A teenage girl in braces, jeans and rubber boots that look like they were ordered from her mom's home and garden catalog totes a shotgun that seems disproportionately large for her small frame.
She carries it with a careful confidence, the muzzle pointed at the ground as she trails a pointer zig-zagging through the tall grass and ducking into brush in search of a whiff of pheasant.
Several young teenagers are spread across a field waiting for a rooster pheasant to blast out of a thicket, their cue to fire those heavy shotguns they've been lugging around.
Suddenly, it happens. They hear a snare-drum beat of flapping wings as a pheasant clears the trees. Its long tail, green head and gaudy plumage are a tempting target, but neither hunter raised a gun toward it. The bird flushed behind them, where the adults were trailing, and firing at the bird would have meant shooting in their direction.
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They did the right thing, passing on the shot because safety is more important than bagging a bird.
Youth hunts teach more than hunting. They teach responsibility, and they give kids a head start on adult decisions. They've been drilled that guns can be deadly, and a shot fired can never be taken back.
The bird disappears over the trees. It will be there another day. The dads, sons and daughters talk about it. There's no trace of disappointment that they didn't get a shot at a bird they had walked miles to see.
The dogs went back to work. Dads followed. Surely beneath their gentle smiles was a source of pride that their kids made the right choices.
Their young bodies will grow and those shotguns will change from an unwieldy piece of wood and steel to an extension of their arms and eyes. There will be plenty more hunts for pheasants and other game in the future, and going hunting will mean special time spent with dads, siblings and friends.
On the drive home, kids will chatter about what happened, and dads will get nostalgic as they remember when they were a kid in the backseat.
Birds may have been bagged, or maybe not, but memories were made as young hunters took careful first steps toward adulthood.