Wildlife class gets hands-on learning with deer

Staff writer

Skinning and quartering a deer Tuesday as part of an environmental systems and wildlife science class at Goessel High School turned out to be senior Tyler Schulz’s favorite class experience ever.

“This was just the funnest day ever,” Schulz said. “I’ve seen this before but never actually got to get hands-on and cut off the skin and quarter the meat.”

Agriculture teacher Zana Manche said a local hunter, Greg Dirksen of rural Hillsboro, donated the deer to the class. It had been shot with a crossbow and field dressed before it was delivered to the classroom.

“We talked about where different cuts of meat are, how the anatomy works, and where the organs were,” Manche said. “We also learned how to take it all apart. It was a real good class experience.”

The class of 10 students participated in hanging the deer, skinning it, and then slicing out different cuts of meat. In the end, they filled two coolers with venison that will be used for steaks, stew, burger, and jerky.

“I love to eat deer meat,” Schulz said. “Jerky is awesome. This is an important thing to learn.”

Manche, who is also a certified hunter safety course instructor, said sharing her love of anatomy in a hands-on situation with students was her idea of an ideal teaching situation.

“We have plans to do some taxidermy in the future,” she said. “We’ve kind of decided to work on coyotes because it might be easier to get enough for the whole class to work on.”

Schulz said he enjoyed the wildlife class at Goessel, something not offered at many other public high schools, because it gave him an opportunity to learn some amazing things.

“Not a lot kids get to experience this,” he said. “It’s really amazing to see how things work from the inside out. I also am looking forward to learning about trapping and snares this winter.”

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