Kole Kenyon had a lot of success hunting last year. A doe, a buck, a turkey, a boar and an alligator would be a good year for anybody, let alone a 6-year old.
Kole is the son of JR and Amanda Kenyon and live in Smithton with Kole’s younger brother, Zane, 3.
Kole has gone hunting with his father, JR, since he was 2, but this past year was the first where he was hunting.
“He wasn’t really ready to hunt before that,” his father said. “The first time I took him bow hunting was when he was 2 and I shot a doe that night. I don’t know how many deer we’ve got together, but it’s a pile of them.”
The turkey came on a hunting trip to Mississippi in March. Kole practiced with a .410 for a year, getting the feel of it and shooting at smaller game, but no turkeys.
“Just a bunch of squirrels, that’s it,” he said.
The Kenyons went to a friend’s place during Kole’s spring break. On the first morning, they saw a turkey and nearly got a shot, but it got away. Kole and another hunter sneaked down the road and got into a position where they got another shot, and Kole bagged his turkey.
“We were all excited,” JR said. “We went the next day, too, but we didn’t get another one.”
In August, Kole and his father made a trip to Florida. With a group of hunting dogs, they went out to find boar. The dogs were on the hog for 45 minutes before they broke away, giving Kole a clean shot.
In order to hunt a hog, you have to be careful and, Kole said, you have to have “patience.”
“We had one guy who got in the swamp buggy and then there were two other guys on horseback,” JR said. “We got it on video, the horse went in the brush and then the horse came flying out of the brush with the hog chasing it.”
“It was funny when he chased the horse,” Kole said.
When they went hunting for the boar, Kole saw an alligator in the pond nearby. Later on that same trip to Florida, Kole got his chance to bring in an alligator with a bow.
“Bows don’t kick as hard as a gun,” Kole said.
They left on an airboat, going hunting at night.
“It’s easier to spot them at night,” he said.
He shot the gator in the neck, and they dragged it into the boat, taping its mouth so it couldn’t bite. They took it to have it skinned — they plan to have it mounted — and got the meat from it.
“It tastes like chicken,” Kole said.
The next night, JR got one with a bow, but his was not as big as Kole’s.
“I still haven’t heard the end of it,” JR said.
When not hunting with a bow, Kole has entered archery competitions, even taking second at the Show-Me State Games, though he sees target shooting as practice for hunting.
Last fall was the first year Kole was old enough to go out hunting during deer season, and on the first day of the youth season, he went out and got a doe.
“I could have got it with the bow because it was right in front of my face,” he said. “I could have stuck out my hand and have been touching it.”
Then in December, he got his first buck, shooting from a tree stand.
“We went in the afternoon and then got it in the evening,” he said.
Kole likes being outside and hunting is a part of that. He also wants to get his brother, 3-year-old Zane, involved in hunting. JR said the family already is planning on going on all of those hunting trips again once Zane is old enough.
“Hopefully, he gets a bigger turkey than I did,” Kole said.