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December 22: Ashley Playle

Christmas came early for Grampa John this year. Ashley harvested her first deer while hunting with me the evening of December 23, 2011. We were hunting in the same area that my other grandchildren Zach and Andrew harvested their deer this fall. We didn't get the rain we needed this fall, but our Biologic still managed to do very well. The deer are pooring into the Maximum, Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets from all directions. Ashley has been a trooper this year, spending many hours with me trying to kill a deer. December 23rd was the day it would happen. At about 3:00 the deer started filtering in to feed on the Biologic. At about 4:15, 3 bucks came from the west in to the field. I ask Ashley if she wanted the biggest one and she said yes. She made a near perfect shot on the buck. We tried to find him that evening, but he wasn't bleeding. We went home and looked at the hit on the TV. I was sure the deer was dead. I text Mark and Jeff Propst a picture of the hit. They both agreed with me. Zach and one of his friends helped us recover the deer the following morning. Now go back 8 years. She was with Zach and Taylor Drury when they harvested their first deer. She has been around hunting camp her entire life. Years ago “Coon Dog”and I spent hours trying to get her to shoot something. She acted like she wanted to, but just wouldn't “pull the trigger”. She is an excellent shot but just couldn't do it. We have been very patient with her. I told her I didn't care if she ever killed anything as long as she would just spend time with us at the farm. I never pushed her to hunt. I was hoping when she got older, she would want to hunt.

 Last spring she came to me and said whe wanted to go turkey hunting. She harvested a 25 lb longbeard this past April. All summer she had talked about going deer hunting. I knew she would do it this time. I would like to give all the parents and grandparents some advice. If you have a young child that is just starting, take it slow with them. All kids are differnet. Some may be ready to hunt at a very early age and some will take longer to start. Never force them to hunt. Have them tag along with you introducing them to the sport. All of my grandchildren except Addison have harvested deer this fall. Addison is only 4, but she hangs around us when we hunt. I got her a pink Red Rider BB gun for Xmas. I plan on having lots of fun teaching her to shoot. In closing if you haven't experienced the “thrill” of introducing a young person to the sport of hunting and enjoying the outdoors, you are missing out. Thank God for grandchildren.

John