With rifle season drawing near, a Ferris student shares his hunting experiences
For many, this November has consisted mostly of waiting for what the hunting collective looks forward to most: open season, this year falling on Nov. 15, which begins the 15-day period in which deer can be hunted with regular firearms. But for those who hunt often, like Brent Vetter, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering technologies, Nov. 15 is just a regular day in the woods.
Since the age of five when he shot his first firearm, Vetter has taken to the woods to hunt whatever he could set eyes on– sometimes with success, sometimes not. His passion for the sport was bred from childhood onward, as Vetter described growing up in a very hunting– oriented family.
“The entire family, my dad especially, was all really into hunting,” Vetter said. “So it was in that environment that I learned to hunt, and at a very young age. I learned to handle firearms at a very young age, so it’s always been a part of the family,” Vetter said.
Vetter said that in his family, you keep what you hunt. Anything he catches, from deer to squirrels to water fowl gets cleaned, butchered, and eventually eaten. The particularly impressive game are kept intact, stuffed and mounted as a reminder of a trophy of a successful day’s hunt. For Vetter, this trophy is a five-point buck he shot when he was seventeen, the first he ever shot. He describes the day he got his first deer as the hunting experience he’ll never forget.
“It was out on Stateland actually,” Vetter said. “I had it from long range, very long range, and it dropped right there. It was a very windy day, really just rainy and miserable outside. We didn’t think we were going to see anything, much less get a good shot at it. So I like to brag about that.”
When it comes to bow verses rifle or small game hunting, Vetter said he has no preference, he just enjoys the hunt. He did mention, however, that depending on the game and the weapon of choice, hunting can give one what he described as a rush.
“Bow hunting verses rifle hunting for deer really gives you a rush of adrenaline,” Vetter said. “You have to get a lot closer to the deer; it’s an intense experience.”
The rush, he said, can also lead to danger. Vetter stressed it was important for prospective hunters to learn how the game works before attempting to play it. Vetter advised before one picks up a fire arm, they get in contact with an experienced hunter and go with them and watch them hunt for awhile. Target practice, he says, it also essential to learn trigger control and breathing techniques.
“There’s a lot that factors into hunting when you’ve got an animal in your sights and your adrenaline’s rushing, so it’s important that you know how to be safe,” Vetter said. “Safety is a big issue because there’s a lot of people who are very ignorant about firearms. If you’re not educated about these things, you can be very unsafe, and I’ve seen time and time again people ignoring the responsibility that goes along with carrying a firearm.”
Vetter said he’s itching to go in the woods no matter what time it is. Firearms season, he said, brings with it a sense of camaraderie when people can gather in the woods and share hunting experiences. Vetter still goes with his family quite often but regrets that because of work and football he hasn’t been able to hunt as much as he’d have liked to this past year. Vetter said it’s for the feeling of community that he goes hunting, not for the thrill of tracking down new animals.
“Although, I haven’t gotten a bear yet,” said Vetter, jokingly. “I Haven’t actually ever gone bear hunting. So maybe that’s what I’ll look for next time I’m out in the woods.”