Get Connected
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Sign In
  • Classifieds
  • Sections

John McCoy

Outdoors Reporter
  • Phone 304-348-1231
  • Email Send Mail
  • Dep Reporters
McCoy, John

Lack of acorns may hurt WV bear kill


It’s been a good season so far for West Virginia’s bear hunters, but state wildlife officials don’t expect it to stay that way.

In fact, the Division of Natural Resources’ bear project l...

WV’s fall turkey harvest up 19 percent


West Virginia’s turkey hunters enjoyed considerably better success in 2015 than they did a year ago.

According to preliminary totals from the state’s electronic game-checking system, hunters bagged 1,...

WV’s buck season is off to a fine start, DNR officials say


West Virginia wildlife officials say the state’s deer hunters appear to have had a great opening day of the state’s main firearm season for whitetails.

As of the end of the day Monday, hunters had rep...

WV’s wildlife chief says 2015 buck harvest could be ‘outstanding’


Deer hunters throughout West Virginia should fervently wish that Paul Johansen is adept at predicting both astronomical phenomena and hunting-season outcomes.

“I’m expecting the stars to line up for a...

Expert: Accidental shootings aren’t greatest danger during deer season


When West Virginia’s firearm season for buck deer opens on Nov. 23, an estimated quarter million hunters will be in the woods.

Chances are some of them won’t make it back out of the woods alive ȁ...

Deal adds 32,000 acres to area for WV elk habitat


West Virginia’s effort to reintroduce elk to the state’s southwestern counties just got a huge boost.

A coalition of public and private contributors ha...

‘One Shot Hunt’ boosts W.Va.’s Hunters Helping the Hungry effort


They call it a “one-shot” hunt, but perhaps a better name for it would be a “shot-in-the-arm” hunt.

Since it began in 2007, the Governor’s One-Shot Whitetail Hunt has raised more ...

Restoration of Buffalo’s boat-launch ramp nears completion


BUFFALO — Sometime within the next couple of weeks, boating access to the lower Kanawha River will get a significant boost.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on “a...

Restoration of Buffalo’s boat-launch ramp nears completion


BUFFALO — Sometime within the next couple of weeks, boating access to the lower Kanawha River will get a significant boost.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on “a...

WV’s DNR’s ‘trout team’ will have to overcome hatchery and habitat issues


ELKINS — To wrestle with the many issues facing West Virginia’s trout program, fisheries officials are adopting a tag-team approach.

Two Division of Natural Resources biol...

WV trappers should have success, but fur market is soft


Once again, West Virginia’s most wildlife-savvy outdoors enthusiasts are roaming the state’s forests and rivers, setting traps and checking their trap lines.

The state’s trapping season opened ...

WV archery kill rises, firearm kill falls during early segments


Just when things started looking really good for West Virginia’s deer hunters this fall, things took a turn for the worse.

Fueled largely by the bowhunters’ switch to crossbows, the state’s arc...

DNR: Hunters’ chances are good to bag big bucks this fall


Could 2015 become known as West Virginia’s “Year of the Big Buck?”

There’s evidence already that it might. Social media sites are abuzz with tales of archer-killed 10-pointers, 12-pointe...

Fall causes Jackson hunter to change his approach to tree-stand safety


RIPLEYJoel Miller believed he was an ace at tree-stand safety right up to the moment his back hit the forest floor.

He thought...

DNR officials seek moderation in October antlerless-deer kill


Sometimes normal is good.

Compared to “dismal,” “disappointing” and “disheartening,” normal sounds downright delightful. So when West Virginia’s early firearm season...

Hunters’ chances of killing a wild boar good this year


West Virginians’ chances of killing a wild boar this year are better than they have been for quite some time.

That’s saying quite a bit; in the early 2...

Water conditions improve just in time for WV’s fall trout stockings


The rains that have fallen lately are good news for West Virginia’s trout anglers.

Without them, the fall trout stockings scheduled to begin Oct. 13 might not have gone as planned.

“It’s ...

W.Va.’s grouse and woodcock numbers are down this fall


It’s been quite a few years since West Virginia’s grouse and woodcock hunters had much to celebrate. They won’t have much to celebrate this year, either. Both species aren’t as abundant this y...

Huge Asian carp found in Ohio River; are there more to come?


APPLE GROVE — It isn’t every day a 60-pound fish shows up in an Ohio River navigation lock, but the one that showed up recently really got people’s attention.

It wa...

St. Albans man catches big catfish on light line


Bobby Rogers fishes Nitro’s Ridenour Lake a lot, but mostly for bass.

It came as a bit of a surprise for him, then, when a monster catfish nabbed his bass lure.

“I was retrieving a 2-inch white ...

Beech Fork State Park trails getting much-needed upgrade


LAVALETTE — Despite having just climbed a rather steep-sided hill, Matt Yeager wasn’t winded at all.

“This is a far different trail from what it was last year, ...

W.Va.’s new elk project leader says species’ reintroduction will require ‘great effort’


HOLDEN — On a brush-lined mountaintop in southwestern Logan County, Randy Kelley unlocked the housing to a trail camera hidden near a salt block.

“We get pictures of lots ...

Turkey forecast looks best for W.Va.’s southern counties this fall


For West Virginians hoping to do a little turkey hunting this fall, the chance of success depends largely upon where they choose to hunt.

Statewide, turkey broods are up 22 percent over last year and 14 percent ove...

Crossbows increase interest in W.Va.’s archery season


On Sept. 26, bowhunters will head afield for what West Virginia’s top wildlife official said is “unquestionably” the most anticipated archery-season opener in state history.

“With the in...

Pale catfish greet visitors at W.Va.’s Apple Grove Hatchery


APPLE GROVE — Visitors to West Virginia’s Apple Grove Fish Hatchery get to see something that’s pretty darned rare.

In the back corner of the hatchery’s main...

Fayette ginseng trafficker accused of shooting at officers


A Fayette County ginseng trafficker faces a charge of felony wanton endangerment after he allegedly fired a shot at Natural Resources Police officers trying to serve a warrant.

Capt. W.W. Brogan III of the Beckley ...

Train wreck in 1978 launched nature photographer’s career


WEST UNION — On a sun-splashed late-summer afternoon, Steve Shaluta knelt alongside a grassy trail and reflected on the train wreck that launched his career.

“This is wher...

New electronic gloves take the wiggle out of fish handling


APPLE GROVE — With one hand, Jeff Hansbarger reached into a water-filled tub and grabbed a catfish by the tail.

The fish, clearly unhappy at having its tail held, began thrashing...

Hunting, Fishing Days celebration is geared toward youth


Probably half the folks who show up at West Virginia’s National Hunting and Fishing Days celebration are adults, but really the two-day event is all about young people.

“We try to create a family atmo...

W.Va. DNR announces new public areas for elk reintroduction


Animals to reside in two new wildlife management sites in Logan, McDowell counties

By John McCoy

Staff writer

West Virginia wildlife officials have a couple of new places to put the elk they plan...

Woodrum Lake’s lost fishery has taken a decade to restore


KENTUCK — Ten years after Jackson County’s Woodrum Lake had to be drained, its once-vibrant fishery is “just about fully recovered.”

So says Scott Morrison, ...

Squirrels will be abundant in 2015, DNR says


There will be no shortage of squirrels in West Virginia’s woods this fall.

Truth be told, that’s usually the case. But this year the number of bushytails could be downright epic.

Squirrel popula...

New electrical system makes Hawks Nest aerial tram ‘better than ever’


ANSTED — The aerial tram at Hawks Nest State Park is running again.

Park guests resumed riding its cable-borne gondolas on July 31, more than nine months after the tram’s ...

W.Va.’s newest bear season to open Sept. 5


West Virginia’s latest bear season is also its earliest.

State wildlife officials created the Sept. 5-12 season earlier this year after biologists concluded that seasons held later in the year weren’t...

Salvaged lure brings Braxton angler two ‘muskies of a lifetime’


There are lucky lures, and then there’s the one in Chris Davenport’s tackle box.

Not only was Davenport lucky enough to find the muskie-sized bucktail, lost and abandoned on a submerged log, he used t...

W.Va.’s goose, dove openers gain in popularity


On your mark, get set…

Sometime just before sunrise on Sept.1, a shotgun blast will mark the start of West Virginia’s fall hunting season for 2015.

The target of that first shot will be a Canada...

TV show gives W.Va.’s hunting, fishing a wide audience


Jeremy Allen’s dream was born on Saturday mornings when he was a kid.

“I got up and watched the Saturday morning hunting and fishing shows,” said Allen. “I loved them. I wanted to make a...

A new twist on golf debuts at W.Va.’s Pipestem Resort


PIPESTEM — Looking a little like the title character of the movie “Happy Gilmore,” Casey Ord took a quick crossover step and, uncoiling like a discus thrower, flung a gol...

Releasing late-summer fish requires special care


In August and early September, when waters run low and clear and warm, anglers need to be particularly careful with fish they plan to release.

Play the fish just a little too long or handle it just a little too car...

State issues migratory bird-hunting regulations for 2015


West Virginia’s first migratory bird seasons open a couple of weeks from now, and state wildlife officials are only just learning how long those seasons will be.

Migratory birds such as ducks, geese, doves a...

Urban deer hunts to celebrate 20th year in W.Va.


When the first arrow flies in this fall’s first deer hunt, a milestone will be reached.

This will be the 20th year for state-sanctioned urban whitetail hunting in West Virginia. Since 1996, towns and homeown...

Charleston-area archery shops see uptick in crossbow sales


It’s been a crossbow kind of summer for Charleston-area archery dealers.

Now that the Legislature has legalized crossbow hunting for non-handicapped people, bow-shop operators are enjoying a boost in busines...

W.Va. DNR expands chronic wasting disease ‘containment area’


For deer hunters in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, life just got considerably more complicated.

Natural resources officials have dramatically expanded the state’s Chronic Wasting Disease Containme...

Duck numbers good again this year, feds say


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has good news for waterfowl hunters:

Duck populations remain strong overall in 2015 despite a dry spring that reduced the number of breeding ponds. Overall, duck numbers rose 1 pe...

Bait makers are plenty in the Mountain State


For a small state, West Virginia sure seems to have a lot of muskie-lure makers.

“I tell people about that all the time,” said Jeff Hansbarger, a fisheries biologist for the state Division of Natural ...

W.Va.’s fishing regulations to get more complicated


No, it’s not your imagination.

West Virginia’s fishing regulations are complicated, and they’re about to become even more so.

At their July 26 meeting, members of the state Natural Resour...

DNR files rules for elk reintroduction


West Virginia’s journey toward an elk-stocking program has taken another step forward.

Late last month, Division of Natural Resources officials filed a set of legislative rules that establish a loose framewo...

Fear of snakebite outstrips actual danger, expert says


Snakes bite most during the dog days of summer, right?

Maybe, said Jim Fregonara, one of West Virginia’s top snake experts, but it’s more a coincidence than anything else.

“In West Virgin...

Wildlife exhibit is hunter’s legacy to West Virginians


POINT PLEASANT — When Chris Bauer died in 2010, he left behind a legacy of fur, feathers, horns and hooves.

Bauer’s legacy lives on in a brand-new, million-dollar building...

Social media helps officers make deer poaching bust


Officers with West Virginia’s Natural Resources Police have grown quite fond of social media.

It helps them solve crimes faster.