"In three-fourths of all incidents, the initial report of what happened is wrong," he said. "About one-fourth of the time, it's because people have lied about the shooting to protect friends or family members from getting into trouble.
"About one-fourth of the time, people lie because they weren't where they were supposed to be or were doing something they weren't supposed to do - for instance, playing hooky from work, or maybe carrying a firearm when they're a convicted felon.
"The other fourth of the time, people simply give wrong information because they were in a stressful situation and their memory isn't clear about what happened."
Gathering and properly interpreting evidence allows officers to cut through the BS and reconstruct shooting incidents without relying too heavily on what they've been told.
The academy has been training law enforcement personnel since 1993. Lt. Tim Coleman, West Virginia's training coordinator, said Natural Resources Police officers have been involved in all of them - some as students and some as trainers.
"We're trying to get as many of our officers trained on these techniques as possible," Coleman said. "This year we had one officer from each of our six districts receiving the training. They'll take the knowledge back to their districts and share it with their fellow officers."
Coleman said the day is long past when hunters might expect to get off scot-free or receive a legal slap on the wrist for shooting another hunter.
"People who try stuff like that now can expect to get caught," he said. "Our officers are trained to reconstruct these incidents and to determine the truth about what happened. We're miles ahead of where we used to be. If someone shoots someone else, deliberately or negligently, we're going to catch them."