Shawn Stewart has only ever wanted to be just a wildlife biologist.
“I enjoy my job, I enjoy pretty much every aspect of my job. Whether we are doing surveys like we did this morning, flying the grizzly radios like a couple days ago or working with a ranch like sunlight ranch and the successes we have in places like that. That’s why I keep doing my job because it is rewarding,” Stewart said.
Whether he’s manning hunter check stations in the fall, doing sheep surveys in the winter or flights along the Beartooths in the spring, Stewart’s career has spanned almost a half a century.
“I started with the department in 71, 47 years in may,” Stewart said.
Through his career, Stewart has seen an increase in whitetail deer and elk numbers and the return of grizzly bears to the area, but it is his passion for wildlife that keeps him going after 47 years.
“At this stage in my life, I look at it — it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle and I can’t really envision what I could do in retirement that would be more rewarding than what I do right now,” Stewart said.
Stewart has no plans of retiring soon.
Reporting by Winston Greeley for Montana FWP