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Journalist Responds to Criticism of Warden Service Report

The Maine Warden Service yesterday offered a detailed, written response to the story about game wardens in last Sunday’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

The story describes a poaching raid in Allagash that some experts found was over the top. And it describes an undercover warden who went so far as to illegally kill a deer in a bid to entice someone else into poaching.

The Warden Service says the story, by reporter Colin Woodard, contains many inaccuracies, and it denies a charge that it had stymied the newspaper’s investigation.

“They’re basically giving their perspective on people and events, which is great, but we were trying to get that from them from the beginning,” Woodard says in response. “I asked for interviews with Col. Wilkinson and others. They refused, I begged them to do so. Because it’s much better to have a detailed conversation with people who can talk about everything and unpack it all.”

Woodard says the state insisted on written questions, but eventually refused to answer those either.

The state has also insisted the raid on Allagash was justified. Woodard says that’s not what people he spoke to said.

“Throughout the statement there are these suggestions that ‘Colin Woodard said X and Y about us and we don’t like that,’ when in fact if you look at the report, it’s not me saying it, it’s me accurately reporting what other people have said about the Warden Service,” he says.

Woodward says the Telegram has posted the entire email chain online that demonstrates the newspaper’s efforts to get the Warden Service’s reaction in advance of its story.