CO of the year named

by Jason Bain | April 13, 2023
CO of the Year 2023

Clinton-based Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Conservation Officer Drew Pegrum has been named 2023 Conservation Officer of the Year.

The Guelph Enforcement Unit member “is a professional who demonstrates exceptional leadership and motivates his team, colleagues, and trainees to administer their very best to protect our natural resources, and ensure public safety,” the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) stated on April 6.

“He is also well established within the community he serves and is often called upon by residents, landowners, policing partners and community groups in relation to angling, hunting and land use questions and complaints,” officials stated.

Accomplishments many

Some of Pegrum’s recent work includes using surrogate wildlife decoys to prevent unsafe and illegal hunting practices, going above and beyond for a mobility impaired hunter, enforcement in and around Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area, co-ordinating multi-district hunter safety and trespassing search warrants, and mentoring many officers to become successful COs.

Pegrum started his seasonal career with the MNRF in 2011 as a park ranger at Inverhuron Provincial Park, then in 2012 moved to a park warden position at Balsam Lake Provincial Park. In 2013, he took his career to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta as a seasonal conservation officer (CO) before returning as a CO intern within the Bancroft Enforcement Unit working out of Minden. He completed his internship in 2014 and was hired as a contract CO out of Owen Sound and shortly after secured a full-time position within the Guelph Enforcement Unit, working out of Guelph prior to getting to his current position out of the Clinton office.

CO called natural leader

“Officer Pegrum is not afraid to utilize new techniques or solutions to aid him in his pursuit of ensuring hunter safety,” OCOA President Matthew McVittie stated. “He is a natural leader that has collected extensive knowledge throughout his life hunting, fishing and being outdoors. In the last few years, he has had the opportunity to become a Coach Officer. He takes great pride in the individuals he has coached, who have moved on as full time COs.”

Pegrum is an active volunteer in Listowel, but his true passion lies with the outdoors and hockey, McVittie added. “Anytime that Drew can’t be found spending time with his family or at work, he can be found mentoring youth hunters, anglers, and hockey players throughout his community.”

For more information on past winners, visit: http://ocoa.ca/tributes/ocoa-awards/

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