Rumors that the DNR stocks mountain lions persist, even though the agency has a strict policy against the introduction of predators.
Heck, if someone started a rumor that the DNR had started stocking great white sharks in West Virginia's lakes to keep bass from overpopulating, some people would believe it.
In the 1990s, a writer named Jim Wilson wrote a column for a local paper that accused the DNR of stocking "abbagoochies," fierce creatures from Costa Rica that were supposed to rid the state of every undesirable thing from coyotes to multiflora rose.
Wilson wrote that the abbagoochies - which, for the record, are fictitious creatures that do not exist - had started preying on deer, bears and livestock. Panicked residents armed themselves and spent sleepless nights guarding their sheep and cows.
Wilson said he figured he could reel in a few folks with his hoax, simply because so many people are willing to believe the very worst when it comes to the DNR.
A few years back, I was getting a haircut and shooting the bull with the other patrons when the subject of deer came up.
"I know why we don't have any deer anymore," one fellow said. "I was hunting up in Hardy County when I saw a DNR truck back up and let out a load of hy-eenies."
"Hyenas?" I laughed. "African hyenas?"
"That's right! Hy-eenies!" the man countered. "No wonder we don't have any deer."
No doubt that this fellow told that same story to any number of people. No doubt some folks believed him.
There will always be wacky folks who believe wacky things. Let's accept it and move on.