His daughter Ashley is following the family tradition. "Up in the woods, Matt and I remember, we'd always be looking for something back in time, it's just a connection of finding your history." says Thompson.
For Johnny and Ashley Thompson, this is more than just opening day of buck season, it's the continuation of six generations of hunting the family land in Braxton County.
"This is a 243, it's my baby." says Ashley as she cradles her hunting rifle.
Ashley grew up with a gun in her hand, but didn't really start hunting until she was a teenager. Johnny still remembers it like it was yesterday.
"When she was 14, we were at Thanksgiving dinner, Ashley looked at me and said I think I'd like to go hunting. We came up here the next day, she sat with my dad and they got set down in a spot, she never had to move her shooting sticks and pow...she got her first deer when she was 14." says Thompson.
Her first deer, but not her most memorable....no, that would be the monster.
"The deer was probably 200 yards away and I could here it coming and it was huge and all I could see was its antlers and I shot it. I remember dad going, I think you shot a refrigerator, it was the biggest bodied deer we had ever seen up here and it was nicknamed the monster." says Ashley.
Hunting is a big part of the Thompson's life, especially here on the family land, the land that keeps this family connected.
"To me, it's just family time, we come here and just spend time with the family, I come here with my dad and granddad." says Ashley.
"It's great to bring them up and teach them something that I've grown up with, love to do." says Johnny.
You can see that love just by watching Johnny and Ashley hanging out, getting ready for opening day...another opportunity for a dad and his baby girl to spend some quality time together.
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