Wildlife biologist Bob Massey’s profession spanned a long time and touched individuals in addition to wildlife

Whereas we talked, Bob Massey fished together with his son at an Iroquois County pond.

Why not? After practically 34 years with the Illinois Division of Pure Sources (Division of Conservation), Massey retired final month as district wildlife biologist (Kankakee, Grundy, Iroquois counties) with loads of different roles.

He was a wildlife illness specialist whereas it was vacant, had a lead position in coping with power losing illness (CWD), was on a noticed crew after Hurricane Katrina, and, amongst many roles in firefighting/prescribed burns, traveled all around the West.

“The most important one was in Utah, slightly below 400,000 acres in sage, grass and chaparral,” Massey stated.

Just retired biologist Bob Massey at a prescribed burn.

Simply retired biologist Bob Massey at a prescribed burn.

He earned his bachelor’s in science training at Southern Illinois, then began graduate work at SIU’s Wildlife Analysis Lab. His profession started as a wildlife technician at Dixon Springs State Park in Golconda in October, 1988.

“I might have stayed down there, however to get a promotion I needed to transfer and got here again to dwelling district,” he stated.

Massey, who grew up in Frankfort and went to Lincoln-Method Central, moved within the winter of 1990 to turn out to be a district biologist, his “final aim.”

He is banded geese in Hudson Bay in Canada for 3 weeks (“all achieved by helicopter”), flew aerial surveys and mentored.

“Bob Massey was the primary particular person I met on the Wilmington Sport Farm on my first day as an intern with the DNR,” wildlife biologist Stefanie Fitzsimons messaged. “He instantly took me beneath his wing and he has been my mentor ever since! In my 11 years realizing Bob, there are only a few days I have not been on the telephone with him asking questions.”

Reminiscence highlights embrace deer verify stations.

“You get to go to with guys who’re profitable,” he stated. “There are individuals I knew their dads and now their children are searching. These are actually good.”

Just retired wildlife biologist Bob Massey does a deer survey in northern Illinois from a helicopter.

Simply retired wildlife biologist Bob Massey does a deer survey in northern Illinois from a helicopter.

Massey held key roles on CWD, which modified dynamics.

“Greatest factor that modified is [the public] thinks of the DNR as an adversary now, not the people who find themselves there to assist,” he stated. “That modified lots since I started. We’re not the adversaries. I believe lots of that’s CWD associated. Individuals suppose we’re out to decimate the deer hunt. It was an ideal storm of CWD, different ailments and deer administration modifications. Issues will enhance, we simply should recover from this hump.”

State forester Tom Gargrave shared an workplace for 32 years with district wildlife biologist Joe Rogus and Massey on the Des Plaines Sport Propagation Middle in Wilmington.

“We labored many early mornings and really late nights and laughed our manner via most of it,” Gargrave stated. “Working in subject biology for IDNR doesn’t conform to regular work guidelines, descriptions, labor negotiations, or rules. It is molded via ardour.”

For many who take into account an analogous path, Massey suggested, “Obtained to get a masters, as a result of that’s the solely factor they may have a look at. Be keen to place within the time and be keen to maneuver to search for a job. Cannot anticipate an 8-4 job, since you work all hours.”

Just retired wildlife biologist Bob Massey (left) works with an owl chick while his Lab Lambeau observes.

Simply retired wildlife biologist Bob Massey (left) works with an owl chick whereas his Lab Lambeau observes.

After I requested about wild wildlife sightings, Massey conceded, “They’re a chore at occasions. For the quantity of [cougar] sightings we get, you’d suppose we’re within the Black Hills of South Dakota. For those who thoughts thinks you noticed one, that’s what you noticed.”

Take the cougar sighting that was a neighbor’s canine or “The lady in Chicago who reported a mountain lion sitting on roof and consuming a raccoon. She had had a pair drinks.”

He landed at 21two-pound largemouth bass, caught on a small Rapala.

“We’re multi-tasking, one other factor I discovered with the state,” he stated.

It was time.

Just retired wildlife biologist Bob Massey carrying a caiman and an American alligator.

Simply retired wildlife biologist Bob Massey carrying a caiman and an American alligator.

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