Girls gone hunting
Jay Benedict | Managing Editor
A barrage of arrows, bullets and BB’s routinely fill the air each morning and evening during December. It’s hunting season.
Most consider the month of December preparation time for Christmas, but for some female students at Pitt State, December is a time to kill because the month hosts several of Kansas’ wild game seasons.
“I go whenever I can,” said Michelle Embry, sophomore in nursing. “It’s mostly on the weekends because of work and school, but I can’t wait until I have more free time for it.”
As long as the appropriate licenses are acquired, hunters can pursue wild turkey, deer, fur-bearing animals such as beavers and foxes, doves, ducks, geese, pheasants, quail and squirrels and there is even a season for crows. However, most hunters focus on ducks and deer.
Paige Fletcher says hunting is about more than trekking off into the wilderness to pursue prey. For her it is a new hobby.
“I didn’t have any sports to play after high school, and after my boyfriend introduced me to shooting, I got into 3D targets,” said thesophomore in nursing. “I shot for the competition until he started taking me out with him.”
Fletcher says she also has a competition with her family and friends to see who can be the most successful. Embry agreed that her family was an influence on her hunting.
“I started hunting youth seasons at 12 or 13 because my family convinced me to,” Embry said.
Embry says her family remains a steady influence and it’s one reason she enjoys hunting so much.
“It was something to do with my stepdad, and we always go together,” Embry said. “It’s just as much about spending time with family than whether or not we’re successful.”
Jordan Dickey says that the family bonding resonates with her, too. She says she’s not an avid hunter, but her husband is.
“I live with a man who hunts every day that it is possible,” said Dickey, senior in education. “I’ve learned a lot about it from living with him.”
Fletcher says she has yet to tag her first deer, but Embry has been successful. She says she’s gotten a buck every season except two.
“I’d eat wild game over beef any day,” Embry said.
Fletcher says there’s also a spiritual aspect to hunting. She says her favorite experience was seeing something called a bachelor group, which is a group of young male deer that move together.
“This is my first season, but there is something about blending in and seeing animals in their natural environment,” Fletcher said. “The bachelor group with eight huge bucks just hanging out together was something I don’t think many people have seen.”
Kansas offers hunters a great chance to experience the outdoors. While some people protest the activity, the fees that Kansas’ hunters pay fund some of the state’s conservation efforts. Regardless of the motive or outcome, some PSU students are proving that hunting is not just for the boys.