Turns out, she was hunting that morning, too—shooting doves with the 20-gauge Beretta semi-auto she got for Christmas. She had bagged about 10 or so birds with a box of shells and when we complimented her on her shooting, her smile was big as the New Mexico sky.
After that we started sharing hunting stories, the way hunters will whenever they gather. She told us about the antelope, elk and mule deer hunting she had done with her dad over the years. “I’m daddy’s little hunting buddy,” she said happily and without a trace of the exasperation teenagers usually display when talking about their parents.
And a hardcore hunting buddy at that.
In her spare time she calls in coyotes—using only her mouth—and shoots them off the back porch of her house. One of us.
After a while she said she had to get back to her other tables and wished us luck this fall. We did the same. I hope she bags the 31-inch mule deer of her dreams come November.
_ John Snow_