For families in Craig County, setting down to a table garnished with venison, bear, fish or rabbit is normal. In fact, it’s almost expected in most families.
Recently, two young kids in Craig went hunting and got their “first.”
Allie, seven, got her first deer while Brayden got his first bear. Both were ecstatic at their accomplishment. “I have been squirrel hunting before and I also love fishing,” Allie said.
Her dad, CJ Crowder, taught her how to shoot and hunt. “We practiced shooting for a week straight,” she said.
Brayden got his start at age six and has previously hunted a few times for deer and bear. He also likes to fish. However, he said he really started getting interested this year in bear hunting.
His dad Jeremy, his PawPaw Jeff Tripp and brother Nicholas all share a passion in teaching Brayden the art of hunting. His dad also has taught him how to fish.
He shared that right now, his favorite is bear hunting because he has successfully hunted a bear. Brayden said he also likes just watching the bear in nature.
After Brayden shot, he yelled out, “Did I get him?”
His 16-year old brother said, “I knew he was going to shoot that bear and I was really excited to see him kill one and get the full experience as I did as a youth. He said he was the ‘most-happiest’ person alive and also said he got soaked because of all the rain.”
Nicholas added, “I killed my first bear when I was eight-years-old. I have killed three bears in my lifetime for now.”
Brayden’s family is going to have it half-mounted for him. “That’s just like my first bear when I was his age,” Nicholas added. “And Brayden would like to thank all the bear hunters that helped him get his first bear too.”
Brayden added, “I like walking in the woods with the hounds and the other hunters.”
Brayden wished to share his thoughts to the other “younger” hunters. “Watch your surroundings and be patient and try to be quiet even though it’s hard and I hope you have the same experience I’ve had,” he said
His plans are to deer hunt with his dad in November and to go bear hunting again with his PawPaw and brother because he wants to “be successful in hunting.”
“We were all very excited and very proud,” said his mom Heather.
Allie was hunting with her dad CJ Crowder at her PawPaw’s home, Ronnie Duding, who was so proud of her and excited that she killed her first deer at his place.
After she shot, Allie was quiet. “I think she was nervous that she had missed,” her mom Stacey shared. (Her mom and Pawpaw joined in to look for the deer.) “So, when we found him, her face lit up and she was smiling from ear to ear.”
“Deer hunting is my favorite,” Allie exclaimed. “They are bigger, and we can grind it up to make tacos.”
Her mom added, “That is too funny. This kid loves tacos and when we were cutting up the meat, she just couldn’t wait to make tacos with it.”
Allie is going to have a skull mount done with her first deer.
Allie shared to other young hunters, “Just keep practicing because it really pays off.” She is excited about her next hunt with her parents when rifle season comes in.
She also noted that her favorite thing about hunting is, “To get a big deer.”
Many kids in Craig, as well as surrounding counties, have enjoyed this sport, which not only teaches one discipline, character and patience, but also supplies healthy meats for their families to eat.