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John McCoy

Staff writer
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Offbeat activities are the new norm at Pipestem State Park


PIPESTEM — Visitors to West Virginia’s Pipestem State Park have no shortage of unusual ways to spend their time.

In addition to the usual park fare — hiking, fishin...

W.Va. DNR traps bears to serve as surrogate mothers


State wildlife officials are trying to snare a few “volunteers.”

No, put down the phone. You aren’t qualified — unless, of course, you happen to be a black bear.

Later this week, b...

Application period dwindles for limited antlerless permits


Time is running out for deer hunters to apply for 3,245 antlerless-deer permits for West Virginia’s 2014 whitetail season.

Division of Natural Resources officials will only honor applications received by the...

W.Va. DEP Secretary to vie for national bass title


West Virginia’s top environmental official leads a double life.

Through most of the week, Randy Huffman serves as secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection. On weekends, though, he takes ...

W.Va. park naturalists focus on entertainment as well as nature


LAVALETTE — Melissa Cardina’s official title is “park naturalist,” but that only describes part of what she does.

“It’s not just about nature,” she said. “It&...

Retiring DNR law enforcement chief pauses to reflect


When Col. David Murphy was a young conservation officer stationed in Braxton County, a chance encounter on a Sutton street made it painfully clear that he and his fellow officers had an identity problem.

“A ...

DNR hunts for bear accused of injuring W.Va. woman


It’s rare for a bear hunt to take place in the summer, but one is going on now in Monongalia County.

Wildlife and law enforcement officials are looking for a female bear accused of injuring an unidentified w...

Chronic wasting disease spreads in W.Va.


The numbers are in, and to deer hunters they’re discouraging.

They show that chronic wasting disease is spreading inside West Virginia, and it’s infecting more deer in areas where it occurs. Jim Crum,...

DNR: Weather caused poor trout stocking season


West Virginia’s recent trout-stocking season left lots of anglers scratching their heads.

They wondered why the trout they caught were smaller than usual, and why it seemed as though fewer fish had been stoc...

W.Va. DNR’s ‘Operation Dry Water’ targets drunken boaters


This is the weekend when West Virginia’s Natural Resources Police try to dry out some of the state’s major rivers and lakes.

Not in the literal sense, of course. Instead, officers involved in Operatio...

Fish waste from hatchery could get DNR fined


Fish waste from one of West Virginia’s trout hatcheries could end up costing the state Division of Natural Resources more than $92,000 in penalties.

Inspectors from the state Department of Environmental Prot...

Rumor of stocking moratorium ruffles W.Va.’s muskie anglers


A rumor that West Virginia fisheries officials might put a halt to muskellunge stockings is sending ripples through the state’s muskie-fishing community.

Internet forums have been abuzz with speculation that...

W.Va.’s special deer hunts are worth the effort, officials say


West Virginia’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory has a deer problem. Specifically, it has too many of them.

So, every fall since 1993, officials at the 2,700-acre Pocahontas County facility have held a s...

Popular W.Va. fishing resort started as a convenience store


MONTERVILLE — A decade and a half ago, the place where West Virginia’s Elk River rises full-blown from the ground was known only to locals and...

Preservation group has plans for rebuilt barn at historic Huntington home


A barn that was raised, renovated, razed and re-raised is ready to be renovated yet again.

The barn at Huntington’s historic Madie Carroll House is getting ready to enter the next phase of its existence. Mem...

W.Va. DNR warns anglers not to move fish around


If you’ve fished a lot, chances are you’ve seen it:

A fisherman decides to call it a day, and he opens his bait bucket and sets free all the minnows remaining in it.

In so doing, he might have b...

Fishing guide details proper catch-and-release techniques


In West Virginia’s catch-and-release waters, it ain’t easy being a fish.

Not only do you run the risk of being caught several times a year, there’s a very real chance you’ll die because ...

W.Va. gobbler hunters log first incident-free season


For the first time ever, West Virginia’s spring gobbler hunters have gone through an entire season without a single reported injury.

That’s right. No one got shot, no one sprained an ankle or broke a ...