Whitesburg KY

Struttin’ Time:

It’s left up to youth to save our sport

It is a well known fact in and around Letcher County that I am very good friends with a fat man who wears a red suit, has a beard of white, and visits every house at a certain time of year.

This is his story, as told to me. Many years ago he was in the Hemphill area and happened upon two twins, one a boy named Tanner Collier, the other Tanner’s twin sister Taylor Lynn Collier. They were seven years old.

As pictures were taken and gifts were opened from Santa’s bag, Santa knew these little ones would be someone special. Tanner was born with some problems, but has never let that slow him down. He always has a smile and tries harder than any child I know to make this journey we call life the best it can be. Taylor Lynn has always been by his side. Now 17, she is a junior at Letcher Central High School and an avid hunter.

Taylor has been hunting for several years and has taken some nice deer with a firearm. This season she decided to extend her woodsman-ship and started archery hunting. I was looking on my Facebook page the other day and there she was with her first deer with a bow. I have been writing for years that for our sport to survive we need to get the youth outdoors and teach them the way our forefathers lived and ate.

It is a sad state of affairs when kids grow up, forget the fat man in the red suit, and think, “Was that who I thought it was years ago?”

Santa’s heart will mend and my heart will rejoice because I know Tanner and Taylor will do just fine. When you see Taylor, tell her you saw her name in the paper. It will bring a smile to her face, I am sure.

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