As the weather gets continually warmer, hunters have to hang up their cameos and put the guns back in the cabinet. Both the deer special late season and the bow only turkey session have retired until later in the year. The end of crow, pigeon and squirrel season will be coming to a close in March.
“I am already getting anxious to get back out there,” said professor of mathematics Richard Spellerburg. “I love the outdoors, the exercise and being with my dogs.”
This passion for the outdoors is shared with many students on campus.
“A fair amount of students in my environmental science classes are avid hunters,” said Brian Peer, assistant professor of biology. “In fact, hunting is one way in which many people fall in love with nature and pursue education and jobs in the area.”
Sophomore Cody Garrison admits that he his hooked on hunting and fishing, but it also increased his appreciation for nature. Garrison hunts pheasants, squirrels and quail around his hometown of Harlan, but does not hunt anywhere around Indianola.
“I don’t know where any of the good spots are,” Garrison said.
Garrison believes his lack of hunting around the Indianola area is caused by not knowing where the good spots to hunt are and needing permission from the landowner to be hunting on private ground.
Garrison also doesn’t hunt when at college because he does not have a place to store his gun.
“I think that most of Simpson’s hunters just hunt back home,” Garrison said. “It is tradition in my family and a good time to bond, to go hunt or fish outdoors with relatives.”
Spellerburg admits that he doesn’t like having a hunting party of more than two people.
“Hunting in large groups gets distracting and takes away from the hunting experience,” Spellerburg said. “Also, many people do not have the patience to sit at a post all morning just to scout out a turkey.”
After Spellerburg tags his prey, he likes to prepare it to eat himself.
“I just like to hunt animals that I am able to clean on my own,” Spellerburg said. “That is why I don’t deer hunt.”
“I don’t hunt anymore,” Peer said. “The more that I have gotten into my research, the more I see the beauty in an animal’s nature and evolution.”
Despite having a preference to record and research more than hunt, Peer can still be found fishing on a regular basis. But he doesn’t think badly of hunters. His observations and research have showed him the importance in hunting. “Humans have disrupted the natural food web,” Peer said. “There are not longer any mountain lions or wolves to hunt the excess deer.”
Garrison also understands the importance of keeping non-native animals in check. He would like to see the pheasant hunting season expanded.
“Pheasants are from Asia and often out compete many of North America’s natural birds by destroying a bird’s eggs and laying their own in replacement,” Peer said.
The Canada geese are another animal that Peer believes need to be thinned.
“But permits and regulations are still needed or else humans will go overboard and drive another race to extinction,” Peer said.