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Hunting for success

Senior Noah Koscelnik provides perspective on unique hobby

Senior+Noah+Koscelnik+flaunts+his+hunting+gear.
Senior Noah Koscelnik flaunts his hunting gear.

Senior Noah Koscelnik flaunts his hunting gear.

Photo by Camille Carter

Photo by Camille Carter

Senior Noah Koscelnik flaunts his hunting gear.

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It’s the break of dawn, and he has his fresh cup of coffee and bow ready for action. He hunts with a group as if they’re a pack of wolves looking for prey, but as they settle down, they split up. Trying as hard as they can to hide their scents, they quietly move to their positions. Standing silently by their feeders, they wait for game to cross their paths. And as soon as their paths intertwine: Draw. Aim. Fire.

Senior Noah Koscelnik’s interest in hunting started with watching his uncle at a young age. Seeing his uncle’s game encouraged him to begin hunting for his own sizeable bucks.

“My uncle [inspired me] when I was 10,” Koscelnik said. “I’d always hear about him going out to the deer lease. I asked my mom and dad if I [could] go and they started talking to my uncle. Then he finally convinced them to let me go out there and shoot a deer; that’s how it all started.”

Koscelnik has been in love with hunting ever since he began; he’s been hunting for seven years and doesn’t plan on giving up soon. Koscelnik is the only person in his immediate family who hunts; this is a feat he takes an incredible amount of pride in himself for.

“I’m doing what makes me happy and what makes me happy is hunting,” Koscelnik said.

Koscelnik reassures his peers he is against the ideology of killing animals for no purpose. Using his games’ resources is important to him because he sees wasting those resources as a lack of respect toward both the sport and game.

“I use every part that I can,” Koscelnik said. “I don’t want to waste [anything] that gave its life so I can have food and those other resources. [I’m not] going to disrespect it by not using what it’s giving me.”

To begin hunting, Koscelnik did everything necessary to start as soon as possible, including obtaining a license. A hunter’s license is vital to hunting because it certifies the individuals who hold them are allowed to hunt. It is possible to be fined for not carrying this license. To acquire a license, one has to learn the basic rules and regulations of hunting.

“You have to take a gun safety class and a hunter’s education class,” Koscelnik said. “When you take hunter’s education and gun safety then they’ll print you out a card that has your name and [shows] that you went through all the processes.”

Although Koscelnik loves hunting, his objective isn’t only to shoot and kill. He hunts because he loves the rush he experiences, the open nature and the taste of the animals. To him, there’s much more to hunting than firing bows at animals.

“I hunt for many reasons, mostly because I always eat what I hunt,” Koscelnik said. “To me, it tastes good, to some people it doesn’t. But I love the adrenaline rush and the fact where I hunt you don’t hear cars, trains or horns. The air’s cleaner is out there – I guess you could say.”

Last nine weeks Koscelnik was enrolled in Environmental Science with teacher Dawn Chegwidden. Chegwidden enjoyed having a hunter in her class to show her a different perspective on a subject she’s taught for years.

“[Noah is] someone who understands wildlife,” Chegwidden said. “[He understands] nature in a different way than I [understand] it.”

Hunting is a significant part of the environment. Poaching isn’t legal but hunting is completely legal so there’s no harm. Chegwidden supports hunting as it helps the environment and helps humans avoid major population issues.

“I think there has to be some regulation; hunting is allowed because otherwise populations would go beyond their carrying capacities and then we would have other issues that come about,” Chegwidden said.

The earlier Koscelnik prepares for the hunt, the more he can focus on the actual hunt when the day comes. It’s more stressful to begin preparing for the hunt at the last minute. Hunting has impacted him significantly due to the patience it has taught him.

“It shows how much work you have to put in to be able to hunt,” Koscelnik said. “Because out there we have to fill feeders, cut shooting lanes [and] rebuild stands after the wind knocks them down.”

Technical expenses are another aspect of hunting. Koscelnik often hunts with junior Cutter Moseley, and they agree the work is timely as well as costly but it’s all worth it.

“There is a lot of money that goes into it,” Moseley said. “The last couple of years Noah and I have been [conservative] and putting in work and seeing the results.”

Koscelnik puts his all into hunting; enjoying himself is a part of the hunt but without the work, he’d have no game to hunt. Work is half the battle. Between expenses and physical work, it’s much more than simply going out to hunt.

“It’s more than going out there to have fun,” Koscelnik said. “There’s all work being put in out there.”

Although hunting is perceived as a negative sport by some, it benefits the environment. People hunt for their living as a source of food and resources. Koscelnik loves being able to go out to hunt, and no one or thing can stop him from what he enjoys most.

“It is a different feeling, you have to live it to be able to understand it,” Koscelnik said.

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