MORGANTOWN — It’s hard to find a good, used muzzleloader.
WVU alum and Arizona Diamondbacks executive Ken Kendrick found one on Feb. 1, when he dropped $125,000 to purchase the first Marvin Wotring Mountaineer muzzleloader during the recent Bob Huggins Fish Fry, held at Mylan Park.
All the proceeds will benefit the Holy Pursuits Dream Foundation, a nonprofit that provides hunting and fishing adventures to kids battling life-threatening illnesses.
Wotring, who died in December, built that first model for the Mountaineer mascot in 1978, and every Mountaineer muzzleloader since. Prior to his death, he gave the gun to his friend and Holy Pursuits Dream Foundation Co-Founder Kevin Turner to help him raise funds for the foundation.
Turner said he didn’t know how much the gun was going to sell for, but he was shocked when the gavel finally fell to close out the evening.
“Absolutely not. I did not. I knew it was and is a very valuable piece of Mountaineer sports history and I knew there would be great interest in it, but I did not expect that,” Turner said. “This is going to be such an incredible blessing to our Dream Foundation.”
Jared Shinn, of Joe R. Pyle Auction Services, said they too were surprised by the selling price.
“We had absolutely no idea the find bid would fall in that price range,” Shinn said, explaining it’s hard to predict a number for unique items like the muzzleloader. “We really didn’t have a feel for what the final bid would be, but no one believed it would exceed $100,000.”
Turner said he anticipates the revenue generated by the sale of the gun will help fund his growing foundation for the next year or more.
“We’re growing by leaps and bounds with the number of kids applying for hunting and fishing trips with us. It would be difficult to keep up financially with all the trips through our fundraisers or private donations,” Turner said. “We’re just very thankful that Mr. Huggins let us auction it off during his event.”