West Virginia University (WVU) administrators have told its “Mountaineer” mascot to stop using his university-issued muzzleloader on hunting trips after a video of him harvesting a black bear with the firearm appeared on the internet.
The WVU mascot wears buckskin and a coonskin cap, and fires the muzzleloader (loaded with only black powder and no ball) at home athletic events and other sponsored activities. Hunting, apparently, isn’t one of them.
“While Jonathan Kimble’s actions broke no laws or regulations, the university has discussed this with him, and he agrees that it would be appropriate to forego using the musket in this way in the future,” said WVU spokesman John Bolt.
Kimble said Friday that he’s been hunting all his life and this was the first black bear he’s ever killed. He said all his friends have congratulated him for that.
“This is a smart young man from West Virginia who did nothing wrong, who was celebrating who he is,” said Robert Hickman, who holds two degrees from WVU and lives near Fairmont.
“If you’re from West Virginia and you love the outdoors, or if you hunt or don’t hunt, or if you fish or don’t fish, it is a celebration of this state. As a former WVU graduate, I’m thrilled to death with him. Happy as can be.”