The West Virginia Celebration of National Hunting & Fishing Days (NH&FD) kicked off on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Stonewall Resort, with events continuing throughout Sunday, Sept. 23.
This event, which is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) and the West Virginia Wildlife Federation (WVWF) had over 100 different vendors showcasing hunting, fishing, and conservation related merchandise, displays, and information.
Officials with the WVDNR and the WVWF were available during the event assisting visitors in learning new skills and answering questions.
All throughout the weekend different seminars and demonstrations took place teaching visitors tips and tricks about hunting and fishing, as well as knowledgable information about West Virginia wildlife. With so many activities scheduled both days, there was truly something for everyone, both young and old.
One of the bigger events that took place over the weekend was the Outdoor Youth Challenge, which gave children between the ages of six and 18 the opportunity to participate in dozens of hands-on activities related to hunting, fishing, and wildlife found in West Virginia.
After competing in a minimum of 10 events, participants were then eligible to win a prize from the drawings held on both Saturday and Sunday.
Prizes included lifetime hunting and fishing license, as well as a few dozen items that were all related to outdoor recreations. The youth challenge also had a few scored events that participants competed in such as shooting a .22 rifle, muzzleloader, and bow. Each day the event awarded two conservation camp scholarships to the youth who scored the highest on these events in both the junior and senior divisions.
Also during the event were hour-long shows performed by West Virginia native Frank Addington, Jr. whose accuracy with his Hoyt bow stunned audience members. The show featured Addington shooting aspirin-sized objects out of the air with his recurve bow behind his back.
On Saturday there was a bass fishing tournament that took place with over 200 anglers competing at Stonewall, Stonecoal, and Burnsville lakes. The event, which was hosted by the Mountain State Kayak Anglers, awarded a cash prize of $10,000 to the top angler at an awards ceremony held on Sunday.
The West Virginia celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days is always held the third weekend of September. Next years event is scheduled to take place Sept. 21-22.