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Fish and Game Faces: Past & Present

Jesse Scott, Conservation Officer

 

Jesse Scott

CO Scott with children at a fishing derby.

Longtime Conservation Officer Jesse Scott earned a reputation for protecting the environment and looking out for hunters and anglers. Born in Pittsburg, N.H. in 1907, Scott honed his love of the outdoors as a North Country river guide and lumberjack. In 1931, he became a Fish and Game deputy – his brother Fred was the area Chief. He served as a ski trooper for the 10th Moun­tain Division in Italy during World War II, and then came home to get his own Fish and Game District in Sul­livan County. He was a Conservation Officer in the Newport/Lake Sunapee area from 1941 to 1972.

 

Retired Lt. Robert Bryant recalls going on patrols with his father and Jesse. “He was a fun-loving guy and had a handshake, even in his later years, that would crumble most men,” said Bryant.

 

Scott had witnessed the advent of snowmobiles in New Hampshire. A CO could cover much more territory on a machine, versus snowshoes! The other side of the coin was that snow machines were a concern for both conservationists and sportsmen, because of potential damage to the land. But he felt it would come out all right, saying, “The sport of snow machines is here to stay.”

 

Scott died in 2012 at the age of 105. At his memorial service, his daughter Maxine Houle reminisced about how a Social Secu­rity administrator had visited to verify that Scott was still alive at 104. “What a presen­tation Dad made as he came zipping around the corner of the house on his four-wheeler, waving to the guy,” Houle remembered.

 

Man of the Woods CoverHoule recently published a new book about her dad’s life as a Conservation Officer. “The two of us were sitting at the kitchen table after one of his award ceremonies, and I looked at him and said: ‘I think I’ll write a book about your life as a Conservation Officer, Dad.’  His smile spoke more than words.  He got up, walked into the library and told me to take all his diaries home and get started.  Dad helped me write a couple of chapters before he left me. What a journey I started for myself, learning about the Scott family from Pittsburg, N.H., Dad’s years as a Conservation Officer, his love of nature and wildlife, and most of all, remembering what an incredible father he was. In his daily diaries, Dad wrote about his professional life,” said Houle.

 

“At times you’ll find incorrect spellings or names, but that’s how the diary was written. It is filled with laughter, sadness and shows the amazing life of a New Hampshire Conservation Officer. There is no editor or publisher, just Dad and me trying to complete this journey.  Our book ends at the conclusion of his career as a Conservation Officer at 65 years old, even though he went on to become a member of the State Legislature, a deputy sheriff and finally the court bailiff for Sullivan County when he was in his 80s.”

 

Jesse Scott started his new journey at the age of 105 years old, going out the kitchen door of his beloved farm on the Bradford Road in Newport, N.H.

 

To order your copy of Man of the Woods send a check for $25 to: Maxine S. Houle, 384 South Village Road, Westmoreland, NH 03467. For more information, call (603) 399-7719 or email maxhoule44@yahoo.com.