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A Starr Hunter

posted Nov 6, 2013, 6:07 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 14, 2014, 10:30 AM by Unknown user ]

Rachell Resnik

In the middle of October, most students were in the height of their sport season, but for senior Bree Starr this was the beginning of a different season: hunting season. Having experience from the age of 3 in shooting a gun and a bow, it was only fit for her to step up her game and take on new prey. On Oct. 9, Starr set off on a 23-hour car ride with her dad for a week-long camping trip in the forestry of Colorado. Their mission? To shoot an elk.

Preparation for this trip started back in April 2013 at the tag drawing, which is similar to the lottery, to be able to hunt on state grounds. A hunter must acquire tags for every animal they could potentially kill.

“You can’t just go out elk hunting. You have to get drawn for it,” explained Starr. She and her father entered their names in for the cow (female elk) drawing, and luckily she got her name drawn. Starr then spent a lot of time practicing shooting her powerful gun, a 300 Ultra Mag.

Their adventure began on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. when they left the miserable rain of Findlay, Ohio. Arriving at their destination the following afternoon, Starr and her father were greeted with a friendly hello from mother nature in Colorado; 11 inches of snow.

The warmth of a cabin would have been wonderful, but Starr and her father slept in the back of a hauling trailer on army cots. With no electricity, simple everyday tasks like cooking and brushing their teeth were done camping-style and by the fire. Starr and her father spent the first two days setting up camp and scouting (looking for elk). Then, they spent 11 hours on Saturday morning hunting, and only saw three bulls (male elk). Starr, only having a cow tag, could not shoot the bulls.

The next day, they went up the mountain and had their first sighting of elk, but Starr explained, “I couldn’t see them well and get a good shot at them.”

They kept going and around 7:30 a.m., Starr spotted the perfect kill out 100 yards. Starr struggled to get a rest on the tree to help hold the heavy gun, and by making a quick decision, she decided to free shoot it.

“I hit it right in the lungs,” stated Starr. She then skinned and gutted the elk, and also cut off the legs. The meat, in loads of 100 plus pounds, was carried up and down the 2-mile mountain path by Starr and her father. By the time all the meat was transported it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and their mission was complete.

The meat had to be packed up and sprinkled with pepper to keep flies away. Flies weren't the only thing they had to worry about. The meat was hung and stored high up in the trees to keep it away from bears, mountain lions, and wolves. Starr and her father drove to the nearest town, 30 minutes away, to shower and clean all the blood off. Afterward, they headed back to camp and enjoyed dinner around the campfire after an exhausting yet successful day.

The future is on-target for Starr as she has intentions on a bigger and better trip next year. “I am going to try to kill a bull, an antelope, and a mule deer,” said Starr with excitement.  

When asked what she would say to people who opposed hunting she said, “That is ridiculous because we don’t go out there shoot it and let it lay. We use their meat, and you could use their fur; none of it gets wasted.”

        Although it may not be the typical varsity sport, Starr enjoys hunting. She wouldn't spend days in the cold snow and sleeping on an army cot if it wasn't a passion for her. With an adventurous and successful trip like this one under her belt, she is sure to continue striving for bigger things in the world of hunting.