The queen mum and princess pose for a photo while hunting.

Once upon a time, there was a little princess who lived with her queen mum, the court jester and a couple of stable boys. The little princess loved all things girl, from frilly pink clothes to American Girl dolls. The court jester tried many times to corrupt the poor little princess. He did manage to get her to go fishing, and she loved it. They had many happy fishing trips together. Sadly, he could never convince her to try hunting, try as he might.

As the years passed, the jester began to give up hope. Then the miracle happened. The queen mum drew a deer tag, and the preparations for the hunt began. Trips to the rifle range, gathering necessary clothes and discussing hunt strategy. As the princess listened and watched, she was caught up in the excitement and declared that maybe, just maybe, she would like to try this hunting thing. The possibility of letting the princess actually hunt using the mentor program was briefly discussed and then discarded because she had never fired a gun. It was decided she would tag along and watch.

The season finally arrived, and it was agreed that the princess could miss one day of charm school to tag along.

After the stable boys were sent on their way, the jester, queen and princess were on their way. The princess was resplendent in her pink sweatshirt and cowgirl boots. As they headed to the hunt area, they jumped some does and a little forked horn buck. They had fun looking the deer over, but the buck needed a couple of years to grow up, so they continued on their way.

At the hunting area, they came up with a game plan and set off on their hike. The princess was a trooper and kept up no problem. She was quiet and attentive. Unfortunately, no more deer were seen that day. Despite that, the princess announced that she had a great time and would like to try hunting for herself. Music to the ears of the lowly court jester. Plans are already in the works to make that happen.

On a day the little princess couldn’t go along, the queen mum managed to take the buck of a lifetime, but that is a story for another day.

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Rod Carpenter is a husband, father and hunting fool.

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