MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - Some Illinois teens put down their pencils and picked up a gun Friday for opening day of firearms deer hunting season.
Cheyenne Moss is a High School senior from Robinson, Illinois.
"I feel like I should learn to do this. If I can provide for my family before I can even work, that makes me feel a little bit better."
You won't find Cheyenne and others like her in the classroom on "Deer Day." She is one of many Illinois teens opting for a day among the trees instead of her classmates.
"I feel like it's a learning experience along with helping my family put food on the table."
The rules vary by school district but in Cheyenne's case, she can get an excused absence to hunt on the first day of the season.
"Just like any other planned absence, we have to make sure we have a note and get the homework ahead of time."
Each year, the teen hunts on her family's property in Marshall, Illinois. She says she enjoys the time alone but has learned a lot hunting with family.
And, she's a good shot.
"I haven't missed. I don't shoot if I think I'm going to miss. My grandpa was taught by his grandpa that if you take two bullets, come back with either two bullets or two dead animals."
Cheyenne says she's not a trophy hunter. She uses the deer she harvests to provide for her family.
"If I fill my tags and if we don't have the freezer space then we help somebody else out."
She adds, hunting is not for everyone but it does serve a purpose. Over the years, she has learned about tracking animals and has enjoyed observing them.
For more information about hunting seasons in Illinois, click here.
For more information about hunting seasons in Indiana, click here.