If McCulloch Hoxie struggles with anything, it’s sitting still.
The spry fifth-grader at Savannah Christian Preparatory School appears to have mastered a laundry list of outdoor skills, including fishing, camping and boating — but she’s most proud of the buck she landed in September.
McCulloch is just 10 years old, stands about 5 feet tall and can’t weigh more than 90 pounds. But judging from her results, she can already hunt with the best of them.
“I like hunting because it’s always an adventure,” she said. “Even after you shoot the deer, you still have to track it. I also like the challenge of shooting with a crossbow because you have to make sure you hit it right.”
McCulloch was only 8 when she nabbed her first buck on an Indiana hunting trip with her dad, Mark Hoxie. Even now, her crossbow stands almost as tall as she does. But over the last two years, the young sportsman has brought home two more bucks, making her one of the youngest females in Georgia to have earned such a distinction, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
And while the average person might marvel at McCulloch’s skill and strength, her accomplishments are least surprising to her dad, who owns Ogeechee Marine, the equipment and supply store off of Thunderbird Drive. Hoxie, who has hunted for 20 years, says his daughter has taken to hunting and fishing just as easily as he did when he was her age.
“It’s in her blood,” said Hoxie of his daughter. “And it’s what I’ve done my entire life and it’s what my dad did with me. And with her being around it all the time, she just loves it. Regardless, we certainly never forced it upon her.”
McCulloch is no slouch in the classroom either. Though she spends most of her free time hunting, fishing or practicing karate, she still finds enough time to stay in the 90th percentile of her fifth-grade class.
The high-powered youngster earned a coveted spot on Savannah Christian Prep’s headmaster’s list and is a recurring member of the National Elementary Honor Society. Still, it’s McCulloch’s willingness to give back that impresses her mother, Kim Hoxie, the most.
“She has such a big heart,” said Hoxie. “She’s never the type to exclude anyone from her circle of friends and she’s always the first one to reach out to new people at school. Whatever she does in life, I just want her to be happy.”
On Saturday, McCulloch passed one more milestone in her short career — she earned her black belt in karate at Daughtry ATA in Richmond Hill.
While it appears that McCulloch has a bright future ahead of her, she said that one of her ultimate dreams is to be the host of her own hunting-focused TV show.
“I’d like to be like Miss Tiffany and her husband,” she said of the Outdoor Channel’s hunting-centered “Crush with Lee and Tiffany.” “But I do really like Duck Dynasty.”