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Two years ago I made the very big mistake of trying to put a gun in my daughter's hands when she wasn't ready. Much to my dismay the noise and kick spooked her and I ended up spending the last two turkey seasons trying to "break" her of this fear. Well this Spring my son Daltyn turns eight and he decided he would like to give the twenty gauge a try. He assured me that he wasn't afraid of the "boom" so I loaded it up with some light trap loads and helped him fire a couple rounds off. Much to my surprise the kick didn't bother him a bit so I decided to take him out during the youth season in April. The season started on Friday the tenth and fortunately the kids were off from school. The morning was uneventful so we went in to a favorite roosting area near home for the evening hunt. About an hour before dark a group of nine jakes and two toms worked in to the decoys. At twenty-five yards the two toms attacked the King Strut decoy and gave Daltyn the time he needed to make the shot. I could not have been more proud of how my seven year old son handled himself on this hunt. One bird down.

Now that my son killed his first turkey I thought maybe big sister would set aside her fear of the gun and give it a try. Instead she decided to do him one better and try it with a bow. Knowing how difficult it has been for me the last few years to kill a bird with my bow I tried to talk her out of it. She wouldn't have it. Fortunately she had gotten a new PSE Chaos for Christmas and had been shooting it in the basement. She was pulling thirty pounds easily so I felt confident it would do the trick.

As the first, second, and third season's passed we hunted when we could but had not gotten any opportunities. I knew how tough bow hunting turkeys could be but as long as Darby wanted to hunt I wasn't about to discourage her from trying. On an invitation from my brother to give his farm a try we set out on Saturday May tenth. The weather was cool and windy and the gobblers weren't talking but shortly after fly down we had a lone hen work in to the decoys at seven yards. All of a sudden we spotted a tom on the hill straight out in front of us. He saw the hen in the decoys and came in on a beeline. It all happened so quickly and Darby handled herself amazingly. When the bird got between us and the King Strut at five yards she made the shot. I couldn't believe what had just happened. My ten year old daughter had just pulled off what I feel is more difficult than shooting a deer with a bow. I got it all on film and her reaction was priceless. It brought tears to my eyes to watch her cry with excitement at her accomplishment. I think she just became a life long hunter.

To have both of my kids be successful this spring means more to me than any of my own successes in the woods. Any parent that has experienced this knows exactly where I'm coming from. Now we'll see what the fall deer season bring for my two new hunters.