Students gear up for hunting season

Many students use their time on the weekends to hunt with friends and family

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By Andrew Tow

Hunting has been a way for junior Sam Myers to get outside and spend time with those who are important to him.

Zach Shrader, JagWire reporter/photographer

By Julia Fair
Preparing for the upcoming hunting season, sophomore Ethan Fleming loads his hunting gear into his truck.

Colder temperatures signal the arrival of hunting season. For students like sophomore Ethan Fleming and junior Sam Myers, it’s the best season of all; the sport not only holds a special place in their childhood memories but is an important aspect of their seasonal routine.

Sophomore Ethan Fleming has been going on hunting trips hunting with his father since he was a child. Though he didn’t hunt, he is still fond of the memories he made.

“My earliest memories [of hunting] are from when my dad started taking me,” Fleming said. “I remember my dad gave me snacks and a blanket and I played on my DS all day.”

Unlike Fleming, junior Sam Myers got into hunting with his uncle, not his father.

“Growing up, my dad never hunted with me. My uncle on my mom’s side [got me into hunting],” Myers said. “They are really big hunters and outdoorsman, so they really kind of took me under their wing.”

Myers enjoys hunting because of the excitement shooting animals gives him.

“I enjoy hunting because I like the thrill of going out in the field. It’s fun to shoot animals; [I like to] get that thrill,” Myers said.

Outside of being in the field, sophomore Dylan Jackson has also bonded with other hunters through their common passion for the sport.

“I like hunting because it is a good way to spend time with my dad, and everyone in the hunting community is really cool,” Jackson said.

An added bonus to hunting, said Fleming, is that many times hunters will miss school in order to maximize time spent in the field.

“I sometimes get out of school if I’m lucky,” Fleming said. “My parents let me leave school if my grades are good. My parents usually put the responsibility on me to get my assignments done.”

Despite only being allowed to hunt at specific times of the year, Fleming keeps himself busy in between hunting seasons by watching videos and looking for new equipment.

“Hunting fever gets to me a few months before the season. I watch a lot of YouTube videos,” Fleming said. “I try to see where I can improve my hunting. I search Amazon, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro for anything that I might need.”

Before a hunt the land needs to be prepared properly. Myers said that there is much that needs to be done the day before a hunt in order to be ready.

“We go out and scout the day before we hunt and we locate the birds,” Myers said. “Then, we get all of our equipment ready and set up a big spread of decoys. We just do maintenance on the land.”

Jackson’s preparation even extends to showering and washing the clothes he is going to wear the night before a hunt.

“To prepare for a hunt, I wash all my clothes in a scent-free wash and then take a shower with scent-free soap so that nothing can smell me,” Jackson said. “The most vital part is the scent-free wash and shower.”

Hunting is a good way to grow as a person. According to Fleming, it is a lot of responsibility for one person to have.

“I’ve gained respect for the animals,” Fleming said. “It’s a way for me to have more responsibility because I have something that can kill someone.”

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