Weaver continues deer hunting archery club


Photo submitted by Katherine Miller

Senior Katherine Miller poses with her doe. Miller is an avid bowhunter and spends most of the season hunting private property in Wisconsin.

Abby Thibodeau, Layout Editor-in-Chief

Science teacher Andrew Weaver started the deer hunting archery club with the help of industrial technology teacher Todd Kapsner. The program runs through Dec. 31 and helps students pursue their interests in bow hunting by providing equipment and land to practice with.

In order to schedule hunts, students contact Weaver. Next, mentors help students hook into safety harness systems at their designated times. Participants hunt for roughly two hours.

Kapsner is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. “It seemed like a good opportunity to help introduce kids to the outdoors and get kids involved in doing something outdoors,” he explained.

In addition to providing land to hunt, the club partners with A-1 Archery to loan bows to kids. However, hunters are still required to purchase their own deer tags. One special opportunity for these hunters is the probationary license program, which allows people to try deer hunting in a mentored setting without needing a hunter safety certificate.

“It’s an opportunity to not spend a lot of money and try hunting, and they are the greatest thing ever,” Weaver added.

Bow hunting is unique because of the close proximity needed to harvest deer. However, these challenges allow hunters a much longer season than that of firearm hunters.

“Bow hunting adds extra challenges to the hunt and the season is much longer, allowing more chances to go for a mature buck,” senior Katherine Miller said.

In return for hunting rights, the club performs habitat management, which is a crucial part of wildlife conservation. This includes the clearing of brush to form fire breaks and harvesting seeds to perform prairie restoration in the area.

“You do something positive for the landscape and sometimes the very landscapes you could be hunting on, just to show that it’s more than just about the killing, it’s about participating and increasing the benefit of that landscape,” Weaver said.

Additionally, Weaver’s partnerships with various organizations afford the club a variety of properties to hunt. Students have the ability to hunt on land provided by the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Boy Scouts of America.

“Each tree stand or blind will provide different shooting opportunities. I prefer a tree stand because I can see much more around me, however, sometimes trees and twigs will be in the way of your shot,” Miller explained.

Bowhunting adds extra challenges to the hunt and the season is much longer, allowing more chances to go for a mature buck.

— Senior Katherine Miller

Due to the extended season for bow hunting, some students choose to continue hunting through the end of the season. The colder weather requires hunters to dress appropriately and adapt to these sub par conditions.

“Some years there are some kids that are relatively diehard and will go out when it’s freezing and sub zero temperatures,” Kapsner said.

The club encompasses members from various backgrounds. Therefore, some participants come from families that do not hunt. These students are given extra help and advice from mentors.

Miller added that students considering trying bow hunting should come to a meeting to try it.

Weaver is passionate about involving younger generations in the sport, “You’re really kind of blending into the environment that you’re sitting in, that’s rare for people just to sit somewhere, and become a part of what’s going on around them,” he explained.