From Tradition to Necessity
An inside look at a freshman’s hunting experiences and adventures
January 11, 2017
Filed under Features
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Opening on Oct 29 and closing on Jan. 31, the bird hunting season passes unnoticed in many people’s lives. However, to freshman Addison Roth, this particular time of year is filled with family, adventure, and most importantly, pheasant.
Starting at age 12, Addison has been participating in family pheasant hunting trips at the family farm in Winnipeg, South Dakota about four times every season. Her brother Joseph Roth has been with her every step of the way.
“Addison has hunted since she could walk, but didn’t start carrying a gun until she was twelve. I have also gone on hunting trips since I could but didn’t start carrying until I was 12,” Joesph said.
Before she could even think about handling a gun though, Addison had to make sure that she was properly licensed and knew how to safely handle a firearm.
“In order to hunt, you have to get a license, and in order to get a license you have to get hunter safety. It’s a class you take.” Addison said.
For hunting, safety is not only emphasized during the required safety class, it is also emphasized during the hunts.
“After you take the initial hunter safety course, you have to get a hunting license every year for every season or animal that you want to hunt,” Joseph said.
Many years of practice have gone into Addison’s ability to shoot birds out of the air. Competing on a trap shooting team is what gave Addison the practice and preparation that she needed to hunt actual animals.
“I used to shoot competitive trapshooting, which is very similar to hunting. We practiced a couple times a week. It’s really important that you learn to lead or you will miss every time. Leading means shooting in front of the bird so as they continue to fly you will hit them,” Addison said. “When competing on the team from sixth to eighth grade, not only did I learn to lead and follow the bird, I learned how to use guns safely and properly.”
As one who has been going on hunting trips for as long as she can remember, Addisom has the routine of a hunting day on the family property down pat.
“I always check the weather. If it’s going to be cold, I pack all my warm gear and if it’s going to be hot then just jeans. Always wear jeans or chaps; long pants,” Addison said, “because when you are walking through grass and stuff that is taller than you, it feels better and protects your legs.”
Along with knowing her routine in preparation for a hunting day, Addison can also list off what the basic schedule of a typical hunt day will be right down to the times and the locations.
“We get up early in the morning. On opening day though, you can’t hunt till noon. But otherwise get up, make a plan of where you are going to go and what fields you will hit. Make sure you have everything, drive to the fields, load up, and start walking,” Addison said.
The birds that are shot during the hunt are used to feed the Roth family throughout the rest of the year.
“We clean the birds, then we normally season them and cook them on the grill or in a pan. They taste like chicken!” Addison said.
In a society that is becoming increasingly wary of firearms, Addison has had her share of encounters with peoples’ opinions surrounding her hunting.
“Some people agree and some people hate the idea of hunting, but my family does it for the food. We don’t just go out to shoot an innocent animal and leave it, we actually eat it,” Addison said.
Still, Roth is able to enjoy the time she has while hunting, because of the adventure she experiences, the family she is with, and the pheasant she hunts.