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Elk River Mountain Man

Coy Fitzpatrick, a 77 year old West Virginian, lives in a hunting lodge near the head of the Elk River in Randolph County. The walls of his rustic cabin are covered with a collection of guns, knives, hides and horns, many made or decorated by Coy himself. He prefers a primitive lifestyle, sleeping outside year-round and cooking whenever possible over an outdoor fire pit. This modern day mountaineer is interested in the history of our area and is an active member of the Appalachian Rangers Muzzle Loader Club and the West Virginia Muzzle Loader Association.

I met Coy while on a research trip to an Appalachian Rangers rendezvous and immediately decided that this was the subject I was searching for. I'm sure you will agree when you look into the face of three-quarters of a century of West Virginia history.

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I am sad to say that Coy passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 92. Some of his many friends still celebrate his birthday with a frontier gathering at his cabin beside the Elk River.