- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

NORTH HILLS, W.Va. (AP) - Lakyn Campbell, 11, of North Hills found it “very exciting” to shoot her first deer while hunting with her father in December.

But Lakyn, a principal’s list student at Greenmont Elementary School, pageant winner and Wood County Schools Science Fair winner, was just as thrilled that her first deer kill will help to feed local families.

Lakyn and her father, Chris, both harvested eight-point bucks on the family farm in Athens County, Ohio. Lakyn used a 44 Magnum semi-automatic rifle to fell her deer on Dec. 6, while Chris used a muzzleloader to kill a deer the day before.

The two had hunted together in 2014 and earlier in 2015 but failed to harvest a deer.

Chris said they watched Lakyn’s buck for about 20 minutes before she fired and hit the mark from 110 yards around 4:40 p.m. “It was exciting,” he said.

Chris killed his deer at 4:30 p.m. while also in a tree stand.

Lakyn said hunting is something she enjoys. “It is unique,” Lakyn said, adding most girls she knows do not hunt.

Lakyn said she is looking forward to hunting again.

Chris has hunted for many years, including going on hunting trips in 2015 to Alaska and Mexico.

The Campbells’ bucks were processed for free at Canaan Land Meat Processing on West Virginia 31 in Wood County. The processed deer meat was then delivered to Good Samaritan Center’s food pantry at Wayside United Methodist Church in Vienna for distribution to local families.

After being processed, Lakyn’s deer yielded 52 pounds of meat, while her father’s deer provided 50 pounds.

“It makes me feel good that this will feed so many families,” Lakyn said.

Barbara LeMasters, a board member at Good Samaritan Center, was pleased to get the donation of processed deer meat from the Campbells.

“It’s wonderful. We do not get a lot of deer meat. The (food pantry) clients like deer meat,” LeMasters said. “The processed meat from the Campbells will help more families.”

The center has freezers for storing meat. Monetary donations are used to buy ground beef for area residents.

The Good Samaritan Center is seeing about 85 families, or 216 people, who are seeking food each month. Food distribution takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m.

The demand for food at the center is increasing, LeMasters said. “The need is growing,” she said.

Fourteen churches in Vienna and north Parkersburg provide donations to keep the community food pantry operating at Wayside United Methodist Church. Wayside provides the space for Good Samaritan Center free of charge.

“If people are hungry, we take care of them. We do not turn people away,” LeMasters said.

LeMasters was impressed by Lakyn’s desire to help people through the food pantry. “She is a charming, personable young lady,” LeMasters said.

When asked what activity or activities she preferred, Lakyn immediately responded, “50 percent hunting and 50 percent girly girl.”

Lakyn, a fifth-grader at Greenmont School, has a long list of accomplishments on her resume. A few of these are being named Junior Miss West Virginia America, Little Miss Parkersburg Homecoming and Junior Miss Parkersburg Homecoming.

For the past two years, Lakyn has conducted a book drive at Greenmont School to help the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia and West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, said her mother, Rita.

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Information from: News and Sentinel (Parkersburg, W.Va.), https://www.newsandsentinel.com

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