Just a few years ago, it was difficult to find a public place to hunt in the western portion of West Virginia. That since changed.
According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources since purchased 77,000 acres of public land that was previously being used under the guise of private hunting leases. A main chunk of that land is the 24,000-acre Tomblin Wildlife Management Area which is also where you find the majority of the state’s elk herd.
Where did the money come from to purchase this now-public land? The short answer is most of it came from hunters. The funding came from a variety of sources including an 11 percent excise tax on guns, ammunition and archery equipment as well as revenue from hunting and fishing licenses. It also came from natural gas royalties and donations from various organizations including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
(Photo source: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)