Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nikki's Hunt

Three years ago this little girl was unable to play organized sports or ride a bike and was very limited in her activities, her balance was off. A few years ago she was struggling in school with her grades; today she is one “B” away from being a straight “A” student. A few years ago she could not concentrate and did not fit in.

Yesterday this very same girl took life by the horns and embraced the experience of a life time and fulfilled a dream she has had for over 5 years. She has been dreaming of going hunting.

Nikki is 10 years old and was diagnosed with epilepsy a few years back, before that people thought she just couldn’t concentrate and hoped she would grow out of it. Come to find out her “day dreaming” episodes were seizures. She would have between 30 and 60 seizures a day. They were not violent shakes but rather a stillness and gaze.

WILD Jaeger, Kodabow, J&J Custom Calls, Pitt Rehab, and many individuals gave donations to make her dream come true. John MacCallum of WILD Jaeger took Nikki on her first hunt. The hunts started right at John’s house with safety talks and target practice with Nikki. They would shoot 3D targets in his back yard practicing broadside shots, quartering away and quartering toward shots. She soon became very proficient with her Kodabow (100% American Made Crossbows) and her confidence was showing not just in the yard but in her actions everywhere. It was amazing to see this girl’s smile and her confidence soar.

When the hunt day came on Sunday we knew she was prepared. That morning it all came together, the pig came in to about 17 meters away and she said that was the animal she wanted. This was her first hunting trip ever. She set up her shooting sticks in preparation and set the Kodabow on top. She took her time, squeezed the trigger and followed through just as she practiced confidently. She placed the crossbow bolt exactly where it needed to be.

What a mountain this little girl has climbed. Thank you all for making this happen for her, you have no idea how happy and proud she is and her family. This has changed a little girl's life. People don’t realize how powerful a tool that hunting can be. Its not just about harvesting the animal, its much, much more...

Photograph and write up by John MacCallum

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