James MacDonald | Mossy Oak ProStaff
One of my favorite youth hunts I participated in was with an 11-year-old young lady named Isabel, her brother Mitchell, who was 12, and their mom. Dad didn’t hunt. I took them out twice in 2017. The mom’s family had grown up hunting, but the dad’s family didn’t. Mom wanted to pass on to her children her hunting tradition.
The first morning we went out was very cold. They were all dressed very warm. Although it was a slow morning, Isabel took her first duck. My dog went out and retrieved the duck, and when he delivered the duck to Isabel, she held onto that duck like it was a gold medal she’d won at the Olympic Games. The duck was a drake wigeon, and even though she shot 20 shells that day, that was the only duck she downed.
Isabel’s brother took a couple of ducks, and in spite of the weather, we had a really good time. Because the weather was so cold, we left the duck blind about noon. The children’s mom was very excited to see her two youngsters bag ducks. She had hunted in years past with her grandfather and her dad and was pleased to be able to give a hunting experience to her children.
This family lucked up and got another date to come out and hunt during Oregon’s youth season. Then I got lucky and took them out on their second hunt. On the day of this second hunt, the mom and Isabel both had the flu, but Mitchell and his cousin and his cousin’s dad came. Both boys took about six ducks each.
James MacDonald of Cornelius, Oregon, has been a Mossy Oak ProStaffer for almost 10 years. He was recently named 2017 Mossy Oak ProStaffer of the Year for his philanthropy work and volunteerism. MacDonald enjoys hunting waterfowl, teaching others to hunt and training retrievers.