Charley Mooney, Chairman
I grew up in West Virginia running around through the woods and playing in the creeks that surrounded our family farm. Growing up in rural Appalachia, hunting and fishing seemed normal activities and that everyone just lived that way.
I started working at our local outdoor store when I was 17. It was an iconic shop and sold everything you could want for climbing, camping and backpacking. Little did I know then that it would lead me into working in the outdoor industry for the next 25 years. Chasing snow and mountains landed me in Colorado and Montana for several years. It is in Colorado that I started fly fishing some 22 years ago.
I am fortunate to be able to make my living fishing and guiding here in West Virginia. I fell in love with all the wide-open space that the West provided and the amount of open public land that is out there. When I came home to West Virginia I found that many of the places I hunted and the woods I ran around in were no longer there. I have two boys and being able to make sure they have a place to go and have the same experiences that I had is of the highest priority for me. That is why I am a BHA member!
Bill Lehrtet, Co-Chair
I grew up on a family farm on Ohio's Whitewater river. I was fortunate to have the opportunity for excellent smallmouth bass fishing, deer hunting, and waterfowl right out my back door. While I had been exposed to public lands through family backpacking and fishing trips, it wasn't until college that my focus shifted to hunting on public ground. I quickly realized that hunting and fishing access was not to be taken for granted. I spent my free time roaming Wayne National Forest while earning a degree in wildlife and fisheries management.
After graduating I moved to Fayetteville, West Virginia, and have been guiding fishing, hunting, and whitewater rafting trips there for 10 years. I volunteer for the Trout Unlimited Water Quality Monitoring Project and am currently working on a degree in environmental science to further my career in conservation.
When I'm not in the Monongahela National Forest or New River Gorge National River, I spend as much time as possible hunting, fishing, and rafting on public lands and waters from coast to coast.
Joshua Walters, Treasurer
Joshua grew up in West Virginia and was called to hunting after he graduated college. He gained an appreciation for the significance of public lands when he began hunting grouse in the Monongahela National Forest. It was there that he learned what it means to be a public land owner and began taking advantage of all our public lands has to offer. Whether it be hunting, fishing, trapping or hiking he enjoys every moment of the outdoors. Since picking up his first fly-rod over 10 years ago and experiencing what it means to be a public land owner, he has gained a deep passion for the present and future success of public lands.
Currently, he enjoys hunting grouse and turkey, trapping beaver and one day dreams to hunt on the vast public lands out West. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has connected him to amazing people, and he is excited to be a part of such a passionate group of sportsmen and women that work to keep public land in public hands.
Logan Bockrath, Secretary
I grew up in Dayton, Ohio and while I loved the outdoors my perception of hunting was that it was a redneck activity in which the goal was to kill an animal for antlers.
Rivers brought me to West Virginia straight out of high school; throughout the next decade of being a dirtbag kayaker I was exposed to a different side of hunting. Before the BHAs and Steve Rinellas of the hunting world began their sermons, West Virginia culture taught me that this is how families feed themselves and connect to the outdoors. In a short time span apathy turned into respect, respect turned into interest and the fact that my living situation had upgraded from a car to a camper to a bus to a house meant that I now had a freezer to fill.
I purchased a beat-up rifle from a friend and a used bow from a pawn shop. Book knowledge substituted for experience and I bumbled my way through the woods for the first handful of years, luckily filling my freezer.
While I enjoyed the connection to West Virginian culture that hunting brought me, I felt a disconnect to what I saw in the hunting media. I forged my own hunting philosophy based on wild game and the love of the outdoors. Years later I discovered the work of Steve Rinella and BHA and finally found a kinship of ideas surrounding hunting.
Somehow the dirtbag kayaker life rolled into working at an advertising agency, which rolled into owning my own production company, Thelonious Step. I live in the New River Gorge area where I enjoy the public lands at my doorstep on a daily basis.
I was fortunate to grow up in West Virginia with the Cheat River in my front yard and the Monongahela National Forest in my backyard. All of my free time was spent swimming, fishing, canoeing and hunting for whitetail. I took these resources for granted until I attended WVU and earned a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources and learned the background our wildlife management and public land systems.
My degree allowed me to work in and explore North Central Idaho where I was humbled by expanses of foothills, rugged mountains and wild rivers. I broadened my understanding of State and Federal public lands and learned how important these lands are to habitat, economy, freedom, and quality of life.
My wife, two daughters and I currently reside in Fairmont. We enjoy recreating on and visiting public lands in our home state and throughout the country. I look forward to raising my family outdoors, teaching them to hunt and fish, and ensuring they will always have wild places to explore and dream about. I’m proud to be a member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers as part of the collective voice for our prized public lands.
I grew up fishing and recreating on public lands with my parents in Indiana. I had the opportunity to go hunting for the first time towards the end of college when my university offered mentored dove hunting. I hope to continue hunting and fishing now that I have settled in West Virginia. In my free time, you can find me hiking or camping with my two dogs!
I have a B.S. in Forestry from Purdue University. I currently work as an Outreach Forester, promoting Working Lands for Wildlife programs to private landowners, but my passion lies in getting people outdoors and excited about nature.
I was introduced to BHA in college and fell in love with their mission to keep public lands accessible to the public. I hope to put my outreach skills to use for BHA here in West Virginia!
I’m an avid outdoorsman who grew up in the mountains and on the streams of West Virginia. I was born in Charleston, WV and raised by a single mother who taught me to work hard for everything and good things will come. From my youngest memories I have always had a strong desire to be in the woods chasing whatever was in season or maybe just hiking to see what is over the next ridge. In my early 20’s I married the love of my life and we moved to South Georgia. For the first time in my life, I experienced what it was like to be surrounded by mostly private land with the inability explore. This is when I began to become aware of the importance of public lands. After a couple years went by, my wife and I moved back to West Virginia had two boys and began to raise our family.
In the past 25 years I have been very fortunate to hunt, fish, hike and run races on public lands in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. I have also hunted south of the border in Mexico and have been able to see what it’s like when that beautiful country is not public. My experiences have made me fully aware of the unique gift of public lands that have been protected and preserved by those before us. Spending so much time east and west has helped me see how many people are unaware of the vast public lands and how easily they can disappear. I believe the work BHA is doing is incredibly important for everyone in the future of this country.
I have been a hunter, shooter and outdoorsman all of my life. I gave 36 years to working as a Conservation Officer and Natural Resources Police Officer, retiring with the rank of Captain with WV DNR Law Enforcement.
I own too many dogs, not enough shotguns and I am always looking for another place to hunt. I live with my long suffering wife Helen in Fayette County, West Virginia and we have two children, Sarah and Jesse, all of whom wish Dad would not wear camo clothing year round and refrain from discussing skinning or field dressing something in mixed company.
If you hunt with me I will make you late, get you lost, and mooch part of your lunch, but will always take you on an adventure. While I do not claim to be a definite expert on anything, I have some pretty strong opinions on everything and am I more than happy to tell you about them.