Hunting Whitetail Deer is a tradition among many people in Michigan. The cool crisp air that blows between the forest’s trees in Michigan brings a chill and eagerness for hunters all around the state.
Whitetail Deer have been hunted forever but in 1895 was when a law was created it marked the beginning of deer management in Michigan. The law established a deer-hunting season and regulated the number of deer that could be harvested by each hunter according to the Department of Natural Resources.
There are many traditions within hunting that are the same for different people. Between every person that spoke about their experience hunting they all agreed that it started one way, with their father taking them out to the blind when they were children.
Carly Quinn, a junior at Central Michigan University from Eden, Mich. said that her Dad had no other option.
“My Dad wanted a son to pass the guns down to and teach them how to hunt but he didn’t, he had me, so he dealt with what he got,” said Quinn.
Justin Theilen a Central Michigan University student from Beal City, Mich. was introduced to hunting through his Dad as well.
“When I was about thirteen my Dad came home with a big buck and he told me it was just a spike. I ran out there and I was so excited when I looked in the back of the truck, it was a big 9-point. Since then I have just wanted to be like my dad and chase the thrill,” said Theilen.
The best places in Michigan to get geared up for the hunting season can be located on this map. From the riffle to the ammo to the long johns to the bright orange stocking cap, all that you need can be found in these Michigan stores.
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Amy Finnerty, a hunter from Beal City, Mich., prepared for opening day the same she had every year prior since she was seven.
“We (her family) keep everything in a big bag, all of our orange vests, hats, gloves and everything. The night before we get everything out and figure out what fits who and set everything out. We get our guns all ready put in the cases; make sure we have enough shells; pack a lunch and food for the next day and try to go to bed early so we can get up early and be in the blind by 6 a.m,” said Finnerty.
Finntery and Quinn are both skilled hunters. They both have been hunting since they were children but they both feel like women are still discriminated in the sport of hunting. Theilen talks about the pros and cons of women hunting, one con being his ego getting bruised.
In the outskirts of all cities in Michigan residents hunt, they scatter the farm fields and forests from opening day to the freezing end for their chance at shooting the prized buck.
It may have been their fathers who taught them all they need to know about hunting but it was the thrill that makes them come back to the woods year after year.
Every year the Department of Natural Resources sets a hunting season for hunters to abide by. Michigan’s 2013 – 2014 Deer Hunting Season is shown below on the timeline, click here to view the interactive timeline.
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“I hunt because it is fun, I grew up doing it, and it’s a tradition. When you do see something it is a thrill that you cannot explain, especially when you shoot something, it is indescribable,” said Finnerty
From pheasants hunting to deer, rabbit and coyote hunting, Quinn does it all.
“It’s an addiction, I am a huge animal lover but the rush you get when you shoot an animal is better than any rollercoaster,” said Quinn.