6-year-old Ridgeland girl completes single season turkey hunting grand slam
River McDaniel is considered the youngest girl in the world to have achieved this milestone
RIDGELAND, SC (WTOC) - 6-year-old River McDaniel knows a thing or two about turkeys.
She also knows a thing or two about guns.
“That’s the turkey choke,” River explains.
Despite her age, she’s a pretty good shot, even if she doesn’t realize it.
“Oh, I missed!” River said after firing at a practice target in her backyard.
“No, you didn’t, that’s a perfect shot,” her dad Matt assured her.
A perfect shot, but still not quite good enough for this young hunter.
“I want to try again,” River pleaded to her dad.
While River is only 6, she’s been at it for a few years, in fact, she shot her first turkey at just 4 years old.
A passion for the sport she comes by naturally.
“I love hunting for everything I love fishing,” says Matt, a Wildlife Manager.
“I had no idea she’d fall in love with it, but she ended up loving it.”
She loved it so much, this past season, she set her sights on a grand slam
“A grand slam, those in the turkey world know, it’s an accomplishment where you kill all for subspecies or turkey in the United States,” Matt explains.
Which, if she achieved, by her dads’ best knowledge, “it would make her the youngest girl in the world to do so. So, once she realized that she said, ‘I want to be the best turkey hunter in the world.’ So, we set out to do it.”
Just like that, the hunt began.
“We started in south Florida in early March. When we were successful in getting that one, I said ‘okay,’ we got a little more serious.” Matt recalls, “we got our Eastern, got that in Georgia. We got that one knocked out and, ‘okay, we’re halfway there.’ We made strides to go get a Rio Grande, got that in Oklahoma and got our Merriam in Nebraska.”
River successfully completing a single season Grand Slam and like any good hunter already exaggerating a little.
“How many turkeys did you kill this year?” Matt asks.
“25!″ River said confidently.
So even though this daddy daughter duo still has the occasional daddy daughter disagreement.
Matt says whether she keeps hunting or hangs up the riffle one day, .what he’ll hold closest to him from this time…is that it was time spent together.
“I just hope she remembers the memories that we made together, and I hope she never forgets them because it’s something I’ll never forget.”
But for now, they still have plenty more memories left to make.
Matt says that River will also be honored for accomplishment at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention in Nashville this coming February.
To follow along with Matt & River on their hunting adventures you can check out their YouTube Channel here.
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