Wisconsin youth deer hunter shows us how it should be done

Jada Mathews, 12, of Mount Horeb, hunted with her dad, Patrick Mathews, in Dane County during the youth hunt. Despite recent changes in hunting laws, she cased her gun for traveling, validated her carcass tag, and tagged her deer. (Contributed photo)

A smiling, brown-eyed 12-year-old girl was happy to have an opportunity to hunt with her father in rural Dane County during the two-day youth hunt. Jada Mathews killed a deer within minutes of arriving at a stand with her father. The deer dropped from a single shot traveling about 100 yards.

Without encouragement from anyone, she did what seemed natural because that’s what she learned in hunter education a few months before her hunt.

She looked beyond the deer, shot it,  and immediately validated the carcass tag and attached it to the animal. Instead of grabbing her cellular phone, she and her father went to a one-stop shop, got help registering the deer, signed up to have the deer sampled for chronic wasting disease and left the deer to be processed.

Her father had already removed the loins for the next morning’s breakfast.

Before parting in the car, she placed her rifle back in a carrying case, zipped it and laid it on the back seat atop her blaze orange hunting jacket. She had taken the rifle out of the case for photographs, which did not include her sitting on the deer or propping the rifle up on the deer.

Many rules have changed. Still, she had respect for the gun and cased it. To be positively sure she was correct, she tagged the deer after validating the tag. She had it slated for CWD testing. If some of these rules return to the framework of the good-old-days, Jada will be on the right path.

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