Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Spew alert!

Do not — I repeat — do not be drinking water, coffee, tea or soda when you read the paragraph below. It’s a Gazette news staffer’s waggish interpretation of a press release from the Smokie Coyote Hunting Club, a Wyoming County-based organization that pays $25-a-head bounties to members who kill coyotes:

“Coyotes can be trapped, shot, garroted, shanked, speared, darted, tire-ironed, bitch-slapped,  run over or overdosed with prescription drugs.”

All this mayhem is to take place during a “four-stage coyote killfest” that the club plans to conduct Feb. 16-18, March 14-16, April 18-20 and April 26-27.

Club officials plan to pay out $10,000 in bounties during those periods. Coyote carcasses can be checked in at Park Center Sporting Goods in Rainelle, Flat Top Arms in Beckley, Uncle Sam’s in Man, Dee’s Pickette and Sporting Goods in Hamlin, Great Outdoors in Ripley, Crossroads General Store in Newark, Jerry’s Sporting Goods in Weston, Gander Mountain in Charleston, and Johnson’s Sporting Goods in Summersville.

Anyone who wants more information about the contest can call (304) 682-8146.

Now here’s a real bummer

Americans aren’t going outdoors as much as they used to.

We’ve suspected for some time that work, television, the Internet, PlayStations and other diversions keep us from going outside as much as we should. It’s just a shame to see that there are statistics that support those suspicions.

A report, released recently by the Nature Conservancy, shows that Americans aren’t hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, camping or enjoying nature as much as they once did.

Again, it’s not suprising. But it is a mite depressing. 

Support for a serpent

Every year, the West Virginia Legislature wrestles with some weighty issues. They’re currently trying to decide whether the timber rattlesnake should become the “official state reptile.”

 Timber rattler

What are your thoughts? Follow this link to read the story. If you have an opinion, why not post it in the comment section below?