WV Mountaineer Mascot In Hunt ControversyBear Hunting Magazine
As many have seen and heard over the last week, a video posted on the internet shows the WV University Mountaineer mascot, a male student, harvesting a black bear with the university issued musket. The musket was used while the student was on a hound hunt in his home county within the state of West Virginia.
The musket, which bears a distinctive gold West Virginia-shaped plate on the stock, is fired before every Mountaineer home football game and is carried at school events the mascot attends.
It is a real working musket, although as a university spokesman pointed out in an emailed statement, only powder is used when it is discharged at public functions. The University has since spoken to the student about the hunt and he has agreed that the musket will only be used for school-related activities from now on.
West Virginia University stresses that the student broke no laws or regulations, but they have decided together that it would be appropriate to forego using the musket in this way in the future.
As the mascot, the student stays busy between making appearances and taking classes. The student stated that he had also hunted deer with the musket earlier this year and that other Mountaineer mascots in the past have taken their guns hunting. He believes that taking the musket out in the woods has become something of a tradition over the many years it has been a part of Mountaineer history.