For many people in Wisconsin November means only one thing: Deer Hunting. As rifle season approaches lucky students will shoot their dream buck to take home as a trophy for their passion, determination, and patience.
“Shooting a buck is really exciting. I have so much adrenaline that my body shakes and I’m scared I might fall out of my stand,” said senior Kelsey Peterson.
Unfortunately, hunting is not as easy as some may believe.
“It has to be really quiet. You have to see and hear really well. I also try to be really quiet when opening my snack wrappers,” said Kelsey.
Junior C.J. Cook is on the same page as Kelsey when it comes to bringing food into the deer stand.
“I gotta stock up on my hunting candy for my stand soon,” said Cook, “so I have something to keep me busy while I wait.”
Deer hunting is a sport that requires early rising.
“I get to my stand by 5:30 a.m. I like to get there before the deer,” said sophomore Jake Peterson.
After shooting a doe or buck high school students have to decide what they want to do with it.
“I almost always mount the bucks that I shoot, except when it’s a tiny one. We [my family and I] eat the venison too,” said Kelsey.
In the cases where students want to display their trophy buck at home in some way they must come up with a way to pay for the expensive mounts.
“The economy has affected my business in a big way,” said Hixton Ridge Taxidermy owner Jon Beck, “I’ve been doing taxidermy for the past six years and in the past two there has been less work.”
A shoulder mount is a classic pose for a buck. There are four basic poses to display your trophy.
“The semi-sneak shoulder mount is the most popular mount. It costs $395 plus tax,” said Beck.
Wow. It may take students months to earn that much money from working only a part time job. How can they afford it?
“I require a $100 deposit when the deer is dropped off. Then you can do installments or pay the rest when you pick up your mount. It usually takes four months, so that should be plenty of time to make the money,” said Beck.
In other words it is possible for a student to afford to mount their deer. If you keep the deer meat, called venison, then you are also gaining food for the family, like the Petersons.
Though the average hunter who brings a deer to get mounted is a male 30-40 years old, there are also younger people who like to put animals on display.
“This year I received one buck to mount from the youth hunt. It was his first buck,” said Beck.
It is a very thrilling experience for a first time hunter to shoot a deer, whether it is a doe or a buck. Any BRFHS students are encouraged to turn in photos of themselves with deer shot in the 2010 season to display on the Paw Print Online.