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Slain Trooper an Accomplished Outdoorsman


When people speak of late West Virginia State Trooper Eric Workman, the first things they speak about are his love for his job and his quality as an individual.   The conversation soon will turn toward his love of the outdoors.

"He was a great hunter and killed a lot of big bucks," said Cabell County Magistrate Mike Woelfel. "He caught a lot of big musky."

Woelfel would know.  He and Workman were fishing buddies and spent a lot of time together afield and on the water.   Woelfel recalls the first time he met workman was while fishing. The two of them were members of the state’s Husky Musky Club and had no idea their professions were so closely aligned. 

"I asked him what he did and he said he was a trooper," Woelfel explained. "I’m a magistrate and work with troopers all the time."

Woelfel recalled going on their first fishing trip together to Cave Run Lake in Kentucky

"I was worried, he’d driven all this way from Clay and I was so hoping he’d catch a fish," said Woelfel. "We’re out on my boat on my lake that I fish a lot.   Of course, Eric caught a fish.  That was a relief because I didn’t want him to waste a trip. It was a great day on the water getting to know a fine young man."

Workman’s Facebook page was a trophy room of outdoor success.  He clearly dedicated much of his spare time to hook and bullet pursuits.  It was a passion he shared with many friends, including Woelfel.

"He was a man’s man," said Woelfel. "He was kind of quiet and reserved and it seemed like when he talked it was always well calculated and well thought out.  People listened and respected his opinion."

Woelfel shared his experiences with Workman on MetroNews Talkline Tuesday a day before Workman’s funeral.   He says although they didn’t see each other face to face daily, they were in constant contact about fishing or hunting plans.

"We would text each other, see each other and plan to fish," said Woelfel. "I’d go up and we’d fish Elk River or Stonewall Jackson.  I always knew I could call Eric and say, ‘Hey are you off for a couple of days let’s go fish.’"

Woelfel said if Workman had the time off, he’d be right there ready to go.   It’s a loss that has touched his wide circle of hunting and fishing buddies deeply.

"He just touched everybody’s life and that’s why people have just been beside themselves since last week and wonder why these senseless tragedies take place," Woelfel said of his late friend.


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