By Larry Case
It is no secret that West Virginia is a hot bed for hunting, fishing, and the shooting sports. West Virginians know this, almost any family has someone who hunts and goes fishing and shoots firearms for recreation. I believe most of us in the Mountain State don’t really think about how deeply ingrained we are in this heritage. We just go to the woods and streams and enjoy what our parents and grandparents taught us. It really is a way of life. Maybe there should be more events to celebrate this?
This September 22, 23, and 24th, The Greenbrier is bringing outdoorsmen from every location and discipline together with vendors to experience this incredible property and learn more about the hunting, fishing and conservation opportunities available to enthusiasts of all types. While some of the exhibits will be contained indoors, the goal is to utilize the entire property and the great outdoors, which we all treasure.
For more than a century The Greenbrier Resort has been known as a sportsman’s paradise. With 11,000 breathtaking acres set in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, the resort features the topography, water and wildlife that is sought out by outdoorsmen from around the world. Fishing, bird hunting, archery, skeet and trap shooting, sporting clays, off-road driving and falconry are just a sampling of the outdoor offerings featured daily for guests of The Greenbrier, along with more than 50 other indoor and outdoor activities.
Providing an ideal location for vendors, speakers, and outdoor enthusiasts to showcase their products and skills is at the heart of the Wild and Wonderful Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation Expo at The Greenbrier. There are also some major goals that the team at America’s Resort hopes to accomplish with this unique event. They want to spread knowledge about the incredible sporting opportunities available on The Greenbrier property and the expert instructors on staff and manage the outside perception of West Virginia. They also want to spread awareness of its beauty and everything it has to offer to outdoor enthusiasts of all types. This event will hopefully foster an awareness and appreciation of outdoor sports among youth throughout West Virginia and beyond. The event will also provide outdoor sporting opportunities for military veterans, and partner with West Virginia Division of Natural Resources on conservation efforts in West Virginia.
Friday was a media day for those wishing to learn what the event was about. I saw the makings of a major event and spoke with some of the companies and exhibitors that have already signed on and committed to participating in the Wild and Wonderful Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation Expo in September. Mossy Oak camouflage and firearms manufacturer Sig Sauer were present and will be just some of the heavy hitters from the outdoor world at this event. Avid sportsman, conservationist, and NASCAR great Ward Burton was present with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc. Project Healing Waters brings a high-quality, full-spectrum fly fishing program to an ever-expanding number of disabled active military service personnel across the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. All of these people and companies were present, but I also saw something else.
Among the presenters for seminars in September are two old friends of mine. I found Jim Clay, a native of Whitesville, West Virginia, and Jim Crumley from Virginia holding court with a group of guides and other young sportsmen after the media event was winding down. Jim Clay was one of the first diaphragm turkey call makers back in the day and ran Perfection Calls for many years. Clay has turkey hunted and given turkey calling seminars all over the country. Jim Crumley, if you don’t know is considered the father of modern hunting camouflage as he invented Trebark camo. (Before that we wore military camo if you could get it)
I stood back and watched as Jim Clay and Jim Crumley regaled these young guys with stories of turkey hunting in the day, tracking big bucks, making calls and camouflage, and how it all came about. I realized the young men sat transfixed, and they got it, they were talking to history. These were the men that pioneered the way in many of the aspects of the culture and a way of life that meant so much to them.
There will be much to see at the Wild and Wonderful Hunting, Fishing, and Conservation Expo in one of West Virginia’s most beautiful settings. There will also be a lot of history.