Wisconsin Girl's Bear-Hunting Dream Comes True at 11
Many little girls dream of being princesses or ballerinas or meeting Justin Bieber. But 11-year-old Kaitlynn Bessette of Stetsonville, Wis., had something else at the top of the list: bear hunting.
"I'm interested in hunting and fishing," Kaitlynn told ABC News affiliate WAOW-TV.
Kaitlynn linked up last Saturday with the Pittsville, Wis.-based United Special Sportsman Alliance, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children with disabilities. She was diagnosed at birth with tricuspid atresia, a rare heart disease that blocks blood flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle.
Kaitlynn needs both a heart and liver transplant, but says she doesn't allow her ailments to keep her from doing the things she loves.
"I was thinking I was going to not see anything and I'd have to go another day, [but] I felt thankful, like really thankful I shot a bear," she told the station.
Kaitlynn and her family have not responded to requests for comment; nor has the United Special Sportsman Alliance.
Her biggest dream came true, she told WAOW, when she single-handedly killed the 335-pound bear, shooting it right in the heart. "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," she said. "So I held the gun as steady as I could, I turned my head and then I shot."
After learning that her daughter had killed a bear, Amanda Bessette said it took a while to register. "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," Bessette told WAOW.
Kaitlynn's father, Seth Bessette, said, "She's a good kid. I'm really proud of her."
The family plans to mount the bear on the wall to keep the memory alive.