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Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park to host celebration as W.Va. marks National Hunting and Fishing Days

Sep. 20, 2009 @ 12:00 AM

Fall starts Tuesday and right on its heels is National Hunting and Fishing Days.

The Mountain State celebrates next weekend with a whole lot of shooting, reeling, watching and learning as Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park near Weston, W.Va., hosts the annual West Virginia Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR), together with the West Virginia Wildlife Federation, will co-sponsor the celebration at the resort, located Lewis County, located along Interstate 79 (Exit 91).

Celebration hours are 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27.

"This event is designed to appeal to outdoor enthusiasts of any age -- and is especially beneficial to young, budding hunters, anglers, and those who enjoy non-consumptive outdoor pursuits like bird watching, camping, hiking and the like," said DNR Director Frank Jezioro. "NH&FD is the largest, single weekend outdoor-oriented event in the state, and is something not to be missed"

"We are proud to bring back the outstanding archery showman Byron Ferguson," stated Event Coordinator Jerry Westfall. "Byron is an unparalleled archery talent whose performances leave audiences across the nation speechless." Other very popular exhibitors coming include: Roy Moose (West Virginia snakes); Tom Bechdel (coyotes); Smokey McNicholas (deer and other wildlife calls).

Popular displays are back, including the West Virginia Big Buck Display and West Virginia Trophy Fish Display, displaying some of the largest deer and fish taken in the state.

"We are also proud to have back the squirrel field dressing and skinning demonstration, which was such a hit last year when it was introduced," noted Westfall. "This squirrel demonstration compliments our long-standing deer field dressing and skinning demonstration, which has taught proper field dressing and skinning techniques to a couple of generations of wildlife enthusiasts."

"NH&FD is especially beneficial to young people, and we encourage youth attendance by keeping prices low and by providing two action-packed days of youth activities," said Westfall. The Outdoor Youth Challenge (a youth expo and competition relating to wildlife, hunting, fishing, firearms safety and outdoor recreation) has expanded this year. "The Outdoor Youth Challenge is perhaps the most important event at NH&FD, because for some youngsters this may be the only opportunity they will have to be around these fun and exciting outdoor activities.

"The hunting simulator, climbing wall, lake boat rides, and the W.Va. Army National Guard Blackhawk Helicopter are always a big hit with the kids. Parents can rest assured their children will have an action-packed day of learning and fun, which they will talk about for years," noted Westfall.

"NH&FD is more than a hunting and fishing show -- it is an outdoor/indoor event which provides outdoor-enthusiasts the ability to learn and participate," noted Westfall. "Here, adults and youth (under supervision) can try for absolutely free: Archery, muzzleloader shooting, .22 caliber shooting, skeet (shotgun) shooting, fly casting, and many other activities. And this year, thanks to Horton Archery, we have added another item for people to try -- crossbow shooting."

"NH&FD is designed to generate excitement about outdoor-related activities and ultimately promote recruitment and retention of young hunters, anglers and wildlife-watchers, and those older individuals who have temporarily abandoned these sports," noted Director Jezioro. "With this event, we hope we can help preserve our outdoor heritage in West Virginia. We hope to educate the public by providing opportunities to learn the skills, safety, ethics, respect and stewardship needed for these outdoor activities, and basically, just to encourage folks to get outdoors and have fun. It also provides folks an opportunity to learn how other organizations, agencies, landowners and businesses are helping to conserve West Virginia's wildlife and preserve our hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching heritage."

For more information on NH&FD, including a complete schedule, descriptions of activities, and an event map, go to the DNR Web site at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/nathuntfish.shtm.

For more information on Stonewall Resort State Park, go online at www.stonewallresort.com.

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