Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Steve Mooney has been named Michigan Conservation Officer of the Year by the National Wild Turkey Federation.

An Allegan County native, Mooney joined the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division in 1994, becoming a conservation officer in 2006. Since that time, Mooney has been assigned to Van Buren County.

An avid wild turkey hunter, Mooney has been involved in 22 turkey-related arrests, including eight for illegal baiting and five for illegally taken birds.

Mooney was nominated for the award by his supervisor, Sgt. Zach Doss.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I heard I won the award,” Mooney said. “Winning an award like this is kind of a high-point in your career and I’m tickled to win it this early in my career.

“As a turkey hunter myself, this has a lot of meaning to me.”

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