“Just Go Hunting!”
The hunting demographic displaying the strongest growth is the incredible increase in the amount of women hunters. This phenomenon is also occurring with our youth hunter participants throughout Michigan. The internet has been buzzing with hundreds if not thousands of successful youth photographs after the two-day youth season which was held in late September. A high percentage of the photographs posted were of young girls proudly donned in camouflage and hunter orange.
Eleven year old, Anna Winkleman’s picture was posted on the MIBUCKPOLE Facebook page and as of September 29, 2014 it received 1,802 LIKES. Kim Kerns commented, “WOW AWESOME!! One can only hope to see something like that let alone shoot it!! Makes me Smile I love seeing woman hunting! Congrats!” Kyler Butterworth added, “Seems like the girls got the best of the youth hunt this year! Lol stud of a buck.”
The photograph displays a smiling Anna holding onto the antlers of a big Lenawee County 12-point. Anna was hunting with her father, Steve. The father-daughter combo set up a tent blind on Saturday morning and returned in the evening for Anna’s first deer hunt in which she would be the one looking to pull the trigger. She had accompanied her dad in previous years on his hunts but this would be her first hunt as a licensed deer hunter.
That evening a storm blew in. Anna saw a doe and was preparing for the shot when a gust of wind came up and the deer ran off into the cover. Rain soon followed and no more deer were sighted.
Sunday evening the family went to church and got out around 5:30 p.m. Steve was contemplating taking Anna out and his wife encouraged him to do so. The hunters rushed home and made it to their blind by 6:00 p.m. More rain came and Steve and Anna hunkered down in the tent trying to stay dry. When the rain let up, Steve sneaked a peak out of the rear window and saw a buck behind them. He got Anna’s attention and they quietly readjusted so that they could shoot in that direction.
Steve had Anna use a Caldwell tripod to steady her shot and Anna placed her Savage 20 gauge onto the device and took aim. At this point the 12-point buck was only twenty yards away. Anna pulled the trigger and the deer lurched forward and dropped to the ground. Her shot severed the jugular vein in the neck.
There was no ground shrinkage with this great buck. Anna told me via a phone interview, “I was surprised at how big the buck actually was. I just wanted to get a deer period and this
is what showed up. It’s big and I like it!”
I asked Anna if she was nervous and she said, “I wasn’t that nervous because it happened so fast but afterwards I was excited and wanted to tell all of my friends.”
I asked Anna one last question, I asked her if she had any advice for other youth hunters and she answered, “Just go hunting. If you sit inside and play video games you won’t shoot one!” Sound wisdom that I think applies to all ages.
Anna’s dad added, “what did
happen is more precious than my thirty eight prior years of hunting,
to see her smile and excited response to hopefully creating a lifelong experience that will take her beyond the confines of an I pad or computer game.”
Congratulations Anna, if the future of deer hunting is as bright as your smile than I think we all have a lot to look forward to!n