John McCoy is the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette’s award-winning outdoors writer. His "Woods & Waters" page appears weekly in the Sports section of the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
In 32 years of outdoors writing, John has had articles published in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Bowhunter, North American Whitetail, Hatches and other publications. His works have earned more than 50 state, regional and national awards for writing and photography.
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Want to read a genuine success story? Here’s one, courtesy the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources:
CHARLESTON, W.Va.— Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the Governor’s One Shot Whitetail Deer Hunt raised a record $75,000 in donations for the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) program. The event, held Dec. 5 and 6 at Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park in Lewis County, has been held the past four years to raise money for HHH, which is administered by the Division of Natural Resources.
“The Governor’s One Shot Committee set a very ambitious monetary goal for last year’s event and I congratulate them on their success,” Gov. Tomblin said during a check presentation at the Capitol on March 2. “I also want to thank all those who participated, from the hunters to the business sponsors, because they put food on the table for many West Virginia families. While I look forward to this year’s hunt, which will be the event’s fifth anniversary, I’d like to encourage West Virginians to make year round donations to our food pantries.”
The first event, held in 2007, raised $17,000, the second in 2008 raised $35,000, and the third in 2009 raised $50,000.
The HHH program allows hunters to donate legally-harvested deer to certified processors so the meat can be distributed to soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, senior centers, missions, churches and community centers around the state. The HHH program has been highly successful since it began in 1992, providing more than 100,000 meals to the neediest of West Virginians. However, the program also requires cash donations to pay for processing and distribution costs to benefit these needy individuals.
The One Shot event is sponsored by DNR and the One Shot Committee. Private individuals and businesses donate money for the opportunity to participate in guided antlerless deer hunts on private property near Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park and end the event with an auction and an award banquet. All venison from the hunt, along with profits from the sponsorships, goes to HHH.
“While we want to thank all our dedicated volunteers for their hard work and time, it simply couldn’t have happened without the generous support of the many corporations and individuals who are willing to put their money where their mouths are,” said DNR Director Frank Jezioro. “They stepped up again this year and were overly generous in bidding on the many articles donated for auction at our event and purchasing the corporate tables for the banquet. Having different organizations underwrite most of the cost of the event enables us to give the major portion of the money raised directly to the HHH program.”
Gov. Tomblin and Director Jezioro also commended the landowners who allowed the participants to hunt on their property, providing not only a place to hunt, but also an opportunity to remove antlerless deer from overpopulated areas. Special thanks went to the many guides, who gave of their time to help the participants find the deer and assist with the harvest.
“We are already planning for this year’s event,” Jezioro said. “We have been contacted by new people and corporations that want to be part of next year’s Governor’s One Shot event for Hunters Helping the Hungry. At this time of giving there can be no greater gift than helping to feed less fortunate West Virginians.”