Hunting a family bonding time for students


    By Tina Thorley

    It’s time again to pull out the hunter blaze orange vests and the camping gear.

    The 2000 rifle season for deer hunting runs from Saturday, Oct. 20 to Saturday, Oct. 27, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Web site.

    With the hunting season, comes an opportunity for families to bond.

    Kim Lewis, a UVSC senior from St. George, Utah, said her whole family goes hunting together each year.

    She has been hunting since she “was old enough to walk over the hills,” Lewis said.

    The whole family gathers at their cabin in Pine Valley, Utah, the night before the deer hunt starts.

    “We stay up that night and get the guns ready, lay our clothes out and reminisce about previous hunts we have been on,” Lewis said.

    They also set a bet on who can get the biggest buck, she said. And no one is allowed to shoot anything unless it is a three-point or bigger. That rule is taken away the last day.

    Jessica Blaser, 21, a senior from Boise, Idaho, majoring in outdoor recreation management and youth leadership, said she enjoys hunting mainly for the time she gets to spend with her father.

    One of five children in her family, Blaser said she has always been “daddy’s little girl who hunts.”

    Practicing archery for an hour every morning before the hunt and waiting for the deer as her dad “bugles them in” are Blaser’s favorite hunting memories.

    A successful hunt does not necessarily require a kill. Just spotting the animals and being with family is enough, Blaser said.

    Eric Oscarson, 24, a junior from Liberty, Mo., majoring in comparative literature, said most of his hunting traditions involve strategies.

    Oscarson said his uncle will track a deer for a week before killing it. His family also uses a dog to flush out deer.

    He said he fell in love with hunting on his first outing when he saw his dad drop three pheasants with two shots.

    “Then when I tasted the pheasant, I knew I had to hunt,” Oscarson said.

    Shane Taufer, 23, a junior from Mentor, Ohio, majoring in exercise science, is a BYU student who has been hunting since he was 12 years old.

    Taufer went hunting on Saturday at West Desert in Box Canyon.

    Taufer practices extreme caution while hunting. “I tend to go overboard and wear blaze orange everywhere.”

    The law states that hunters must wear 400 square inches of hunter blaze orange on their back, chest and head.

    Taufer said the deer are colorblind and do not see the orange.

    Lynn Astle, director of technology transfer at BYU, said he takes his four sons and nephews hunting each year.

    “We go up and camp out the first Friday night. As a family we have never hunted on Sunday, so we come home on Saturday night,” Astle said.

    He said they have not shot anything this year, but the season is not over. They will head out again Saturday.

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