"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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Hunters’ Thanksgiving agenda

The+view+of+the+sunset+during+a+drive+around+in+the+countryside+after+a+weekend+of+hunting.
Caroline Hughes
The view of the sunset during a drive around in the countryside after a weekend of hunting.

Thanksgiving for hunters no doubt looks different than regular Thanksgiving. Living in South Dakota I grew up driving two hours with my family to my great grandparents farm: taking the four-wheelers with my cousins, jumping from bail to bail down the road across hay bales and sitting in hunting blinds for hours upon hours waiting for a buck to trot by and watch my parents basically freak out when I had no clue what had been happening. Not only did I enjoy it, but it seemed completely normal to me. In fact, everyone did this right?

No. Not everyone does this and it had not been known to me until I started to try and invite my friends and they did not seem to be as excited as I had been. They did not seem to want to even come along. I found a few friends who enjoyed it with me though. I have grown to realize that hunting is definitely not for everyone and that not all families go to their farm every weekend during hunting season.

For people who maybe do not enjoy hunting or have never been before I wanted to give them insight on my life for a few months out of the year, but most specifically what Thanksgiving looks like for a hunting family. Before I get started discussing hunting I am going to clear up the meaning of words and phrases I will be using. When I say “sit” I mean that hunters will get up super early before sunrise or go out in the afternoon before sunset to make the trek to hunting blinds that they set up either on their land or someone else’s land that they have permission to hunt on or public land. Hunting blinds come in many ways: they can be up in the air and have a ladder attached to climb up it, or they can be directly on the ground. 

The weekend before Thanksgiving break usually happens to be deer opener for landowners East of the river. This year it fell on Nov. 18, which means that it becomes legal to hunt doe/buck on the morning of the 18th. Although hunting begins on this day, most hunters choose to sit during sunrise and sunset of the day before to scout out the land they plan to hunt deer on.

For my family, this means leaving to drive to the farm on the Friday before deer opener, setting up our hunting stuff, sitting that Friday night to scout out the land and waking up the next morning ready to hunt. This process repeats itself over the break. Watching my cousins, siblings and parents all get the deer seen on the trail cameras the last few weeks and getting one of my own. This process is intertwined with Thanksgiving dinner, pheasant hunting, coyote hunting, bonfires and jumping on hay bales like we used to do as six-year-olds who wore pink snowsuits.

It is not just about the act of hunting for my family, it is about the tradition and the comrades that come with it. The combination of outdoors, s’mores and the simple joys of reliving childhood memories adds depth to the tradition. It is a beautiful illustration of how family rituals can bring people together and create a sense of continuity and belonging.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Hughes
Caroline Hughes, Staff Writer
Caroline Hughes is a senior, second-year staff writer for the Statesman. She plans to spend most of her senior year playing LHS Softball and watching Adam Sandler movies in her bed. Hughes’ 2023-2024 goals are to be back to back champions for softball, go to a Mike. concert and maximize her pull up ability to a total of five.
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