This year I have gained a renewed appreciation for parents that are introducing their kids to hunting for the first time. My son William is 12 years old. He completed the Hunters Safety course this spring and graduated with a better understanding on how to handle a firearm safely and how to hunt and harvest an animal, thanks to the hunters education volunteer instructors. Though the classes were very informative there is nothing like the real life experience of getting out in the field and hunting for the first time. Like many youngsters William is involved in many activities including Missoula Youth Football. So hunting would have to wait until after the season ended a little over a week ago. The beginning of our hunting season began with daily trips after school to the shooting range to get him comfortable handling and shooting his hunting rifle a 7mm-08. Last weekend we headed out hunting Saturday and Sunday for the first time. We hiked a few miles both days and saw some deer and elk but not close enough for William to take a shot. He certainly is anxious to harvest his first animal and even though we weren’t successful in bringing home meat to the table, the time spent by me up to this point in readying William for that first opportunity has been most rewarding. Because of this experience with William my hunting hat is also off to all the parents that take the time, effort, and money to introduce their kids to hunting as well as the landowners that allow youth hunting. Thanks for keeping our hunting heritage alive for another generation.
John Perry of Clinton is one of those parents I am referring too! His daughter Rivers is 15 years old. This is a young hunter that also enjoys many other activities. She loves music and now can play 6 different instruments. She also won’t have any problem hiking in the outdoors thanks to being a member of her schools cross-country team. This year Rivers was especially excited to go deer hunting. So Rivers and her dad took off to hunt some ground that John was familiar with in central Montana last Friday and this is how the hunt went according to John. “We spotted a nice mule buck deer with four does early on Saturday morning. Wind was about 20 mph when we started our stalk. We walked into the wind and approached within 150 yards. We kept looking and waiting for a great shot. Rivers couldn’t shoot initially because there was a single doe too close to the buck-so she waited about 10 minutes for a very clear shot. She got into kneeling position and took a shot and the buck dropped. Anyway, as we stood up and congratulated her for the great shot- the buck stood up again and believe it or not took off-so now we had a chase. After we followed it for a long while she finally got another shot. Her second shot at the deer dropped it again and that was it. River’s gun of choice is a 22-250”. The mule buck ended up being a 5×5 with a very nice set of horns and after three years of hunting was Rivers first buck. It was also River’s first hunting trip with her dad and she enjoyed seeing new country. John said Rivers loves cattle and even had her picture taken with one of the bulls on the ranch that they hunted. The Central Montana landscape was also noticed by Rivers according to John, “Sunrises and Sunsets were incredible and Rivers really appreciated seeing them too”!
(Written by the Captain-aka Mark Ward)
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