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A favorite weekend for outdoor enthusiasts

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — This weekend’s West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show features another sportsmen’s get together in the Mountain State. My job has enabled me to connect with a lot of people and this particular weekend has become one of my favorite times of the year.

In the past decade my company, West Virginia Radio Corporation has partnered with the West Virginia Trophy Hunters Association. I’m extremely proud of that relationship. The Trophy Hunters are an amazing bunch of guys. They are pure sportsmen, conservationists, and have a genuine love and passion for hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. The Trophy Hunters isn’t like most organizations which gather sportsmen under one umbrella. Their numbers are relatively small, maybe only three or four dozen members, because the biggest thing they do during the year is put on this weekend’s show. It’s pretty much why they exist.

The organization spends an entire year, planning and preparing for a three day event. All members of the organization are required to work the weekend and all have roles they play in the event. The dedication and planning is evident in a well run event.

Once the weekend is over, and all of the bills are paid, the fun begins. The Trophy Hunters as an organization take all profits from the Hunting and Fishing Show and give it away to projects aimed at improving hunting or fishing in the Mountain State or to organizations which promote youth outdoor education. It’s rare and unique. Typically a show of this type involves a private promoter interested in making money. But the West Virginia Trophy Hunters Association isn’t looking as much for profits as they are for a top notched show for West Virginia Sportsmen and women, paying the bills, and maximizing grants for conservation.

Their donations make a difference. Examples of monetary grants from the proceeds of the show include money directed to the DNR for various items like equipment used in the recent elk reintroduction program. They’ve also put a lot of financial support behind programs like Archery in Schools, West Virginia Hunter Education, and various other youth programs which encourage and teach children how to hunt or fish. Since 1995 the organization has donated more than $650,000 to Wildlife Conservation and Education.

This is the 32nd year for the show, which in its first year was held in Beckley. It came about when a handful of guys thought West Virginia, with its passion for hunting and fishing, should have a show like this after visiting similar events in other states. It moved to Charleston in year two and has never looked back. It’s become one of the largest events at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. Many of those original members are still with the organization, although some have reached emeritus status and finally get to enjoy the show. They should, they’ve earned it.

Hopefully you’ll get to visit the event this weekend. The price remains very reasonable. Admission is $9 for adults, children 6-12 $1, and those under age six are admitted for free. It’s a very family friendly event. If you’re not in the Charleston area, it’s worthwhile to drive down and spend the night. Make a weekend out of it with your spouse or the whole family.

I’ll be there all weekend. Our company has a booth on the show floor. This weekend’s West Virginia Outdoors will feature a number of exhibitors and will originate from the show floor. I’ll also be on the air from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on our flagship station 580-WCHS in Charleston with a special three hour edition of West Virginia Outdoors focusing on many of the exhibitors. Stop by and see us at our booth. It’s a pleasure to meet and talk to all of you who read my stuff here on the website and listen on the radio. As my daddy would say, “..come on down and we’ll open a keg of nails.”

See you this weekend.