Waking up at 5 am in the dark to get out into the woods to start a day of hunting in below freezing temperatures is not typical for a college student. As an avid deer hunter and full-time student, I realize that a majority of people do not know much about hunting and all that it brings to the table. For someone who does not hunt, they are missing out on so much fun and bonding time with other hunters. Sharing your stories with each other is something extremly unforgettable.
Archery is the Way to Go
Let’s start with the two types of hunting that I participate in; archery and shotgun. Two totally different types of hunting, but end in the same result by putting food on the table. Are you someone who likes challenges, needs help with patience, loves the outdoors, or struggles from anxiety? If yes, then taking up archery hunting could be the best hobby for you! Archery is bow and arrow hunting. If you’re a college student that is stressed, I dare you to pick up a bow and arrow and give hunting a shot.
When you get out into the woods and into your tree stand, you are instantly alone. The feeling of being alone and being able to think to yourself in complete silence, unwind, and focus on nothing else besides your hunt is a feeling of complete calmness. Letting go of that bad test grade or the upcoming week of nonstop library hours can be cured by getting out in the woods and strategizing your hunt. The skill of archery hunting makes you forget about everything else when it comes time to harvest a deer. It requires complete focus and utter concentration.
For those who do not know, whitetail deer having impeccable sight, smell and hearing. They can smell the scent on your clothes and run off before you even see them. It is a game you play with them, and when you kill a deer during archery season that feeling of accomplishment is amazing. Killing the deer is just one part of hunting. It is about knowing where the deer travel, where to put the tree stand, which way the wind is blowing, and figuring out where to place trail cameras to capture images of the deer as they move in the offseason.
Depending on how much land you have to hunt on it can be much more challenging. Deer who have more land to roam are not used to seeing people and civilization so they can be that much harder to kill. While doing work in the offseason for your upcoming hunting year you get to witness things that you would never see if you did not hunt. As a college student you do not need to skip class to find time to hunt. The best days are when you can get out after class for a couple hours or even before class in the morning. What’s great is that you can set your schedule. There is no pressure that you have to get out one afternoon to go hunt.
Living a college life is fun. You might have funny stories of your roommates, parties, or the crazy professor but don’t these stories get old after four years of the same thing? Hunting stories are lifetime memories and you gain these memories every time you get into the woods. If you take up hunting and continue that tradition with your kids, you can teach them skills that not many people have. It creates a bond that is unbreakable.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you heard a story of a hunter who had to go out at 10 pm in the frigid night to try and find his deer he killed because the blood trail wore off due to rain? And while they were trying to track it, they heard coyotes barking in the near distance? Well that happened to me and those stories are way better than “the party from last weekend.” Being outside and experiencing mother nature is something that you can’t pack up and take with you. In order to grasp the feeling of hunting you need to be out in the woods. It opens your eyes to so much more within yourself and within the world around you. The ability to say that “I did this” or “this is my work” is a feeling of accomplishment and that’s what you get when you archery hunt.