Joe Budd | Staff Writer for The Mount
When Garrett Engel was 11 years old he shot his first deer. “It was getting dark and I heard footsteps behind me. Then I saw a little buck.” After Engel successfully took his shot, his first thought was to find his dad. “I think he was more excited than I was. The whole family was so proud of me.” At this very moment,the long and prosperous hunting career of sophomore Garrett Engel had officially begun.
Hunting is a sport of precision, accuracy and strategy. According to Engel, patience is also key. A hunter may not even see an animal worth shooting for a couple of days. “The most difficult aspect of hunting for me is patience, but I always work through it and see wildlife.” Engel says that being around wildlife is his favorite aspect of hunting. He enjoys the company of squirrels and birds when deer are not present. “There’s always a show to watch.” Although he did not carry a gun until he was 11 years old, Engel did walk along with his father while he went hunting. It was on these walks that Engel became inspired and amazed by the natural world.
The hunting season for deer is typically Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 while the turkey season is March 25 to May 31. “Those two seasons really keep me occupied.” Engel says that he traps raccoons, red foxes, and coyotes, selling their fur to make income for the winter.” I usually make around $500.” Engel also says that he hunts for deer because he enjoys processing his prize for food.
|Sophomore Garrett Engel Takes Aim|
The typical hunter uses a gun in order to hunt, but Engel is not the typical hunter. Instead Engel hunts with a bow and arrow. In order to successfully hunt deer using a bow, the animal being hunted needs to get closer to the hunter. This makes bow hunting significantly more challenging than traditional gun hunting because this gives the deer a much better opportunity to smell and see the hunter. Nonetheless, Engel is in love with the sport. “Bow hunting is the greatest thing ever, nothing gets your blood pumping more than hearing the footsteps of deer coming your way.” says Engel. “It’s what drives me through the week because I know that on the weekends I have the chance of getting my next trophy.”
Hunting with other people is a routine habit for the average sportsman, but not for Engel. “Usually I hunt by myself because there is less smell and less for the deer to see.” However, Engel has hunted before with a few classmates. When asked about his hunting experiences with Engel, junior Colton Starman immediately smiled and said “Hunting with Garrett is so much fun.”
|Junior Colton Starman and Garrett Engel |
show off their prize of the day.
Most hunters ask their parents or friends for hunting advice. However, as previously mentioned, Engel is not like most hunters. Instead he uses Instagram to communicate to other hunters across the United States. “I learn a lot from the other people that I follow. They post tactics and then I ask them questions about these tactics which really helps me improve my game plans and strategies.”
Engel says that deer are his favorite animals to hunt. “Whenever a deer comes within 20 yards, your heart and blood start pumping even if you aren't going to shoot it.” Deer are the most hunted animals in the state of Nebraska but Engel ultimately seeks another prize.
“My dream hunt is a red stag from New Zealand, they are just the coolest looking animals.” Engel said.