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13-year old looking for help finding safe space to hunt

Posted at 5:36 AM, Nov 25, 2019

BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. — With hunting season well underway, a Haslett family is asking the community for help to jumpstart theirs. 13-year-old Ava Gowell loves to hunt, but due to safety reasons, she's having a tough time finding a spot to make it happen.

At the Rose Lake shooting range in Bath Township, Ava cocked her crossbow, aimed and let her arrow fly. Coached by her dad, Jeff Gowell, every single time she shot the target it was a bullseye. She’s practicing for hunting season, not knowing yet whether she can participate or not.

"I love that I can provide for them and feel like I've done something for my family and that I have accomplished a goal," said Ava.

She killed her first deer at nine years old.

"I was just like oh my gosh, did I shoot it? I was just like everywhere with it and just like woah," explained Ava.

Now that she’s older and more experienced, she has bigger goals.

"I wanna get a buck, I really want to get a buck," said Ava.

Her parents are still looking for private land for her to hunt on. They fear for her safety if she were to hunt on public land.

"You hear all these things out there especially on public land, which is why we don’t want her going out there,” said her mom Marcie Gowell.

Her dad Jeff is an experienced hunter and says he feels the same way.

"I've taken chances on state land before and I myself as an adult felt unsafe and it became sunup and I saw a bunch of orange pumpkins sitting around me and one shotgun went off and the next thing you know the whole woods lit up and I literally felt unsafe," said Jeff.

They are scrambling to finding someplace for Ava to hunt that is reasonably priced and not booked up before it's too late and the season ends.

"It's frustrating because I work so hard for this and I wanna put it to work and see if I can accomplish that, but if we don't have any land to hunt on it's hard," said Ava.

So far everywhere they've called near Haslett is either booked, too far, or too expensive. Marcie says she's gotten quotes anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 for the season.

"They don't realize its just a 13-year-old girl trying to get that experience," said Marcie.

Archery hunting season opens back up on December 1st, so they are hoping to find a spot near Haslett before then. They hope to spread awareness about the challenges of finding private land.

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