MEEKER I Once again this year, Barone Middle School in Meeker will holds its annual Big Bucks and Bulls Contest in which students at the school can win nice prizes and improve their math at the same time by bringing in the deer or elk antlers they harvest this hunting season.
According to Joe Gutierrez, starting with the archery season and ending in November with the fourth rifle season, the students who hunt can bring in their antlers and have them scored by the Boone and Crocket measuring points system, which will be done by BMS math instructor Zach Clatterbaugh’s math students.
The winner of each category will win a Yeti cooler valued at $250, $25 in cash and a Strawberry Outfitters hat and T-shirt from the contest sponsor, Strawberry Outfitters, which is headquartered in Louisiana.
“These antlers have to be from an animal that was harvested by the students; not their dad or brother or friend,” Gutierrez said. “They also have to be from this year’s hunt, not one from the past.”
Gutierrez said the idea for the contest came from Russell Stacey, the owner of Strawberry Outfitters, which sponsors the contest. Stacey had been hunting in this area and thought of the contest to return something to the community and to help the middle school students find another way to deal with math, such as the Boone and Crockett scoring.
Gutierrez said that if there aren’t many antlers turned in, racks from hunts guided by Strawberry Outfitters will be loaned to the math students so they can still get the math practice, then Strawberry will take those antlers back to Louisiana to mount.
He said that as soon as the Barone students’ antlers are scored, they will be returned to the students.
The antlers should be taken to Barone Middle School and turned over to Clatterbaugh so they can be measured.
“This whole exercise is aimed to help the kids learn other ways to use math,” Gutierrez said. “But it also is a chance from some of these kids to feel good as they compare their antlers. They are pretty proud of their hunting skills, and this may be the once chance they have to show off what they can do.
“Also, as we see fewer and fewer kids out hunting and, instead, playing video games, this is a good way to encourage them to look into hunting,” he said.