WINSLOW – Alanson “Mickey” Noble grew up in South Paris intent on becoming a Maine game warden in the 1950s.

But along came the Korean War and four years in the Navy after being drafted out of college where he was taking courses and pursuing his dream job.

“It was more the fish and wildlife law enforcement that attracted me to it,” Noble said on Wednesday morning after being recognized as Maine’s 2007 Legendary Warden at the Maine Warden Service’s annual award ceremony at the Winslow VFW hall.

“You could be independent and you had the freedom to work as hard as you wanted to work. By the time I wanted to be anything, I wanted to be a game warden, but you had to be 21 years old. So I went to college, then the Korean War came along and I got drafted,” Noble said.

However, his high school vision while a sophomore in Paris High School never left the Class of 1947 graduate and, after being honorably discharged, he joined the Maine Warden Service.

It was a career that led him to the top. He served as chief of the Maine Warden Service from 1977 until his retirement in 1980.

On Wednesday morning, he happened to attend the service’s annual award ceremony in Winslow and was shocked to learn he was named Maine’s 2007 Legendary Warden.

“I had no idea. I wasn’t even paying attention,” Noble, 78, of Otisfield, said afterward. “All of a sudden, I heard someone say, ‘Vanceboro,’ and I looked up.”

Noble, a bobcat hunter, started his career in Vanceboro in Washington County in 1956, and was transferred to Bethel in 1962, where he became the first of 10 inspectors, according to Wednesday’s award presenter, Warden Lt. Doug Tibbetts.

Noble was assigned to Dixfield then promoted to lieutenant. In 1974, another promotion made him deputy chief and he moved to Otisfield.

A sharpshooter with a pistol, Noble, who was born in Oxford, was credited with developing a Maine Warden Service pistol team to compete at handgun events, Tibbetts said.

He was also recognized for his undercover operations.

“It was a great existence and something I always wanted to do,” Noble added.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.