FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4) – You may deal with difficult customers or grumpy co-workers at your job but Brooklyn Evans has to contend with angry cougars and the occasional surly moose.
As a Conservation Officer for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources it’s all in a days’ work.
“I love going to work every day,” she told Behind The Badge.
The 25-year-old has loved police and the outdoors since she was a little girl.
“Growing up we would hunt and camp and fish a lot so it’s something we grew up doing especially with my dad,” Officer Evans said. “Law enforcement was everything I wanted to do. Once I was eight years old, I ran into a female conservation officer, and once I realized what she was doing, and realized it was every combination of everything I loved of wildlife and the law enforcement side. It’s absolutely my dream job.”
Before the DWR, the Utah State University graduate spent six years in the Utah Army National Guard, deploying to Iraq as a door gunner in a helicopter. Now she uses that military training as a sworn peace officer with a badge, a gun, and the authority to enforce all laws.
“You never know what’s out there and there’s always a risk,” she said. “The majority of people that we do contact do have a weapon on them because we’re contacting them during hunts…That’s something I have to think about every day because at the end of the day I just want to go home.”
In a year and half patrolling the wetlands and mountains of Davis County, she’s had quite a few wildlife encounters.
“I did have a cougar that was stuck in a trap and I think that was probably my favorite day on the job,” Officer Evans said. “We did end up tranquilizing the cougar…It’s just so cool because when else would I get to be that close to a cougar that’s still alive.”
Another time she helped track a wayward moose meandering through the streets of Centerville. After a colleague shot it with a tranquilizer dart, she helped load the snoozing moose into a trailer and showed it to some neighborhood kids.
“I love the education side of this job and just getting people involved,” she said. “Like with the moose, the opportunity for these young kids to get up close to pet a moose, that is just so cool to me to kind of grow my passion for wildlife to see it in those.”
And even after she clocks out for the day, Officer Evans still works with animals. You see, she and her husband have a taxidermy service called “Stay Wild.”
“It kind of started as a hobby and it’s turned into a really good business for us,” Officer Evans. “We do big game mounts and we do waterfowl, kind of a little mix of everything, and a good friend of mine trapped a pretty big raccoon so I’m mounting a raccoon, doing a full-body mount on that.”
If you do any hunting or fishing in Davis County, Officer Evans just may stop by to check your license and if you happen to bag anything you’re particularly proud of, you can visit Stay Wild’s Facebook page.