Traditions celebrated at W.Va. hunting and fishing program

Traditions celebrated at W.Va. hunting and fishing program
Governor Justice lauds the first increase in hunting and fishing license sales in West Virginia since 2013.

Hunters and anglers celebrated their love for the outdoors at the capitol Tuesday as West Virginia officials recognized the winners of a 2020 hunting and fishing license contest.


While presenting the awards, Governor Jim Justice, an avid outdoorsman himself, spoke with enthusiasm about his administration's success bolstering the industry, attracting resident and non-resident participants alike.

“As a lifelong hunter and angler, I want to thank our and for all the goodness and all the opportunities they're bringing through their efforts,” Justice said.

Joseph Gill, of Beckley, who was among 13 winners of the state license promotion, spoke proudly of the long traditions of hunting and fishing passed down through his family.


"My father and my grandfather were hunters, and now my wife's hunting, and I'm teaching our son, who was the first in our family to take a black bear," Gill said.

The hunting and fishing promotion required applicants who were West Virginia residents to purchase a 2020 Sportsman or Junior Sportsman license in December, from which 13 prize-winners were randomly selected from a list of more than 10,000 eligible entrants.

The governor said he thought the license contest achieved its goal of promoting the outdoor experience.

“This contest has been an incredible opportunity to get West Virginians everywhere excited about enjoying our woods and streams. We all know there is no better place in the world to enjoy the outdoors than right here in Almost Heaven,” Justice said.


Prize winners and their prizes, which also included a gift bag from the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources, were:

Stephen McDaniel, director of the state Division of Natural Resources, thanked all those who have been so supportive of the traditions of hunting and fishing.

“I just want to thank all the sportsmen and women who participated in this promotion by buying a license for themselves or a family member,” McDaniel said.

“There’s no doubt that West Virginians are passionate about hunting and fishing and we hope this is only the start of the next generation taking up a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors.”


Justice also announced that for 2019, hunting and fishing license sales were up 50 percent and pre-sales doubled from the previous year.

After six straight years of declines, 2019 also saw the first increase in hunting and fishing license sales, selling more than 73,000 licenses to those who didn’t have one the previous year.

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