By Chris Agnone ’18
David Griego ’18 is a bowhunter and conservationist who is passionate about wildlife and the future of bowhunting as a conservation model.
As a young boy, Griego successfully practiced and hunted with his father with archery equipment.
“It took months of preparation, building up my strength and improving my accuracy on archery targets,” Griego said. “The farthest I was comfortable shooting at the time was about forty yards.”
Starting as a gun hunter and moving into bowhunting, Griego saw and enjoyed the merit and the challenge of bowhunting instead of using a gun.
“It is exponentially harder to be a bowhunter than a gun hunter because of the limit the technology has on the user,” Griego said.
Griego’s father got him shooting a bow and hunting very early in his life.
“He has multiple targets set up at various distances in his backyard,” said friend Zach Matteson ’18. “He also has a basket of arrows in his backyard ready for whenever he wants to practice.”
Hunting in Arizona is regulated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and is funded by hunters and fishermen who buy tags, licenses and stamps for the various outdoor sports wildlife provides. There are seasons, a time where animals can and cannot be hunted or trapped, that hunters have to recognize and obey.
“I’ve seen David advocate for archery from freshman year to now,” Luke Jacobs ’18, a fellow hunter and friend, said. “He hunts for the right reasons, which are conservation and population regulation”
As Griego gained proficiency in the sport, his interest grew into concern for wildlife.
“Hunting is wildlife conservation,” Griego said. “It is not about taking the largest trophy, it’s about preserving the wildlife for the future. Hunters serve the purpose of managing populations of wild animals so they can eventually prosper in the future.”
Matteson learned from Griego the importance of hunting for the future of wildlife and natural resources.
“It helps maintain control of the population of certain species of animals, both predator and prey,” Matteson said. “When hunting predators like lions, this is beneficial in certain areas where there are too many lions and they are killing too many of another species for example deer.”
Hunting often times gets a bad name because it is seen as primitive and unnecessary to modern society, as well as “bad” representatives of the sports such as trophy hunters.
“I think hunting is very misunderstood in modern times,” Griego said. “People can just go to the store and buy their own meat without thinking of where it came from or the effect on the environment it has.”
Griego said hunting is about way more than the horns and “trophy hunting”.
“To me and my family, bowhunting is the about the memories we make, the lessons we learn, and if we are lucky, the meat we bring home with us,” Griego said.