This year, much like this past year, students at Helias Catholic High School are planning to cash in their “sick days” and skip school to go deer hunting. During these unexcused “sick days,” students in grades 9-12, will sit somewhere far different than at a desk in a classroom. Rather than a pencil, these students will carry either a bow or a rifle with them for the day. Students will sit in their deer stands, watching their surroundings like a hawk. These students are looking for either a doe to stock their freezers full of meat, or a monstrous buck with which to decorate their walls.
“It’s okay to skip school to go deer hunting because, it furthers your survival skills,” said student Georgia Roark. “It helps you to get out in nature more than just on the weekends.”
Students such as Georgia Roark believe that skipping school to go hunting is fine, and that it will do no harm to any student skipping school. They believe that hunting is an important outdoor activity and that having only two weekends to hunt is just not enough time. Archery season is Sept. 15– Nov. 11, 2016, then again on Nov. 23– Jan. 15, 2017. Alternative method season is Dec. 24– Jan. 3, 2017. The November firearms portion is Nov. 12-22. Antlerless deer, firearm dates are Dec. 2-4. Youth firearm season is October 29–30, and then again on Nov. 25-27.
“Hunting takes a lot of time and patience because you have to sit there in a deer stand, in the cold, for hours and hours to shoot the right deer,” said Makinley Brooks. “Sometimes it takes hours, days, and even weeks to get a good shot at exactly the right deer. Hunting is not something you can rush. It takes time.”
Patience is a virtue which a hunter must not forget. Sometimes hunting takes longer than expected. Never knowing what might walk by a hunter’s stand, is part of the issue when it comes to having enough time. Some staff at Helias Catholic High School disagree with those students who believe that skipping school to go hunting is acceptable.
“First off, it shows a lack of character and the inability to make good choices because you are choosing fun over responsibility,” said teacher Mrs. Bruemmer. “Secondly, there are studies that show that people who delay gratification, are happier and more successful in life.”
The staff who believe it is unacceptable to skip school to go hunting say that it causes students to fall behind in their classes. They also believe that it overloads students with makeup work. These staff members say that in the long run, it is better for students to only hunt on the weekends to ensure that school comes first and fun comes second. Still some students would rather skip school to go hunting and make up their work later.
“I feel like, that as long as I do my school work and maintain my good grades, skipping school to go hunting should not be a problem,” said Grace Yarnell. “If my grades are solid and I have asked for my homework in advance, that means that I have shown responsibility. Therefore, what I skip school for, whether it be for hunting or whatever else, it should not matter.”