Youth Hunting Weekend - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Youth Hunting Weekend

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Head to Back Country Sports in St. Albans and you'll often find 13-year-old Leah Hale by her father's side. 

"I'm super excited!," says Hale.

She's comfortable around all this hunting gear, but she'd much rather be out using it with her dad.

"I love hunting so I can't wait for this weekend," says Hale.

With good reason! She's had a lot of luck on youth hunting weekends in Vermont. She's bagged a deer every year and last year she got her first five point buck.

"I got it mounted for my birthday and I put it in my room!," says Hale.

Her dad Chad Hale has dreamed about passing on this family tradition for a long time.       

"When she was born did you think, I'm going to take her hunting?" asks reporter Julie Kelley.

"Aw, probably, pretty close to that," says Chad Hale.

He's not alone. Last year, nearly 7-thousand kids registered for youth hunting licenses. More than a thousand of them bagged a deer. Vermont Fish and Wildlife agents say, that's about an 19-percent success rate.

JJ Judd is heading out with his son Evan for the first time. 

"We're looking forward to it! He finally passed his hunter safety course," says Judd.

"Finally? It was my first time!" says Evan.

That's a proud little hunter and a dad who's been waiting a long time for this weekend.

"Once I realized I had a boy coming I was like, oh great, I can't wait till he hunts," says Judd.

For him, this family tradition also puts food on the table. They'll be hunting in Fairfield near where JJ grew up.

"We're pretty fortunate that we have a place to hunt and he's going to be helping us to fill the freezer hopefully," says Judd.

"I think for myself and most parents it's probably as fun for us as it is the kids, it's a pretty neat moment when they take their first deer or first turkey, duck or goose. It's pretty neat," says Chad.

A moment and a memory this father and daughter won't forget!

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