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Discussion Starter #1
I knew it was a possibility, but had in some way hoped it would not happen. Good hunting partners are hard to come by, and great ones are few and normally only found in stories around the fire. But I had sat around the fire with this one and had wanted more.

I wanted more scenes of that little girl dragging whole trees to the fire pit in below zero weather. I wanted more animated smiles when the first deer had been shot. I wanted more trips to the middle of nowhere in search of game. I wanted to see the joy on her face while she devastated the trout population on a stream.

But with one little text, that whole reality had come to an end. That whole world had changed and would never be the same. That little girl would no longer follow dad where ever he went. She had a different path to follow now. A different path than one I would have picked for her. A different path where dad will soon be but a memory.

My youngest daughter starts high school next year. She has already been accepted into an elite scholar program where she has to travel to a different high school to study. That had been a big decision on her part. She wanted to be a cheerleader and had developed ties with the coaches at the local school.

Accepting the Cambridge program meant she would likely not make the cheer team at the new school. She almost did not apply for the program. We talked and I left the decision up to her. I had faith she would pick the correct path. Later that day I got a text saying, " I applied!"

Not wasting time, she found out who the coach was at the new school and what she needed to do. She had mom and dad and her brother and sister drive her to practice programs. She went to tryouts and came home, nervous and fidgeting for a couple of days. Yesterday, a letter was delivered to her in her last class of the day. She told me she was worried to open it. Open it she did and this sequence of texts were exchanged!

"I got in Dad!" …….. "Your smile produced for you! Your desire and hard work shined through! And daddy always believed in you!" "Thanks Dad!"

The reality is that I have lost her as far as hunting goes! There will be no time for it, between cheer and the Cambridge program. We are not even going to put her in for some of the special hunts we normally would. I wanted to but she is goal oriented and driven and does not want the distraction.

Someday, if I live long enough, we will again travel along some wooded path together. Some day we will again share stories around a smoky fire along some creek. I have given her a foundation that has made her sure of who she is and where she wants to go. Although, never to be seen again, she will always be my little girl!

Enjoy and cherish everyday you have with your kids in the field! Make sure work does not get in the way! Good job Amanda!

 

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Just think now that when she returns to the mountains and hunting or fishing with you it will be even more fun.

At least she is just going to school. When I realized that you were talking about a young lady I was thinking that she found out the animals stink and boys don't and was going to get married to a non hunter. :peace:
 

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I was thinking that she found out the animals stink and boys don't and was going to get married to a non hunter. :peace:
I think my wife would argue with you on this point. I'd wager she would say that almost every animal stinks way less than most boys or men do. Of course, she married a hunter. :mrgreen:
 

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Scared me to death.
 

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Was ready to read the worse, then the mention of a little girl/daughter mase it worse, then the good news of something positive.

I fully understand, my oldest daughter is a hunter, she turns 13 this year and could be leaving home in 5. No, WORK WILL NEVER, EVER get in the way...
 

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Well, the way things go, keep putting her in for points and once she is done with prep school, college, grad school, and some kind of internship, completes a great career of her choice, raises a family, volunteers in some kind of organization, after all that, she MIGHT have enough points to draw the tag of your dreams ;-)

Congrats to your daughter and her parents for achieving the great goal!
 
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She's not lost just headed down a different path for a while. My daughter did a similar path. She focused on school and her art all the way through school. After she graduated with her degree from college we started going on some great hunts together. Fisrt it was LE Elk and then the next year it was Bear, now looking forward to Moose (if Utah's herds will rebound). It's great having a young lady in camp, anytime.

Smokepole
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yes that is for sure! Her first hunt was there in Utah. I brought her along when she was 6. Wife needed to work the day after Thanksgiving so I brought her along. I expected a partial disastor but it was anything but that. Very apparent she was meant to be out there.

My daughter at six very near where she shot her first cow at 13.

 

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Tough to lose a hunting parter, but great to see her excelling in the goals she has for herself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Ouch! We went for her uniform fitting yesterday! $1500 overall will be spent by the time we are done and that will need to be done again next year. I commented that amount would cover the Muddy Girl AR she has been asking for. "You could get me both dad!" I turned my head in time before she deployed the smile that would have rendered me helpless to say no!:mrgreen:
 
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