The North Central Region's National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) "Officer of The Year" nominee is Officer Dwain Mobley.
Mobley began his career in 1995 with the former Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, where he was assigned to Collier County.
In his first two years on the job, Mobley made several arrests for illegal taking and baiting of turkeys. His unwavering work ethic and ambition for protecting turkeys included charging a circuit court judge with hunting over bait. He also participated in the arrests of several suspects in "Operation Brooklyn," a covert investigation dealing with the illegal buying and selling of wildlife that included wild turkey. The investigation stemmed from information supplied by informants that included National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) members. The investigation was profiled in the NWTF magazine Turkey Call and Outdoor Life magazine.
In 1998, Mobley transferred to north central Florida where turkeys are abundant and unfortunately, some unethical hunters as well. Mobley quickly set out to work on the problem with a two-prong approach.
The first was to begin apprehending those who hunted out of season, over bagged and hunted over bait. The second part of his plan was to educate as many people along the way as possible.
He immediately went to work on enforcement and explained to those he apprehended the vulnerability of turkeys in relation to bait and how complete flocks could be wiped out by one unethical hunter. He appealed to their sense of fair play and explained that turkey populations could not withstand over-bagging and hunting out of season. He appealed to them to be responsible hunters and challenged them to leave something for future generations. He treated those that he took an enforcement action against with respect, but maintained his firmness.
Mobley realized that education was a key element in protecting the resource. Several of the offenders he apprehended were juveniles, and he used the opportunity to educate and challenge them to be responsible and ethical stewards of the resource.
Mobley routinely speaks at schools, civic organizations and hunting groups on a variety of topics, including hunter ethics. He attends career days at local schools and is an excellent role model for those desiring a career in wildlife law enforcement. He is well liked and respected in his community and has gained the respect of co-workers and supervisors. He routinely receives letters of commendation and was the Commission's North Central Region's "Officer of The Year" in 2002. He is also a member of the training staff and teaches defensive tactics.
Mobley is an avid turkey hunter and loves to talk turkey with anyone who will listen. He is an accomplished caller and a successful hunter.