Silas Olson

By: Sean Slayton

¨Ok, I got it; talk about my hunting experience!¨ Within five seconds of the interview, it´s clear that Silas Olson has grown up more in the woods than in his own house.

The woods are still, but that´s not new, they've been like that for the past five hours. How does he know this? Because he´s sat there for the past five hours resembling a statue more than a man.

This isn´t new either. He was in the same area yesterday. He´s done this for the past weeks, months, and years. He fired off a 12-gauge at five, and he´s been alongside his father since then; learning everything one could know about the sport.

He´ll need to remember it all today, as his father isn´t with him. He is now alone.

Silas received his safety license recently, which means he can now go out on his own. Part of the gig is patience; the willingness to sit still for hours for five seconds of adrenaline is a daunting task to many.

“I just sit there. It´s so quiet that any movement is too loud. You need to be absolutely quiet. That´s not the hardest part though, you need to find where the deer are first, which is why you´d scout the area first. You have to sneak around without making a sound and look for signs of passing deer.¨

But the deer who just entered his periphery will make all the frustration worth it. The noise it makes might as well be a violent crescendo of an unmissable racket. To Olson, the predominant noise is the sound of his own heartbeat in agonizing anticipation.

“The most exciting part is the actual sighting, as you’ve been waiting for hours through all the frustration and stillness. So when you do finally shoot it, it´s an achievement of overcoming a challenge.¨

While the prospect of a teenager dragging an animal over three times his weight is an unusual sight to most of us, Olson stays steadfast in declaring hunting an essential part of his life, an aspect that defines him. Despite the reputation of Grand Rapids as an aspiring albeit small cityscape with satellite suburban communities, Silas prefers to see the “Forest¨ in ¨Forest Hills;¨ the quiet coupled with the surrounding vegetation transport him to another world that he wouldn't mind staying in, and his primary aspiration is one day teaching others what he learned from his father, and maybe a few tricks that he discovered by himself.

Silas Olson, Staff Writer