…I Was Hooked from There On

By Laura Crowley

Joe Sangimino ’14, from Butler County, Pa., is an avid hunter and fisherman. His talent for the two sports has been recognized by the University community and led him to take trips with professors and students alike.

When did you begin hunting and how did you begin?

“I was nine years old. I started out with my grandpa and my uncles who are all really big hunters and fisherman. It is a tradition in my family for the grandkids to go to Texas and hunt down there between the ages of nine and 12. One of my uncles was a hunting guide in Texas, so he has a lot of connections with the ranches down there. He will go down with his kids and hunt pronghorn antelope or deer. That was the first animal I shot and I was hooked from there on. I’d go deer hunting with my grandpa until I was old enough to hunt by myself when I was 12.”

What is your favorite part of hunting? Why are you attracted to the sport?

“There are many kinds of hunters. There are the people who do it to save money on meat, but I do it for the actual enjoyment of hunting; I do it for the chase. There’s a lot that goes into it before you actually kill the animal. Deer hunting, which is my main type, requires hours of background work. I put in cameras, scout and make food plots. A lot of people are very casual about hunting and they’ll shoot the first legal buck they see, but I consider myself a trophy hunter. I turn down a ton of deer each year. I’m really picky and I want to wait for a big one. But, when it comes to duck  and pheasant hunting, I do that more for the meat. I don’t kill anything I wouldn’t eat.”

How did you get recognized by professors?

“I got recognized more for fishing than for hunting, because I’m a big fisherman too.  Hunting season is only from mid fall through the winter, so I fish during the spring and summer. One of my engineering professors and I discovered that we both fished one day.  Every day during class, we would almost get distracted by talking about fishing.”

Have you ever gone hunting with a professor?

“No. Hunting isn’t something you typically do with someone. The tree stands are only meant for one person, and I wouldn’t want to give away my good spots. Fishing’s a different story. You can just go out to the river and have a good time. With hunting, you have to be really quiet.”

So you think hunting is very peaceful, meditative?

“Yes, but there’s also a grueling part to it. There’s a lot of satisfaction in being a successful hunter. It’s one thing to go out a couple times a year and shoot the first thing you see, but its another thing to put in all the time scouting and setting up tree stands and patterning the deer and scouting for ducks.”

What’s your take on gun control and background checks?

“I 100 percent support background checks and 100 percent support monitoring the sales and trafficking of firearms. I do think, however, that it’s an infringement of our rights to ban firearm sales of any kind. It’s a different story when it comes to explosives, but I do think it’s against our rights to ban the sale of firearms for lots of reasons. The main problem I have with it that is if they ban weapons, it’s not going to slow the sale of them; it’s just going to create a black market where there are no background checks.”

What would be your proudest moment in the outdoors?

“There are three. When I killed a bear with my grandpa when I was 16, when I guided my friend Sean Cobelli to his first Muskie and when I first killed a buck with a bow.”

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