The hunters of FHC do not take their time in the woods for granted


Paige Harsevoort

A picture of Paige filled with excitement having caught a deer

Every year, on Nov. 15, sophomore Paige Harsevoort enjoys sitting in silencewaiting for the soft sounds of wild deer approaching. 

Ever since Paige was little, she has found satisfaction during hunting season, as it fills her up with joy being in the woods along with the beauty of nature. 

My favorite part is hanging out in the woods,” Paige said. “Though a lot of people may think it’s boring, being out in the quiet is refreshing. It’s really nice to get out and enjoy nature.”

To some extent, fun might be an overstatement in terms of describing hunting; however, there’s a rush of excitement in the heat of the moment. It takes a whole lot of patience, for it may take hours waiting for the first sight of deer, but Paige fights through the boring parts to achieve an amazing accomplishment, especially with her first kill at age nine. 

“I was running on adrenaline,” Paige said. “It was freezing that evening, and it was just about to become dark outside. Snow was falling hard, as I was cold in the blind and had just gotten situated about 15 minutes prior. I was watching the field, and three deer walked out of the woodsone really big one and two smaller onesthey were all good sizes. I got the gun ready and shot; the deer dropped dead. I ended up shooting its neck and killed it instantly. I was so excited because I didn’t have to track it, and it didn’t suffer.” 

Just like Paige, at the young age of five, senior Adam Hop picked up the hobby and found it to be something he’d continue with for years to come. Killing an animal can get gross and can carry a tiny bit of quilt, but waiting for that right moment to strike creates an even more special memory.

Killing your first deer is a surreal feeling,” Adam said. “Even though you have some remorse for the animal you killed, you still feel good that you provided for your family or yourself.”

Adam finds hunting down deer interestingespecially in the hunting community. Adam believes strongly about the different meanings of what a big kill is considered to be. 

Although people who don’t hunt may ask if tracking down a deer is worth all the time it takes, for Adam, it’s the satisfaction of getting food in the freezerproviding food for the table. 

“In the hunting community,” Adam said, “a big buck is considered a big kill, but really, around the U.S. and the world, any kill is a big kill if it means something to you because it’s getting meat in the freezer.”

Hunting has so many other benefits to it, like creating stronger friendships with those who hunt with you, or even being a family tradition and going on seasonal outings. It’s not only providing food for family and experiencing action, it has a much more important meaning to everyone. 

History teacher Brad Anderson finds that his favorite part about hunting is being with his family and being outdoors. 

Though he doesn’t hunt as much anymore, when he did, he took part in a tradition that was around as he grew up.

I hunted because it was a time-honored family tradition,” Anderson said. “It was a big part of growing up in the Anderson family. Hunting was as much about conservation and respect for the environment as it was about harvesting food for the table. I hunted primarily whitetail deer but also game birds such as pheasant, grouse, quail, and ducks.”

Hunting was as much about conservation and respect for the environment as it was about harvesting food for the table.

— Brad Anderson

Anderson takes away memorable moments, as it was his chance of connecting with those around him. He also never took the hobby for granted, for he respects the fragile animals that share his environment.

“It was a tradition,” Anderson said. “It was a bonding activity with my dad, my uncles, and my cousins. It was all about being outdoorsmen and continuing the traditions of past generations. ‘Hunt Camp’ was a time to talk, play cards, tell stories, and connect with family members before going out on the hunt.”

Many emotions surface the first time anything big happens, but for Anderson, his first kill was very sincere and respectful. 

“It was a mix of emotions,” Anderson said. “I had been hunting for a while at that point and paid my dues in the woods. As a youngster, I respected the animal and the hunt and did not take for granted the harvesting of the deer. Our family used venison burgers all throughout my childhood. We ate venison regularly instead of purchasing meat at the store.”

The gratitude for succeeding in something worthwhile isn’t even the best part. For Anderson, it’s the bonding moments and hunting with relatives, like his father. 

“My dad, who is the greatest hunter in the land,” Anderson said, “is perhaps the greatest outdoorsman anyone in this area would ever meet. He’s old school, and he would fit in with the voyagers of three hundred years ago or the mountain men of the Rockies.”

As for both Paige and Adam, the best part is time to think. 

“It has brought a lot of patience and determination,” Paige said. “It has also introduced me to people that have the same interests as me. It is very rewarding to put food on the table that you got yourself.”

Hunting season doesn’t end for a while, but it has proven to be a wonderful impact as heard from FHC. 

One of the many takeaways from hunting is once it starts, you don’t want it to end. 

Hunting has really been a stress reliever for me,” Adam said. “My favorite part is spending a lot of time in the woods. Feeling like you are by yourself with your thoughts is a great way to think for yourself and think about life. You’re part of a very small amount of people that like to provide food for their family from land, not just from your local grocery store.”