Hunting has long been a rite of passage on the American continent, even eons before the European settlers began traipsing about with muskets and dogs.
And, as with all good American traditions, it’s awfully hard to set aside the age-old ceremony of the hunt. Men and women of all ages will find themselves interested in the primal and thoughtful relationship with nature that hunting can provide, with an increasing number of youngsters deciding to give it a go in recent years.
For one woman in Mississippi, however, hunting is nothing new. In fact, she’s been bagging deer and squirrel for decades, and recently brought home a sizable doe just days before her 100th birthday.
Meet Bertha Vickers.
“‘I was sort of shaking until I got ready to shoot. I didn’t think it was all going to go right.’
“Fortunately, everything did go right. Vickers touched off her .243 Winchester rifle and her shot was perfect.
“It was also a shot that was heard around Facebook. A photo was posted of her with the doe and messages of congratulations to the centenarian poured in. Although she has little knowledge of computers and social media, family members showed her the reactions on Facebook. They were reactions that only a woman like Vickers would not be able to understand.
“‘I don’t know why everybody is making such a big deal about it,’ Vickers said. ‘If I’d killed a big buck I could see it, but it was just a doe.'”
And what kind of future does the centenarian see for herself in the sport?
“‘I’m going to do just what I want to do,’ said Vickers. ‘I’m going to fish more than I did last year.’
“‘I would love to kill a buck. I can’t hunt in this cold, but it will warm up.'”
Bertha’s optimism is something that all Americans with a hunting background could use on those chilly days in the deer stand, or those rainy mornings on the bass boat.