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Jason Wesbrock
Post count: 762

Last year I took my daughter on her first hunt shortly after her 14th birthday. We were trying to fill a spring turkey tag or two with our bows from the confines of a popup blind. The first morning we saw several deer, a few coyotes, two black bears (a long way out of their established range) and two huge tom turkeys beyond her bow range but well within mine. She never drew, and I never nocked an arrow. She still smiles when she talks about that weekend, and actually gave a speech in school about it last week (got an A+ on it too).

That fall was her first deer season. Opening morning she had two or three does within bow range, but a touch before first legal light. She never even took her bow off the hook; she knew to take the shot would be illegal.

This spring we again hunted turkeys with our bows and had nothing but a hen in front of the blind to show for it. Regardless, we both had a great time, even though our unfilled 2012 spring turkey tags now join our unfilled ones from 2011. As soon as she’s out of her leg cast and able to hunt, she will once again try to take her first animal with her bow…in the tail end of her second year as a bowhunter. And since my wife is taking up bowhunting this fall, I now have the pleasure of helping two new hunters attempt to take their first animal.

Maybe it will happen this year. Maybe it won’t. By design, there are no guarantees with fair chase hunting of free range animals. And all three of us wouldn’t have it any other way.