Career in Wildlife Rooted in Childhood Memories

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Taylor Cumbie


Since he was a young man, Taylor Cumbie’s favorite days and fondest memories were those spent outdoors with his Grandpa. Hunting, fishing, and spending time in the idyllic wildlands of South Georgia, Taylor passed countless easy childhood days learning to be a responsible outdoorsman with his grandfather. The recent Southern Regional Technical College graduate credits his grandfather’s influence on the path he has chosen to take in life. “The best lesson my Grandpa taught me was that no matter how stressful life may seem, a fishing trip is always a good cure.” Growing up, he fished or hunted as often as someone would take him. When he became old enough to drive, if he wasn’t at work or school, he was either out in the woods or on the water somewhere. His inherited love of the outdoors, native wildlife, hunting, and fishing naturally lead Taylor to dream of a career that would allow him to continue to be in the outdoors every day, and to play a role in its preservation.

Upon graduating from high school, Taylor began searching for a college that fit his needs and his career goals. “I found that Southern Regional offered a program that seemed to be tailored to my educational needs and had an outstanding reputation.” Once he began meeting faculty and staff his decision was made. “My overall experience with SRTC was great; the instructors and staff were always extremely nice and helpful. Any problems or questions that arose were always answered. They really went above and beyond.” After visiting and speaking with the friendly staff and the Land, Forest, and Wildlife Management instructor, I knew that I had made the right choice.”

Taylor says that the practical nature of the LFWM coursework at SRTC was perfect for his style of learning. “We learned a lot in the classroom, like aging jaw bones from deer or planning and conducting a prescribed burn; but we also went out on field trips and did hands-on work, which always helps me to understand things more fully.” While visiting the Tall Timbers Research Station students had a chance to meet with the land manager and some of the knowledgeable staff there to learn about their jobs and hear about their experiences, which gave students even more insight into that career field.

Taylor is now a Wildlife Technician for the Department of Natural Resources Game Management Section, stationed just south of Bainbridge at the Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area. There, they manage for game animals such as deer, turkey, quail, dove, and duck. They also plant food plots and dove fields, create wildlife openings, maintain roads, and they conduct prescribed burns on wildlife management areas to promote healthier forests for wildlife. He says that the Land, Forest, and Wildlife Management classes at SRTC were very effective and beneficial in preparing him for his career; and it is a career that he truly loves. “New experiences and constantly learning new things are the best parts of this career. You never know what you may see from day to day. One day, you may see a newborn baby fawn and the next, you may see a brood of freshly hatched turkey poults. What might we see and learn out here each new day? The possibilities are endless.”

Students who are interested in the Land, Forest, and Wildlife Management program at SRTC can visit the program online at southernregional.edu/academics/land-forest-wildlife-management-technology, or by emailing Instructors Jayme Williams or John Martin at jwilliams@southernregional.edu or jmartin@southernregional.edu.

SRTC offers over 148 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on

Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to www.southernregional.edu.