The tens of thousands of deer, bear, turkey and other wild animals that are plentiful in West Virginia make the Mountain State a great place for hunters.
Behind them stand about five-score Division of Natural Resources law enforcement officers. At their core, they have the same mission now as they did when they became a statewide law enforcement agency a little over a year before Teddy Roosevelt led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill: Protect the state’s wildlife from poachers.
“It is theft — theft of wildlife, theft of property, the state’s property,” said Capt. Warren Goodson, stationed at the DNR headquarters in South Charleston and the state training coordinator. “And that’s the way we look at them: They’re stealing from the good sportsmen and sportswomen of the state. ... It is a different type of law enforcement, but it’s a law enforcement that’s needed.