How many 8-year-olds have you ever known to harvest a 300-pound wild boar?
Jayden Dale started deer hunting at 7 and saw some deer while taking a shot with his muzzle loader. The deer lived for another day.
Jayden belongs to the Kicking Bear Program, where mentors take kids hunting and fishing to enjoy the outdoors. This young man touches your heart from his smile, freckles and big blue eyes.
With a big smile, he said adult friend Josh McDaniels asked his mom if he could take him on a wild hog hunt in Tennessee. Geneann, Jayden’s mom, said when Josh asked to take her baby wild hog hunting she was OK with it. She had total trust in Josh and the Kicking Bear Program.
Her second thought was Jayden’s dream was about to come true. He watched a lot of hunting on television and wanted to be a part of it. He had camo to wear and was ready to go. It took a long seven-hour drive to get there.
Jayden stayed in a cabin with deer and buffalo hanging on the wall.
After breakfast, they gathered up their gear and loaded up in the Jeep. A 20-gauge Remington 870 model shotgun was used and with a big smile he said, “When I shot, I about fell down.”
Oh, he just reminded me they were hunting with dogs to bay up the hogs and they had to be very careful going into the pack at bay.
Jayden went in with four professional hunters to harvest the hog when it busted and ran 100 yards and bayed up in small saplings. At 20 yards it was a tough shot — with dogs the same color as the hog. It was crazy with all the barking and fighting between the hog and dogs.
The guide said “shoot” and it took three shots to put him down. The shots this young man took were well-placed, not letting the animal suffer.
A lot of high-fives, good jobs and pats on the back went all around. Jayden said he was very excited and happy. A video was taken of the event as well as many still pictures. Jayden thought he was a movie star.
They loaded the wild hog in the 4-wheel mule and took it back to camp to butcher it. Walking up the big hills was hard work, but he said it was a lot of fun.
Three more hunters harvested their hogs as well under Jayden’s watchful eye. After all, he knew how it should be done. One small hog was caught by the dogs but was turned loose to grow larger for another day.
This young man also shoots a bow and arrow. With Josh’s supervision, he has become very good at it.
The wonderful people that donated the money to make this happen have hearts of gold. It was heartwarming to see the tears in Jayden’s eyes when he found out he was going on a hunt of a lifetime.
Jayden says with a big freckle-faced smile, “Thank you.”