Student willingly wakes up at 3:30 AM ... to hunt

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While the majority of students from Lampeter-Strasburg will likely spend their Monday off to sleep in after an extended weekend full of Thanksgiving celebration, young hunters will wake as early as 3:30 AM in preparation for the first day of the annual deer hunting season.
L-S senior Mason Hess
is an avid hunter

Senior Mason Hess will certainly be one of these early risers, getting out of bed before dawn to gather his equipment, including his hunting license, appropriate ammunition, extra layers of clothing, a knife, a pair of binoculars, water and candy for passing the time, and of course, his firearm of choice. He then travels to a wooded property in the area or occasionally to a private plot of land his family frequents in Bradford County.

Eleven years earlier, Hess first learned the tricks of the trade by both his father’s and his grandfather’s instruction. He now hunts alongside the two, or with friends from school who are also fellow hunters. Hess believes his most impressive hunting achievement to be snagging an eight point buck three years ago.

“You don’t say if you see a buck until you’ve killed it,” Hess discloses, revealing an inside policy shared amongst competitive hunters.

Safety is of the utmost
concern to hunters;
wearing orange is one
safety precaution
Hess adds that as a general rule of thumb, hunters avoid shooting smaller deer; by thus allowing them to live, they can mature and grow in size to make for a better catch in the future.

Though an excellent catch is rewarding, Hess’s favorite part of his hunting adventures occurs when he watches the sun slowly climbing above the horizon in the distance at daybreak, marking the beginning of another beautiful day on the countryside.

On a final note, Hess mentions, “It’s important to our heritage that we maintain this day off. We’re one of the only schools in the area that has kept the tradition.”

Truly, this extra day included in our holiday break acknowledges a deep-rooted custom valued by a great many of the Lampeter-Strasburg community.

--Jacky Kirchner, Features Editor

Edited: BP

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