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Young hunters get 1st harvest

Callen, left, and Barret Funfer of Boyers show off Barrett's crossbow trophy buck.

BOYERS — Every hunter wants to recall the exciting story of the big trophy hunt, but no tale is so thrilling as a boyhood hunt and that first trophy buck. So goes the story of brothers Callen Funfer, age 10, and Barret Funfer, age 8, of Boyers.

“I wasn’t sure I was going to get anything, but I am happy with the spike for now!” exclaimed Barret who was very excited to harvest his first buck with his crossbow Oct. 23 around 5 p.m. They are fortunate enough to be able to hunt on property owned by family in Eau Claire.

The boys’ father, Chad Funfer, has been preparing Callen and Barret for this moment. His two older boys, Dakota, 19, and Austin, 17, are already seasoned hunters.

Funfer said that the boys are very excited and energized days before the hunt, but on the day of the hunt, he himself is also quite excited and hopeful for them.

“It is hard to be quiet, but when I saw that buck, I knew it was mine,” Barret said smiling from ear to ear as he beamed with accomplishment.

This has become quite a family tradition for the Funfers. “The boys enjoy hunting and spending time together in the tree stand with their brothers, uncle, grandfather, and me, of course.”

Funfer says beyond enjoying the sport of hunting, the boys gain many qualities that will help them through life including patience, hard work, responsibility, and safety. He prepares his sons by communicating with them about safety and hunting in legal and ethical ways.

With four boys to feed, Funfer and his wife Carla appreciate the venison the boys bring home, but they teach them to be selfless as well. “We typically consume only one deer per year. We donate the other deer that we harvest to the Hunters Sharing the Harvest Food Bank. Bim Slater processes the deer and takes care of the donation process,” Funfer stated with great humility and pride.

He adds that hunting also teaches them to respect nature and be thankful that they have such an opportunity to spend time bonding with the family.

Besides hunting, the boys enjoy fishing for trout and catfish in the spring and summer too, and they hunt turkey in the spring and fall as well. They have participated in local Youth and Field Day events which have motivated them to be responsible and safe.

While Callen was not successful with the crossbow this year, he says with a most positive attitude, “It is my time to shine next,” and he is ready for a big buck. He adds that he is hopeful because he says that this year, “I have a really good eyesight for picking deer out.” The boys are well on their way to finding that elusive trophy to mount on the wall.