– Cover Story –
More Than Two Scents
A man and his dog, protecting the great outdoors
Brock McArdle and Cash the black Lab in truck cabBrock McArdle and Cash the black Lab in the Colorado mountainsCash the black Lab -- police dog
Brock McArdle is almost breathless as he tells the story of the case. A wounded victim, lost on a mountainside. A one-in-a-million shot at finding the subject. But thanks to the literal doggedness of Brock’s partner, Cash, the duo found who they were looking for. Case closed.

“It was a needle in a haystack,” the Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife manager remembers. “It wasn’t clear terrain, and the turkey could have run anywhere. But Cash did what he does, and he found it hidden in a spot that the hunter had walked by numerous times. Pretty cool that we found it!”

It might not have been a typical day in the life of Brock and his K9 partner, but it is a part of the job. The turkey was dead when Cash sniffed it out, a few hundred yards away from where a hunter winged it. But it was found, and it wasn’t suffering. A successful mission for Cash and Brock.

Cash & Brock. It sounds like the title of a cop movie starring a mismatched but heroic duo. And in many senses, that title is perfect. In real life, Cash and Brock are a heroic duo. But instead of chasing bad guys through the mean streets of LA or NYC, they work to protect the wilds of northern Colorado, sniffing out sneaky poachers, searching for endangered ferrets, and tracking down, yes, wounded turkeys.

Brock is a wildlife management officer with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the department that manages 41 state parks and 307 wildlife areas in the state. Cash, a two-year-old black Labrador retriever, is his partner. Together, the pair patrols half a million acres of pristine natural territory in northern Colorado, protecting the environment, the animals who live in it and the people who use it.

Cash “nose” law enforcement
Cash’s main weapon is his highly trained nose. He’s certified by the National Police Canine Association to work in law enforcement as a wildlife detection officer anywhere in the country. He specializes in detecting 11 animal odors, nine of which are directly related to enforcing the law in the great wide open. Cash’s sensitive snoot can detect, with pinpoint accuracy, the scents of moose, bear, mountain lion, elk, deer, antelope, upland birds (turkey, dove, pheasants), water fowl and fish, even if just a trace of the animal was in the area.
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