The Shikar-Safari Club International named Sullivan County ECO Ricky Wood "Wildlife Officer of the Year."
After graduating from SUNY Cobelskill in 2002, Officer Wood then attended the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's 17th Basic School for Uniformed Officers at the DEC Training Academy and promptly graduated in 2007. The ECO, who's served Sullivan County for some 10 years, has since become part of the DEC's K-9 unit.
Wood has now earned the high honor of "Wildlife Officer of the Year" from the Shikar-Safari Club International. The recognition came with praise from DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
"Throughout his career, ECO Wood has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment that has justifiably earned him the respect of the public and his peers," he said. "I extend my congratulations to him on this well-deserved honor."
ECO Wood is known as a confident, self-motivated and professional wildlife officer that has an eye towards promoting ethical and safe hunting practices in the Empire State, especially for New York's youth hunters. He routinely volunteers and speaks at hunter education classes and other events.
Every year, the S-SCI promotes the award across the United States and 10 Canadian provinces. Since 1966, the club has supported various wildlife conservation projects with fundraising events.
Before becoming an ECO, Wood was a Sportsmen Education Instructor, teaching for two years at Wawarsing Sportsman Club in Ulster County. He now spends his time training with his K-9 partner, Deming. In his free time, he tries to get a little hunting and fishing in with his family.
We'd like to congratulate Wood for his well-deserved honor, and to his wife and two children for keeping this outstanding and professional Environmental Conservation Officer's feet on the ground!
Cover photo via NYSDEC