COOLBAUGH, Pa. -- Barry Warner has loved wildlife since boyhood, and lived out his dream of becoming a conservation officer. He sees no contradiction in the fact that he's also a lifelong trapper, skilled at capturing wild animals and, if appropriate, killing them as part of an avocation that many Americans view as barbarous.
Here in the township of Coolbaugh, on the edge of a vast track of state game land in northeast Pennsylvania, he's in his element. He demonstrates an array of traps unloaded from the back of his truck, reviews his 37-year career with the state game commission, from which he resigned as regional director in 2007, and recounts his periodic forays to North Carolina to trap bobcats, beaver and buck-toothed, wetland-dwelling nutria.
"Some people think trappers don't care about wildlife," says Warner. "It was my love for it that took me into this career. I don't want to see anything suffer."