Yoopers out for the hunt

Benny Garbacz

The leaves changed their brilliant aurora of yellows, reds and oranges. The cold, brisk wind picks up and sweeps itself over all of the Northern United States with birds following the wind north or fighting against it to travel south.

re-hunting-samgoldingWinter is coming, which can be seen as a burden to many animals and people who do not desire the cold. But to some, it is a season of opportunity. It is a season that brings with it the chance to partake in a primal action man has had since he could stand.  It is hunting season.

Hunting has always been prevalent in the state of Michigan, and especially here in the Upper Peninsula. Along with the summer season, this is a time of year that the northern region of our state brings in a large portion of its tourist revenue. Most deer taken from Michigan were from the western end of the U.P., according to “Game and Fish Magazine.”

Thanks to its isolation from most urbanized areas and diverse wildlife, it draws in a large body of hunters.

Many students look forward to this time of year to go off and try their luck at harvesting a deer.

“I love to go hunting. I can’t explain why,” said freshman finance and risk management major Zack Truxton. “You don’t need to kill anything; you can just be in the woods.  It’s good to be outdoors away from everyone.”

Truxton has been hunting since he was 10.  He carries on a tradition that his family has been doing forever.  There were two reasons for wanting to go out and bag a deer.

“Everyone wants a trophy, but you need food.  Killing for killing takes away the importance and the fun from the experience,” Truxton said.

These trips do not entail just hunting deer. Freshman physical education major Carson Parks said there is much more to the experience besides shooting.

“We go early and go down to a little diner and order the same breakfast after a morning hunt.  Hot chocolate and corn beef hash is what I always get,” Parks said.  “Tradition is such a big thing for me.  I’ve been hunting since I was 12.”

Carson described himself as a picky hunter who enjoys the harvested venison that he turns into his favorite jerky but waits to see if a large deer that would look appealing on his wall will walk by. But above all, he said that he enjoys the peacefulness of the outdoors and loves the opportunity to go somewhere that blocks out all stressors.

There are some that do not want to partake in the season for various reasons, but Carson recommends people who are not hunters to at least try experiencing the outdoors this way.

“Even if you’re not a hunter, go out, sit and wait for something to walk by. Take the experience in and enjoy yourself because life’s super short and you can only live it once.”

The 2016 firearm deer season began Nov. 15 and will end Nov. 30.  It is a small window, but that is why many across the U.P. sometimes spend all year round in preparations for those 15 days.

NMU accommodates for students who wish to partake in this tradition. Students can check in their firearms to NMU Public Safety, where the firearms will be locked and stored until students requests them for hunting. Once students return, they must return the firearm back to public safety, according to section 2.3.33 of the student handbook.

Any violation of these policies results in disciplinary action, so it is imperative students follow the guidelines and keep their firearms off campus. Students are welcome to enjoy the season and many will return to school in the following weeks with new tales of their latest hunting experience.