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John McCoy

Staff writer
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Biologists look into reasons for turkey population declines


Go ahead, ask most any West Virginia turkey hunter whether there are more or fewer turkeys today than there were 20 years ago.

Chances are you’ll be told there are fewer. And whoever tells you that will be r...

Electronic game check system is operational, DNR says


When West Virginia’s spring gobbler season opens on April 27, successful hunters will need to do something they haven’t done before:

They’ll check in their kills electronically.

The state...

Small W.Va. creeks can yield some mighty big muskies


Hook a trophy muskellunge in a small creek and you’ll know what it’s like to have a knife fight in a phone booth.

“You usually hook muskies near [sunken] timber, and in a small stream there...

Anglers outline tactics for catching big spring bass


Spring can be a frustrating time to fish for bass, but it can be a great time, too.

In fact, seasoned anglers consider early spring to be one of the very best times to catch bragging-sized bass — provided yo...

Huntington promotes fitness through cycling


HUNTINGTON — The West Virginia city once described as “America’s unhealthiest” hopes someday to bicycle away from that reputation.

Pre-season shotgun patterning can help hunters kill more turkeys


You sit, shotgun up, hardly daring to breathe, as you wait for that wily old spring gobbler to appear.

So far, so good. He gobbled at your first soft tree-yelp, and gobbled again after he flew down from his roost. ...

State hatchery crews struggle to make up missed trout stockings


Severe weather wreaked havoc with West Virginia’s winter trout stockings this year, so much so that hatchery crews are still scrambling to make up for all the lost stocking runs.

Ice-covered roads prevented...

Fifteen-year-old girl is a natural at turkey hunting


GLEN DANIEL — Like most teen-age girls, Chelsie Cline seldom lets her iPhone stray far from her hand.

She doesn’t let turkeys or deer get away, either.

Cline, a high...

New W.Va. law forbids use of drones to aid hunters


Hunters like technology.

Sometimes they take their love of gadgets a little too far; and when that happens, things can get a little weird.

Imagine, for example, a guy sitting in a tree stand, eyeing a herd of...

Popular Kanawha State Forest has long list of needed repairs


Shopping for a 9,300-acre state forest isn’t easy.

Just ask Kevin Dials, superintendent of Kanawha State Forest just outside Charleston. Dials has taken a long, hard look at the forest’s needs, and th...

Legislation clears way for W.Va.’s elk-stocking program


It’s official. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, West Virginia will have its own elk herd.

Last weekend, the state Legislature passed a bill that allows the Division of Natural Resources to import elk ...

Addition to elk bill clears way for deer crossbow season


In the final hectic days of the West Virginia Legislature’s yearly sessions, news sometimes gets lost in all the hubbub.

That happened again this year when, during the final two days of lawmaking, the Mounta...

Technical fouls aid Magnolia’s 59-46 upset of Greater Beckley Christian


Sometimes timing is everything.

A pair of untimely technical fouls against Greater Beckley Christian handed Magnolia some much-needed fourth-quarter momentum and a 59-46 upset of the second-seeded Crusaders in Frid...

CLASS AA: Fairmont Senior dominates boards, tops Mingo Central 59-44


The Fairmont Senior Polar Bears are a tidy bunch.

Witness Thursday’s Class AA state tournament quarterfinal against Mingo Central, when the Polar Bears swept the boards squeaky-clean against the taller Miner...

CLASS A: Magnolia’s late rally dooms Notre Dame 49-48


Magnolia High should change its nickname to the Phoenixes.

Trailing by 10 points with just 2:02 remaining in Wednesday’s Class A state tournament quarterfinal, the third-seeded Blue Eagles shocked Notre Dame...

W.Va. artist commemorates anglers’ catches with ‘trophy paintings’


WINFIELD — Janet Ripper Chambers is an artist, but she’s also a two-dimensional taxidermist.

The trophies she creates don’t start off as slimy, smelly carcasses. Th...

Girls state tournament: Wheeling Central holds off Tucker County 52-40


Sometimes one good quarter is enough.

Second-seeded Wheeling Central built a 12-point first-period lead and held on for a 52-40 victory over Tucker County in a foul- and turnover-plagued Class A state tournament se...

W.Va.’s bald eagle population has come a long way


The future for West Virginia’s bald eagles looks as bright as the snow-white feathers on the birds’ heads.

Forty years ago, the only eagles seen in the Mountain State were migrants “just passi...

Girls state tournament: Lincoln upsets North Marion behind Bray’s 28 points


When Lincoln needed its star player most, Hope Bray didn’t disappoint.

The sophomore guard sank five clutch free throws in the final minute of Thursday’s Class AA state tournament quarterfinal and lif...

Girls state tournament: Tucker outlasts St. Marys 60-50


For Tucker County, Wednesday’s Class A girls’ state tournament quarterfinal was a case of “better late than never.”

The third-seeded Mountain Lions frittered away a 10-point third-quarte...

New walleye regs would be complicated but necessary, DNR says


West Virginia’s walleye-fishing regulations are about to get a lot more complicated, but fisheries officials say it’s for a good cause.

“We believe the regulations we’re proposing will h...

MEC women’s tournament: Shepherd outlasts Glenville 100-91


Second-seeded Shepherd rode the scoring of seniors Gabby Flinchum and Briana Vaden to a 100-91 victory over Glenville State in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the Mountain East Conference basketball tournament.


W.Va.’s DNR wildlife chief resigns suddenly


West Virginia is getting a new wildlife chief.

Curtis Taylor, who headed up the Division of Natural Resources’ wildlife section for 14 years, retired abruptly on Monday.

DNR Director Bob Fala said Tayl...

W.Va. bowhunting group celebrates 35 years of archery advocacy


In 1980, bowhunting was a fast-growing pastime.

The compound bow, first mass-marketed in the mid-1970s, immediately made archers more accurate and deadly than they’d ever been before. Tens of thousands of We...

Questions could spark lively debate at March’s DNR sportsmen’s meetings


When sportsmen meet with state wildlife officials in mid-March, chances are good that hunters will have a lot to say.

Why? Because members of the state Natural Resources Commission have added four rather provocativ...

For W.Va.’s fish hatchery workers, there is no ‘off-season’


APPLE GROVE — There’s no shortage of work in a fish hatchery, even when most of the fish are gone.

Just ask the employees at West Virginia’s two “warm-water” fish hatcheries. The ...

W.Va. DNR proposes more conservative deer regulations for 2015


West Virginia wildlife officials want hunters to go easy on antlerless deer in 2015.

To make sure that happens, Division of Natural Resources biologists have proposed significantly more conservative bag limits for ...

W.Va. angler travels the world in search of trout


Vince Dudley is living a trout fisherman’s dream.

In the past 17 years, the 67-year-old Charleston native has visited fished for trout, char and salmon in all four of Earth’s hemispheres. His travels ...