My little brother Darryl has three children and nine grandchildren. Three of those grandkids took deer this year, with Tristan and MaKaylee getting their first deer. Mac (10 years old) is pictured with her dad Scott Smiley with her fat 1-1/2 old spike. The horns were only 1/2 inch long, and didn’t hardly make it past the hair on this deers head. She shot it for a doe, as spikes and button bucks are off limits around my place. I’m planning a follow up story on her buck and the differences in deer antler growth per the amount of nutrition they receive. Tristan (12 years old) is pictured with his dad Derek Ansel and his nice doe he shot during the youth hunt in September. The third cousin is Tanner (T.J.) McElvany (13 years old), who is an old hand at taking wild game. He is pictured with his grandpa Darryl Ansel along with the second seven pointer of his short deer hunting career. He shot this one in October for his first buck taken with his bow.
I would have to say that the Darryl Ansel family is doing its share of placing new “blood” in the fields and forest during Michigan’s hunting seasons. We need more families (dads and grandpa’s) that will put forth the time and effort to recruit and train up young ones in our beloved shooting and hunting sports. My brother used to say “Take a kid hunting, and you won’t be hunting for your kid!”
Congratulations to you MaKaylee, Tristan, and Tanner. You shed a glimmer of light on Michigan’s hunting future, and make your old Uncle Mike proud of your accomplishments at such a young age. I was much older than you guys before I scored on my first deer, but that’s ancient history.