Gavin Twomey was a Deer Season baby, so it’s only natural that he loved to hunt.
For the last three or four years, he has gone hunting with his father, James.
“We always do it on my birthday,” Gavin, 10, a fifth-grader at Central West Elementary, said proudly. “My birthday is November 20. I have the opportunity to skip school that day. I am going to hunt instead of going to school.”
He doesn’t much mind getting up early and being cold. He likes to listen to the deer, see it, and then kill it and “eat venison.”
“This year I can clean mine,” he said. “I’m a little excited.”
This year, you will be able to hunt on your property.
In addition to hunting deer, they also hunt turkeys and “we fish a lot.”
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Brothers Jaxon, 13, and Wilson Dietiker, 10, of Fredericktown each started hunting with their father, Jeremiah, when they were 6 years old. The youngest brother, Weston, 4, is too young to hunt now.
Hunting is Jeremiah’s favorite hobby, so it has been exciting to hunt with his children on the same property that he hunted on as a child.
Every year, the brothers said they spend the night at the family cabin, “eat junk food,” play games and hang out with family from out of town. The property was Jeremiah’s home when he was young; it is now home to the family’s hunting lodge.
They have a game camera where they can see the deer every day. The children name them.
“We try to go after certain,” Jeremiah said.
Jeremiah said that every time he has a large deer, the family takes a photo in the same pose.
“We have several deer with exactly the same pose,” he said.
Jaxon and Wilson agree that their favorite thing to hunt is white-tailed deer with a gun.
Jaxon said they hunt with their dad and grandfather when their grandfather is in town.
Jaxon’s favorite memory is when she was 7 years old and it was junior gun season. He came out a deer and shot it, hitting it in the leg. He fired a second time and missed. His father shot him and missed. Finally, with a third shot, Jaxon hit it and the deer went down.
Wilson said he missed a couple before he got his first deer. He said that during the alternate season when he was 9 years old, he shot a deer with a .223 AR pistol and missed. But he saw him still standing there and was able to shoot him in the back. He said that he was nervous and excited.
This deer season will be 7-year-old Kemper Parson’s second year hunting, but he has already made several memories with his parents, Randall and Heather.
“I shot a pig on the first day of deer season,” he said, adding that he was about a hundred yards away.
He and his father searched for it and found the wild pig still alive, so he shot it twice more. He admitted that it scared him a little.
He also got a dollar with a black powder pistol on Christmas Day and a doe with a rifle on Halloween. In addition to deer, he has killed a turkey and two squirrels.
Cameron Burnham, a junior from North County, has been hunting with his dad Dennis Linderer for 12 years and they have made many memories together.
Cameron hunts ducks, turkeys, rabbits, pigeons and squirrels, but his favorite is archery deer hunting.
“Arc season starts Thursday,” Cameron said on Sept. 13. “I can not wait”.
One of his favorite memories was his freshman year. He was sleeping on his dad’s lap when his dad woke him up because of a deer.
“I still couldn’t hold a gun, so he held it for me and shot my first deer,” he said.
He remembers his first year hunting alone: he was 8 years old and a doe came within five meters of the post. When he was 13 years old, he was already cleaning his own deer.
“After a killing spree, my dad and I give each other big hugs,” he said.
Laney Walker, 13, of Fredericktown, has been hunting with her father, John, since she was 7 or 8 years old. They hunt deer on a family friend’s property. She has killed five deer so far, the largest being the eight-pointed deer she killed last year.
His favorite memory is killing his first deer when he was 9 years old.
“I shot him and my dad yelled ‘Woohoo’ real loud,” he said. “He hugged me and said, ‘Great job!’ Mom was very proud of me and happy. The whole family called me ‘the deer hunter’”.
Laney enjoys spending time with her dad…and also killing deer. She said that it is one of her hobbies and a family tradition of hers.
“Almost everyone in the family hunts except the youngest and my sister,” he said.
Laney’s mom still hunts with her own dad. “It’s like daddy-girl bonding time,” April said.
Laney said she watches her dad and grandfather clean and gut the deer so she’ll know how to do it when she’s older.
Laney’s cousin, Sydney Dunnahoo, 14, of Fredericktown, has been hunting for about seven years. His favorite thing to hunt is deer.
His favorite memory is: “Getting my first deer, exploding the heart and climbing it up the side of a mountain.”
Mason Golden, 10, has been hunting for about four years. His favorite animals to hunt are raccoons and deer, but he also hunts turkeys, squirrels, and rabbits.
Mason, who attends Central West Elementary School, said his favorite hunting memory is killing his first deer because it was with his father, Clayton, and it was with a crossbow at his grandfather Golden’s house.
Her mom, Melissa, said that every fall she goes with her grandpa, dad and uncles to deer camp.
Kellen Crepps, 10, a student at North County Middle School, has been hunting with his father since he was 4 years old.
He likes to hunt deer with a rifle with his father and brothers at their home. He also hunts rabbits and fish on his 30-acre property.
His brother Maddan Crepps, 8, likes to go with his dad while he is out hunting. He said his favorite memory so far was last year when he was with his father and his father killed a little deer. He is looking forward to his father getting a dollar this year.