game commission badge. BBCO on back of badge stands for Bliss Brothers Company, makers of silver lockets, pins, buttons from 1887 through the 1950’s…

    1. JackEdwards

      Since the Fish and Game Commission came into being in 1909, the badge had to be issued after that date. Sorry but I don’t have any additional info on the badge.

  4. Bruce Cochran

    Jack any idea where Doug’s Badges and collection are now? I gave him one of the first issue soft badges, Those of us who worked CAMP were issued these in 1984. They were really Funky and I never wore it but passed it on to Doug as it was one of the first of it’s kind.

  5. Garrett Smittle

    I have recently acquired an old patch, it’s black with yellow trim and says “California F. G. Patrol” with a picture of a quail and a fish. Any information on old patches? Thanks!

  6. James Spagnolo

    Hi Jack,
    It looks like we have from our late fathers collection a very valuable badge that my father got at auction in 1987. It is warden fish and game 1928-1940. Now get this, serial # 1.
    Appreciate any info you can provide,
    Thank you
    James Spagnolo

    1. JackEdwards

      James: It was the practiced to issue badges number 1-10 to the 10 most senior wardens. Also, when a warden retires, it has been the practice to award the badge to the warden. As the result of these practices, there may be multiple copies of badge numbers 1-10. Because of these practices, it is mot possible to determine what the value of the badge may be based upon the number on the badge. The bottom line is that it is only as valuable as a collector may find it to be.

  7. Andy Cortez

    When I was working in headquarters in 1982, there was a box full of these old badges stored in cardboard box under a book case. The badges on this page are what I remember looking at, but there were also silver commissioner badges in the box. I also once owned a cap piece made in the 1940’s that was different from those depicted. I remember seeing a silver shield-style, stamped and painted, deputy game warden badge in the box. Later, I found a photo of a GW from the 1920’s wearing such a badge. FYI – There was a great 35 mm color movie that depicted game warden duties in the 1950’s. In the movie, a game warden squad is at pistol qualification when they get a call about a deer poacher. All of them jump in their sedans and the chase is on. What a hoot.

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