Poachers Were My Prey

Undercover wildlife officer details operation to infiltrate and hook Ohio fish poaching ring

By R.T. Stewart, as told to W.H. "Chip" Gross

Published Spring 2014

Photo of Ohio undercover wildlife officer RT Stewart
R.T. Stewart looked the part as he dealt with poachers while working as an undercover wildlife officer in Ohio.

“You ain’t no damn game warden, are ya?” the poacher snarled.

I looked him straight in the eye and lied.  “Game warden…?  I ain’t no game warden!”

The poacher paused, mulling over my answer, and added quietly, “Then why you askin’ so many questions?”

Thus begins the true story of R. T. Stewart’s career as an undercover wildlife law enforcement officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.  For nearly two decades, Stewart used his specialized skills to infiltrate poaching rings throughout Ohio, the Midwest, and beyond. 

In his new book, Poachers Were My Prey: Eighteen Years as an Undercover Wildlife Officer, Stewart chronicles his undercover adventures, detailing the techniques he used in putting poachers behind bars. It also reveals, for the first time, the secrets employed by undercover wildlife officers in catching the bad guys.  Operation Cornerstone was one of Stewart’s longest undercover cases, beginning in 2000 and spanning nearly two years.  Stewart tells the following story in his own words.

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Order The Book

Photo of the book Poachers Were My Prey by RT Stewart Published by Kent State University Press, copies of Poachers Were My Prey: Eighteen Years as an Undercover Wildlife Officer may be ordered online or through your local bookstore. 

For an autographed copy, send a personal check or money order in the amount of $27.35 (made payable to WORDsmith) to: WORDsmith, 6108 Township Road 88, Fredericktown, OH 43019.  Please include a note as to whom you would like your book(s) signed.