The Indiana Department of Conservation has selected Jon Watkins as the department’s 2018 Conservation Officer of the Year for local District 7.
A native of Laporte County in northwest Indiana, Watkins, was assigned to Dubois County in 2006.
He is active in the Dubois County Hunter Education and 4-H Shooting Sports programs and serves as a National Archery instructor and the School Program coach at Northeast Dubois High School.
Besides being a perennial leader in enforcement actions and public appearances, Watkins also serves as a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators instructor, background investigator, boat accident investigator and sonar operator.
This is the third time Watkins has been selected for the District 7 award, which is chosen annually by his peers. He also won in 2010 and 2012. His other past awards include three district Boating Officer of the Year selections and the State of Indiana Boating Officer of the Year award in 2015.
The DNR’s 7th District consists of Dubois, Spencer, Pike, Daviess, Gibson, Knox, Martin, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties.
The district award puts Watkins in the running for the Pitzer Award, which is given to the top overall Conservation Officer in the state of Indiana and selected from the 10 district award winners.
The Pitzer award is named after Indiana Conservation Officer James D. Pitzer, who was fatally shot while investigating illegal hunting activity on January 1, 1961 in Jay County.