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DNR expects good crowd for National Hunting and Fishing Days celebration

By John McCoy, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — At least the calendar is in their favor this year.

That’s good news to the organizers of West Virginia’s National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebration, who often have trouble prying visitors away from college football games.

“We’re fortunate this year,” said Kayla Donathan, who coordinates the event for the state Division of Natural Resources. “[West Virginia University’s team] is on the road, and Marshall’s team is idle.”

That, she said, should help boost attendance at the Sept. 21-22 event.

“With decent weather, we expect about 4,500 people to attend. Last year [with both teams playing home games], we had about 2,900.”

Those who attend this year’s celebration will experience a few new attractions.

“For the first time ever, we’re going to offer live bluegrass music,” Donathan said. “From 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, the Sour Mash String Band will be performing. We’re very excited about it. We’ve talked for years about having live music at the event, and now we’re finally doing it.”


West Virginia’s Celebration of National Hunting And Fishing Days

September 21-22, 2019
Stonewall Resort State Park
(Interstate 79 – Exit 91)
located in Roanoke (near Weston), Lewis County, WV
Gate Admission: 
Adults $10
Children (14 and under) Free


  • Archery Alley for kids
  • Wildlife painting for kids
  • 3-D archery competition (pay event)
  • Outdoor Youth Challenge
  • Wild game and fish taste sampling
  • Sporting dog demonstrations
  • .22 rifle shooting
  • Primitive camping, knife & tomahawk throwing
  • Raptor Seminars
  • Sporting Clay public shooting
  • Fly fishing demos
  • Care & cooking of fish and game
  • fish filleting demo
  • Byron Ferguson archery exhibition shooter presentation
  • Deer field dressing & skinning demo
  • Live fish displays
  • Educational exhibits
  • Electro fishing demo
  • Shotgun hunting computer simulation
  • Many delicious food concessionaires
  • Over 100 vendors

About National Hunting and Fishing Days

Since the first settlers roamed what would become our state, West Virginians have always had an intense interest in any opportunity to check out the latest innovation or gadget to help make their survival easier. The roving “tinker” or peddler would offer the hardy pioneers new knives, fish hooks, etc. Later, small general stores provided a much wider range of equipment and supplies, from traps to rifles and shotguns, needed to help our ancestors put food on the table. These community stores became a focal point, not only to restock equipment and supplies, but to meet neighbors, share ideas, stories and gossip.

West Virginians today don’t have to depend on their hunting and fishing skills for their survival, we have supermarkets for that. However, we still like to see the latest, hot new item on the market that will “insure” we get that big buck or that trophy fish. And, we still thoroughly enjoy meeting with like-minded sportsmen to visit and tell our tales.

West Virginia’s Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days (NH&FD) at Stonewall Resort State Park provides the state’s best opportunity to do just that. Held the third weekend of each September, NH&FD is a unique blend of a traditional hunting and fishing show and summer camp. The event is the result of a year of work and planning by the West Virginia Wildlife Federation and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Like most hunting and fishing shows, NH&FD has a host of vendors selling products and crafts for every outdoor need or desire. Several concessionaires serve a variety of delicious food, insuring no one will go away hungry.

The Stonewall event’s uniqueness stems from the many “hands on” activities available for the public to enjoy. Only at West Virginia’s Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days can the public participate in so many outdoor related activities. Click on our “Activities” button to see the growing list of opportunities available for all to experience and enjoy at NH&FD!

Presented by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the West Virginia Wildlife Federation

For information contact Kayla Donathan at 304-558-2771 or [email protected].

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