Youth hunters from around the state celebrated their successes on Saturday, as many finished their Youth Deer Day adventures by recounting their stories at tagging stations.
Facebook feeds were packed with awesome photos and cool videos, and the excitement of many of those youths was palpable.
Among my favorites: A video passed along to me by David Baker, an avid hunter who has kept me up to date with the hunting successes of his children over the past decade or so.
This year, it was his niece — Taylor Anne Townsend of Glenburn — who took center stage, as Baker passed along a video taken by the 9-year-old’s dad, Brandon Townsend from the hunting blind.
“Brandon was with her on her youth day hunt and recorded this video right after the shot,” Baker wrote in a message earlier this week. “Being Taylor Anne’s first deer, she was very excited! She shot the doe shortly after 5 p.m. with a Windham Weaponry .223 [rifle]. The doe dressed out at a healthy 130 pounds.”
Baker was accompanying his son Aaron on Aaron’s final Youth Deer Day, and was a couple miles away from Taylor Anne and her dad. They heard the shot, sent a message to Brandon Townsend asking if Taylor Anne had shot, and after learning she had, they headed over to help find the deer.
“Aaron and I joined Brandon, Taylor and her grandfather, Dennis Townsend shortly after dark,” Baker wrote. “While they started looking closer [to the blind] for blood or hair, Taylor and I walked a little deeper into the woods to look for a possible path it might have taken.”
The search was a short one.
“Taylor, wearing her own headlamp, started to scream with excitement as she crawled over a rock wall, [and] pushed some evergreen trees aside to find the doe had expired only 30 yards from where she had shot her,” Baker wrote. “Let’s just say her excitement could be heard miles away, and two days later, my ears are still ringing.”
Congrats to Taylor Anne and all the other junior hunters who tagged deer on Youth Deer Day!
And if you’ve got a hunting story to share, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org