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Student hunters find time for sport, academics

Mitchell Henkelman, Life Writer
December 4, 2012
Filed under Life

Getting up before the break of dawn, hiking out into the forest and standing in the cold for many hours with the possibility of not seeing anything. Would any student say this is preferable to sitting in class? If they are deer hunters, the answer should be obvious.

This year, like every year, UW-Green Bay hunters trekked out into the wilderness with hopes of nabbing a trophy deer.

Every year, however, complications from midterms, projects and other important assignments hinder the time students have to spend in the great outdoors.

“I realize teachers can’t really do anything about it,” said Scott Murphy, junior biology major, “but I wish they wouldn’t have midterms the day after opening weekend when it’s a full week of the sport.”

As the time for hunting and exams overlaps, students try to compromise between time spent on academics and getting their 30-pointer.

“I basically have to bring all my stuff with me and be sure to make time during the season,” Murphy said, “which is hard because you want to be in the woods.”

Leniency from teachers is hard to come by for student hunters.

“They’re skipping class,” said Tonmoy Islam, assistant professor of economics. “It’s not an emergency. For some people, what’s the difference between hunting and going to an amusement park? Both of them can be rescheduled. You can do it over the weekend. You don’t have to do it over the week.”

Sophomore accounting majors Chris Sullivan and Eric Schley also took to the woods together this hunting season.

“I started hunting back in my first year of high school,” Sullivan said. “A friend of a family member got me interested and took me to a hunter safety class. It seemed interesting, but at the time I thought my education was a little more important so I kind of gave up on it. This year my friend wanted to go, so I’m getting back into it.”

Schley went hunting for the first time this year.

“I’ve wanted to do it for a long time,” Schley said, “I just never got around to doing it.”

For many students the hunting season is a chance to get out and enjoy their outdoor surroundings as well as take a break from the stress of school.

“I like sitting out in nature.” Sullivan said. “It’s nice and peaceful. I find it interesting, and it feels good to know that you were able to bring in a deer.”

Schley said “I just liked being able to get away. Even though I was down the street from my house, it felt like I was away from everything. It was a nice way to relax.”

The Department of Natural Resources has reported that 134,772 deer were successfully harvested and registered in Wisconsin during  opening weekend of the nine-day deer season.

Even though not every student hunter was successful, it’s time spent each year they would not give up, even with their extra academic activities.

“Hunting can be difficult because it takes a lot out of you,” Sullivan said. “It makes you tired and groggy, but you definitely have to manage your time to be able to successfully hunt and get good grades.”