I’m a hunter by culture and by practice. My daughter Alyssa is a hard-wired hunter. I know this because the guys I work with, the stars of Petersen’s Hunting TV, are hard-wired hunters. Yes, I’m bragging a little, but I had nothing to do with it aside from putting a thunderstick in her paw and dragging her around in the woods endlessly.
This weekend a friend and I started scouting for elk season here in Montana in the Nunyabizness Mountains. Our camp had three girls between the ages of 11 and 14, mine is 13. After dinner on Saturday we loaded the two younger girls in the back of the truck (OMG kids still survive riding in the back of a truck in America!?! Call child services!). We set my kid’s .22 in the cab, filled the tiny magazine and set out to troll the sides of the forest roads for wabbits. I have to say “wabbits” rather than rabbits because this is the official term for the animal amongst 11 to 13 year old girls.
My passenger soon eyeballed a wabbit in an opening sixty yards off the road on the edge of a super thick thicket of trees. My girl offloaded from the bed of the truck, grabbed her little CZ USA Scout .22 loaded it, sawed 20 yards off the distance in her bedazzled blue velour hunting pants, brought the rifle up for an offhand shot, squeezed and missed. She worked the bolt settled the open site on the wabbit, hit it and lit up with genuine glee.
She scooted up to finish it and it makes it into the cover of the very thick grove of trees. Our party fanned out to find the wabbit and I caught movement of what appeared to be a miraculously revived wabbit. I called for Alyssa but by the time she made it over I lost site of the critter.
She was relentless in her pursuit and eventually circled back around to her marker for her first shot and what do you know? There’s a live bunny sitting right there. She shot it from close, cleared her rifle and headed back into the thicket. The next thing I heard was, “There’s two Papa!”
Her only regret? She wishes she had played it cool when she discovered the matched set.