Rifle hunting nearly underway as season approaches


BIG BUCK CHASE—NMU student Travis Bessner poses with one of his two bucks last year. Bessner said that he was lucky to get two a year ago, and time will tell if others can be as lucky this year when the season begins on Monday.

Dallas Wiertella, Staff Writer

Many Northern Michigan University students and Marquette residents are gearing up and heading off to their camps to get ready for rifle season. With Monday, Nov. 15 right around the corner, so is deer hunting.

Last year’s season yielded dry after a warm fall,  and deer were all around less active and many hunters came back home empty-handed. This year’s season is still warm but cold enough for a better chance at taking home a buck. Junior Travis Bessner drives out to camp before the season, excited for a better year of hunting. 

“I got lucky, I got two last year,” Bessner said. “It was too warm last year when the rut hit. For some reason, it just seemed like the deer weren’t even moving.” 

Many students from the Michigan area have grown up with hunting and still go out and enjoy the season while balancing their time at class and studying. Some students still find time after class to go out to camp and prepare for the season. 

“It does make it a little bit more difficult, especially if you want to get out at different times,” Bessner said. “The sun’s going down a lot earlier, so it’s nicer to have classes earlier in the morning. I try to schedule for that during the fall semester. I know from talking to other students that they can’t get out in the woods and find time to hunt because their classes are later in the day.”

Deer season is a yearly routine, baiting and setting up camp for the two-week experience to enjoy the company of friends and family while they wait for their shot. Local Wildlife Biologist David Jentoft recommends for students looking to get into hunting here or just to enjoy the experience, to reach out to the community and the DNR. 

“If they know somebody who is a hunter or friend or peer, ask them about hunting and some pointers or some information about hunting,” Jentoft said. “I encourage anyone to get out there and try it out for themselves, many people will find it to be an enjoyable time.”

The area is known for its great outdoor experience with wildlife and woodlands like no other place in the world. The deer hunting season gives hunters a chance to step away from the city and connect with nature and enjoy not only the view but the thrill of hunting. 

“Most hunters talk about chasing that big buck,” Jentoft said. “At the end of the day, it really boils down to spending time with your friends and family and really connecting to the outdoors in an area that they love.”