FRUITA--Ava King is only six, and she already knows what she wants to do for a living. She’s pretty certain about it.
The first grader, who is the opposite of shy, says she wants to be a professional elk hunter.
“She would go every day if she could,” Shawn King, Ava’s dad, said.
Ava has been shed hunting, which is looking for antlers, with her dad since she was two. Hunting came a bit later.
“It’s pretty much all I want to do,” Ava said.
Recently, she decided she wanted to learn how to call elk, so she did what most people do when they want to learn something. She looked at YouTube and started practicing.
“I kind of sounded like an elk when I first started,” Ava said. “Now I sound just like an elk.”
Ava practices the boomingly loud calls in the front yard, and in the house with her dad. Her mom, Tiffany King, is the one stuck in the middle.
“She’ll be in her room, and he’ll be in our room, and they’ll call back and forth,” Tiffany said.
That practice came in handy at the World Elk Calling Championships in Salt Lake City, UT, in March.
She came in fourth place in the Pee Wee Division. Now she is thinking about competing in a similar competition in Denver early 2019, but even sooner than that, she wants to help her dad during hunting season.
“She sounds like an elk—there’s less of a chance she can sit still like and elk,” said Shawn, as he watched Ava draw with sidewalk chalk, ride her scooter, dance, and do cartwheels.
For now, Ava is happy to just spend time with her dad.
“I think he’s the best dad in the world,” Ava said.
It is a mutual admiration society in the King household.
“She’s very much a daddy’s girl—she’s more than I could have ever thought,” Shawn said.