Stephen M. Vantassel
MNI, CNI, CWCP, ACP
Stephen M. Vantassel is the Vertebrate Pest Specialist for the Montana Department of Agriculture (2015-present).
Formerly, he was the Program Coordinator of Distance Education-Wildlife Damage Management for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources from 2004-2014. Stephen filled the position vacated by Dallas Virchow, who moved to Wildlife Services in November of 2003. Stephen became one of the first Problem Animal Controllers in the state of Massachusetts and one of the first nationally Certified Wildlife Control Operators. He founded Wildlife Removal Service, Inc., headquartered in his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts which he eventually sold it in 1998. He also founded the Massachusetts Association of Problem Animal Controllers.
Stephen has discussed topics related to wildlife damage control on television, radio and in public settings. But his greatest impact is to be found in the area of publishing. He has articles published in a variety of magazines and newsletters including, but not limited to, The Probe, Fur-Fish & Game, Trapper & Predator Caller, Animal Damage Control, etc. He is a former Assistant Editor and staff writer for Wildlife Control Technology Magazine and continues to write for them. He has also published several books, including, The Wildlife Removal Handbook, rev. ed., The Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd. ed., and the National Wildlife Control Training Program vols 1-2. Stephen’s publishing also extends beyond the printed page to the web, where he had a “Living with Wildlife” column on Suite101.com.
Stephen M. Vantassel’s Education
Stephen has a Doctorate in Theology. His dissertation was entitled, A Theological, Ethical, and Scientific Evaluation of the Christian Animal Rights Movement’s Opposition to Wildlife Trapping. He published his findings in a book entitled, Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations (Wipf and Stock, 2009). He believes that his academic training coupled with “real-world” animal damage control experience provides him with a unique perspective on this controversial topic. In addition, Stephen has a M.S. in Leadership Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2013).
Stephen is happily married to Donna Vantassel who works as a Nurse Practitioner in Lewistown, MT. Both, along with their rescued dachshund, “Madison”, live in Lewistown.
Wildlife Damage Management CV
Certified Wildlife Control Professional (CWCP #010005) 2001.
Academy Certified Professional (ACP) 2007.
Montana Certified Pesticide Applicator, Core 2015
Nebraska Certified Pesticide Applicator, Categories 00 & 14, (since 2004) and Category 8 (since 2010).
The Fur Takers of America (Intermediate ranking) 2010, Master Ranking, 2013.
Master NWCOA Instructor, (MNI) Certified Basic Wildlife Control Operator, 2012-present.
Safe-Capture International, 2012.
NWCOA Bat Standards Certification, 2014.
Certified NWCOA Instructor, (CNI), Goose Academy, 2013-present.
Certified NWCOA Instructor, (CNI), Bat Standards Class, 2014-present.
NWCOA Shooting Academy. (Videographer). Roanoke, VA. Sept. 21-22, 2014.
Bat Standards Training Course. Middleton, NY. June 28, 2014.
Goose Academy. Middleton, NY. June 26-7, 2014.
National Wildlife Control Operators Association “Wildlife Expo, 2011-2018.
Vertebrate Pest Conference. Vertebrate Pest Council. CA. 2006, 2008, 2016, 2018.
Wildlife Control Technology Annual Seminars (http://www.wctech.com). 2000, 2005-2009.
Wildlife Damage Management Conference, Wildlife Damage Management Working Group of the Wildlife Society. 2006, 2011, 2013.
“Working with the UNL IACUC.” May 5, 2005. Research Training.org.
First Massachusetts Wildlife Control Seminar. September 20, 2003.
MAPAC. Marlborough, MA. Fifth New England Wildlife Control Seminar. March 23, 2002. CT NWCO Association. Meridan, CT.
“Water Level Control Devices to Address Flooding Caused by Beavers.” June 30, 2000. Bureau of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division, Session Woods, CT.
Eastern Wildlife Damage Management Conference. College Park, PA. 2000.
Massachusetts Trapper Training. Mass. Division of F & W. South Hadley, MA. Massachusetts Hancock & Bailey Beaver Trap Training. 1996.
Mass. Division of F &W. Belchertown, MA.
First Eastern Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator’s Shortcourse. February 21-23, 1994. Lexington, KY. Hosted by the Cooperative Extension Service and the Dept. of Forestry.
III. WILDLIFE DAMAGE MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE:
Massachusetts Lic. Problem Animal Controller 1982-2004.
Connecticut Lic.NWCO 1994-6. “Preliminary Investigation of Pocket Gopher Trap Efficiency.” 2005-10. Article submitted.
Founder of Wildlife Removal Service Inc. 1994-98.
Animal Control Officer for the City of Springfield, MA Oct, 93-Dec 95 & Chicopee 95-1998. Involved in the Mid-Atlantic Rabies Epidemic.
Animals controlled/trapped: Bat, Beaver, Bull Frog, Canada Goose, Chipmunk, Coyote, Crow, Eastern Mole, Feral Cat, Columbian Ground Squirrel, Feral Pigeon, Flying Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Hairy-tailed Mole, House Mouse, House Sparrow, Muskrat, Nutria, Opossum, Peromyscus spp. , Pocket Gopher, Raccoon, Red Squirrel, Richardson Ground Squirrel, Shrew, Snapping Turtle, Starling, Striped Skunk, Star-nosed Mole, Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, Vole, Woodchuck, and Woodpecker.
Webmaster of www.icwdm.org 2004-2015.
Wildlife Damage Management Community of Practice with eXtension.org 2006-present.
Wildlife Damage Expert for Allexperts.com since Pest Control 10/22/2000 Pests 10/22/2000 Animal Rights 1/3/2001 Wildlife DC 10/11/2006
Stephen is able to speak on a variety of wildlife control related topics. Below is a list of topics that he is available to speak on for you and your organization. All are hour-long topics unless otherwise noted. Topics can be modified to go shorter or longer.
- Effective Cage and Box Trapping
- Advanced Cage and Box Trapping
- Skunk Control
- Control of Turf Damaging Vertebrates
- Control of Raccoons
- Control of Urban Birds
- Wildlife Diseases and Mitigating those Threats
- Inspecting Structures for Wildlife Damage
- Control of Commensal Rodents
- Control of Richardson’s Ground Squirrels
- Control of Columbian Ground Squirrels
- Control of Prairie Dogs
- Fumigants for control of Vertebrate Pests
- Understanding Vertebrate Toxicants
- Control of Voles
- Control of Moles
- State of the Wildlife Control Industry
Stephen has spoken for various groups and events including, the National Wildlife Control Operators Association, Wildlife Control Technology Seminar, American Society of Home Inspectors Annual Meeting, Kansas Pest Control Association, New York State Wildlife Management Association, Connecticut Wildlife Control Operator Association, Montana Environmental Health Association, Montana Sheepherders Association, Vertebrate Pest Conference, Wildlife Damage Management Conference, Ecological Society of America, Connecticut Master Gardener’s Association, Pest Management Association of Alberta,
- Vantassel, Stephen M. 2017. Being Kind to Animal Pests, Rev. ed. Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.
- Vantassel, S. 2017. Wildlife Removal Handbook: A Guide to the Capture and Control of Urban Wild Animals, 3rd ed. Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.
- Vantassel, S. 2013. The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. Lincoln, NE: Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.
- Vantassel, S., P. Curtis, and S. Hygnstrom. 2013. National Wildlife Control Training Program: Supplemental Species Information. University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Cornell University.
- Vantassel, S. 2012. The Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. 180 pp.
- Vantassel, S., P. Curtis, and S. Hygnstrom. 2012. National Wildlife Control Training Program: Core Principles and Information. University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Cornell University.
- Vantassel, S. 2009. Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009.
- Vantassel, S. 2002. A Beginner’s Guide to Mole Control Using NoMol Traps. Wildlife Control Supplies.
Additional publications may be found at Stephen’s Publications
2012 NWCOA Wildlife Educator of the Year
2008 NWCOA Wildlife Damage Educator of the Year
2008 (Fall) University of Nebrasaka-Lincoln School of Natural Resources Staff Recognition Award.
VII. OTHER WILDLIFE DAMAGE CONTROL INDUSTRY ACTIVITIES:
Contributor to the Pest Geek Podcast, 10/2018-present.
Q.& A. Column writer for Animal Damage Control from December-1993 to January 1995.
Asst. Editor of Wildlife Control Technology Magazine, March-April, 1999-2001.
Founder of Massachusetts Association of Problem Animal Controllers in December, 1993. Registered with the state in 1996
Former NWCO Correspondent for the National Animal Damage Controllers Assoc.
Articles published in The Trapper-Predator Caller, Animal Damage Control, Probe, Wildlife Control Technology, Fur-Fish-Game, Condo Media, Pest Control Technology, American Society of Home Inspectors, NACA NEWS.
VIII. OTHER LIFE EXPERIENCES:
Vertebrate Pest Specialist. Montana Department of Agriculture. 2015-Present
Project Coordinator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2004-2008.
Program Coordinator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2009-2015.
Emergency Medical Technician, licensed in Massachusetts. Hospital Orderly, Johnson Memorial Hospital. Stafford Springs, CT. 1990-1991.