11-year-old girl's bear hunt dream becomes a reality - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

11-year-old girl's bear hunt dream becomes a reality


Bear hunting season is slowly coming to a close in Wisconsin. One girl from Stetsonville took advantage of it, killing a 335 pound bear. But this wasn't any ordinary hunt.

Kaitlynn Bessette is only 11 years old. Bear hunting has always been her dream, and she's not letting her disability get in the way. A non-profit organization made it possible for kids with disabilities like Kaitlynn to hit the outdoors. Making her dream, a reality.

"I felt thankful, like really thankful I shot a bear," said Kaitlynn.

Kaitlynn was diagnosed with Tricuspid atresia when she was born, causing her to need a heart and liver transplant. She's still waiting for that, but it hasn't stopped her from doing what she loves most.

"I'm interested in hunting and fishing," said Kaitlynn.

"I think I knew it, but it just didn't sink in until she called me and when she called me it was amazing, I started instantly crying," said Kaitlynn's mother, Amanda Bessette. 

Her wish was granted last Saturday. Kaitlynn went out on a bear hunt in Junction City. She says she was expecting to go home empty handed, but that wasn't the case. With one shot to the heart, Kaitlynn got this 335 pound black bear.

"When I looked through that scope I didn't see it as a bear, I saw it as a 300 pound lion that's about to attack you, so I held the gun as steady as I could, I turned my head and than I shot," said Kaitlynn. 

The hunt was made possible by the United Special Sportsman Alliance. It's a program that helps children with disabilities do the things they've always wanted to do.

"I was thinking I was going to not see anything and I'd have to go another day," said Kaitlynn.

"I'm definitely proud of my daughter, she has been a wonderful blessing," said Amanda.

"She's a good kid, I'm really proud of her," said Kaitlynn's father, Seth Bessette. 

Kaitlynn says she's thrilled with how the hunt turned out. And it's something she'll always remember. The day her wish finally came true.

The family hopes to mount the bear on the wall, to keep the memory alive.

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