Travian Mitchell: The Hunter


Tammy Nguyen

Travian Mitchell poses next to the taxidermied deer head in his office.

In the mornings and in passing periods, for five days a week, assistant principal Travian Mitchell’s voice can be heard across the hallways, ushering students to class. Between juggling the student life, bus duty, and faculty meetings, a simple school day becomes draining. But to find an escape and have some solace, he turns to the great outdoors, to hunt 

Mitchell has been hunting since he was about eight years old, where he would spend weekends in the woods with his family. They’d hunt anything from deers, squirrels, rabbits, and turkey. He makes sure to keep up the family tradition with his three-year-old son, taking him to open fields to hunt doves.  

Going into the woods gives him a chance to connect with nature and himself. “For me personally, it becomes a very calming, very cathartic, centering thing,” he said. Not only is the experience a chance for him to find peace, but it’s also something he finds satisfying. Hunting gives him a release like no other. 

There’s nothing like seeing a light bulb coming on for a child, the next best feeling is deer down in the woods,” he said.  

As for the broader reasons of why he enjoys hunting, Mitchell lists three reasons: stewardship, population control, and “it makes the grocery bill light.” A lot of the money that goes into getting a license is given to wildlife management to help maintain the space in which these animals live.  

Recently, he’s been focusing on how to get the most out of his hunt. “A lot of my hunting has transitioned into what we call primitive, where we do archery hunting,” he said. Archery allows for him to focus on skill more, making sure to pay attention and that his breathing is right. This is his preferred method, opting to use a compound bow, which is a bow that uses a levering system made of cables to work.  

However, his hunting style has changed within the last three years because of his son. Now, Mitchell and his son hunt doves in the fields of Tenoroc, as it’s the safest way of introducing him to the activity. Taking him to the fields allows Mitchell to teach him things like how to work and act around weapons, as well as just introducing him to the outdoors. “To see him act and carry himself like a young man within that field is amazing,” he said.