By: Jenna Koch (Age 13)
It all started at the 2015 SCI Fundraiser in Mt. Pleasant. I left the Saturday night dinner table to check the booth displays with my cousins. When I returned, my Grandpa was beaming and told me he had just purchased a buffalo hunt for me. I instantly felt nervous because I had never shot a buffalo. Luckily I had a few months to mentally prepare for the hunt.
It was April 18th and the sun was shining as my Dad and I drove to Ionia. We met my Grandma and Grandpa, Don and Mary Harter, at Roger Froling's Ranch to shoot a buffalo. I was anxious and nervous but knew I'd do fine considering my past hunting experiences hunting deer. Once we arrived, I was shocked at how many buffalo there were and how big of an animal they were. Once my grandparents arrived, we discussed with Roger where the best place to shoot the animal would be. I was surprised that the safest shot for the animal was not behind the shoulder but behind the ear. Then the stalk began.
Grandma, Roger and I all climbed into the Ranger heading to go pick out the buffalo he had in mind for me. Roger had just got some new breeding bulls so we had to be careful not to shoot one of those. We were chasing around the buffalos trying to separate the one I was planning on shooting.
Once we separated the animal where I could get a safe shot, we got out of the Ranger and I set my gun up on a tripod and prepared to take my shot. I found the spot I was supposed to aim on the buffalo. I took a deep breath, let half of it out and squeezed the trigger. Boom, the buffalo dropped before I even heard the shot. Grandma and Roger were impressed with my shot. I had hit it perfectly, exactly where they told me to!
I was so excited to have harvested my first buffalo. Thank you to my grandparents and Roger Froling for donating the hunt. It was an experience that I will never forget.