This hunting season, student hunters who attend Mathews Local Schools are invited to participate in friendly competition while enjoying time with their families outdoors.
The idea all started a couple of months ago when Mathews Local Schools’ School Resource Officer Steve Smith was approached by Fowler Police Chief Mike Currington with the idea of hosting a biggest deer competition for student hunters in the district.
“Many of our students participate in school-related activities. We thought this was a great opportunity for us to involve some of our students who participate in out-of-school activities. We knew there were quite a few student hunters at Mathews. So, we thought this contest would not only spur some friendly competition, but also give our students something to look forward to this fall and winter as we continue to deal with COVID-19,” said school resource officer Steve Smith.
There are two parts to the competition. The first part is based on the weight of the buck or doe. The weight will be kept a secret until the day of the drawing. Students must present a signed piece of paper from the processing company that lists the weight of the deer along with the child’s name. If the student and/or family chooses to self-process the deer, a weigh station will be available to record the weight of the deer. The second part of the competition is for the biggest buck, which will be based on inches of the antlers.
“I immediately sent a picture of the contest flyer to my dad. I am already hunting. So, I figured why not participate.” said sophomore Richard White. Like White, freshman Nicholas Jones also snapped a picture of the flyer and sent it to his dad. “I enjoy hunting. I feel accomplished when I get something,” said Jones.
Freshman Michael Young, who has been hunting with his dad since he was seven, entered the contest because he thought it would be fun. While senior Kyle Powell jokingly said he doesn’t have the best of luck in the woods, thought it was a good idea to enter since he’ll already be hunting. Junior Tyler Pinchot who has gotten a deer pretty much every hunting season decided to throw his name into the ring.
Teacher Erika Matola said she’s ecstatic about the contest. Her son Camden Charlton has decided to enter the contest. “Hunting has taught me patience. I hunt for the meat. Venison is really healthy,” said Charlton.
For both competitions, the deer must be harvested legally and in free range in Ohio or Pennsylvania between September 26, 2020 and February 7, 2021. Students must present a copy of their deer tag. Only one deer per student. However, if a student gets more than one deer, the heavier one may be substituted. Students must submit a picture of themselves with their deer. Students must also obey all hunting laws and regulations. As a reminder, absolutely no weapons are permitted on school property.
There is no entry fee to participate in the contest. We would like to thank the FOP Lodge #137, Fitzsimmons Builders, Dawn White, Vienna Township Trustee Phillip M. & Jill A. Pegg, Bockelman’s Landscaping, Inc., Tom Carr, Albie and Terry Crabbs, Fowler Trustee Steve Rudge, Denovchek Realty, LLC, and Ron, Bonnie, Sarah and Mike Grope for donating prize for the competition. If you wish to donate a prize or money for the event, please contact SRO Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chief Currington at email@example.com.
Throughout the contest, participants can stop by Center Mass in Vienna to check out contest updates. At the conclusion of the contest in February, all participants and community donors will be invited back to Center Mass to attend a socially-distant gathering to celebrate the contestants and winners.