Kids Helping Kids Creating a Legacy…
12 year old Emmett palmed his Buck knife in preparation to skin his first ever deer, a Blacktail doe. His grip was firm but unsure; he was looking up to 18 year old Paxton and 16 year old Mikayla, veteran hunters for guidance.
This was my second time coming to Black Oak Outfitters in Roseburg Oregon with outdoor writer Gary Lewis to mentor youth hunters in pursuit of their first deer. Paxton and Mikayla have been doe hunting here for many years and have mentored numerous other kids with their first hunt success. Two years prior, I was den mother in camp while 16 year old Alexa harvested her first deer.
Paxton, Alexa and Mikayla were all back in camp to mentor 12 year old Emmett in his pursuit of a Blacktail doe. Kids literally creating their own hunting legacy, together creating memories that will last them all a lifetime.
The Oregon youth mentor program allowed my tag to be filled by Emmett in the rich landscapes of southern Oregon. The area hosts the perfect habitat for the Blacktail and whitetail deer to flourish, the perfect target rich location for youth hunters to harvest their first deer.
The doe was spotted feeding 70 yards away in the grassy oaks. Emmett had practiced in camp, taking aim and dry firing on trees, he was ready and without hesitation. Working the bolt, clicking the safety off my Browning .280, Emmett took aim and made a perfectly placed shot dropping the doe in her tracks.
Often times there is strength in knowing that someone else has been in your shoes, Emmett drew confidence in knowing that the other youth hunters that surrounded him were there to help him field dress his very first deer. All of them giving him tips on where to make the incision in the cape, how to hold the skin taught and even the angle of the knife.
Watching kids help one another is one of the most precious moments that life has to offer. Everyone in our camp was there to help fulfill Emmett’s dream of hunting, everyone was part of this once in a lifetime memory.
Gutting pumpkins and skinning deer with kids, that is how I want to celebrate Halloween every year.