Last December, we spent a day afield with Clyde Roberts, who, at then-102 years-old, was the oldest known active hunter in the country.
Christin Elliott, Clyde Roberts’ granddaughter, shared with us this story of a recent muzzleloader deer hunt with her now-103 year-old grandfather.
“We got in the stand about 3 PM; it was overcast and a good wind for the stand.
Papa can’t turn his head very far to the left after surgery years ago so he told me to watch the upper end of the food plot to his left. We watched some turkeys feed out behind us early on, which is always exciting since I love to hunt spring gobblers!
Around 4:15, I saw a doe at the far end of the field, easing through the pines with her fawn. Papa got a quick glimpse of the doe but they were feeding out of the field. Papa is one of those hunters that never moves, which is totally different from hunting with my two boys. Around 4:30, I saw the doe and fawn coming up the edge of the field into the food plot. Papa saw them and, after watching a few minutes, he said he thought the doe would be a good one to take. I whispered in his ear that we should wait since we still had time and good light left. They fed into the food plot but kept looking up the hill to the top of the field. I saw a doe slip out of the pines into the top of the food plot and held up 3 fingers so Papa would know there was another deer in the field.
I had been texting back and forth with Dad just to keep him apprised of our hunt while he was enjoying his afternoon of mule deer hunting in Montana. We had just joked about trying to keep Papa from shooting the doe! At this point, something in the woods caught my eye and I realized it was a limb moving—and then I saw his antlers. I held my hands out in front of me to describe antlers and he just smiled. I knew things were going to happen quickly, so he got the gun up and ready. Papa was so calm when the buck walked out broadside. I knew he was a great buck and time literally stood still for me. I never heard the gun go off, never saw the smoke, just watched the buck fall with one well-placed just shy of 100 yards.
Papa likes to tell everyone that I got so excited after that. Of course I did! Not only had I been able to hunt with my 103-year-old grandfather but I had witnessed him take the biggest buck of his life. Most importantly, I had the hunt of my lifetime with him! I immediately called Dad and my oldest, who is a freshman at Montana Tech. I could not contain my excitement. It was one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my hunting career. I will never forget it. Papa is still on cloud nine and I have relived the hunt every night since.
The Good Lord was definitely with us Tuesday for many reasons. We had a safe hunt, we had time together and he connected on a great big ‘ole Bedford County buck!”
A great story and inspiration for all of us who share the passion for hunting and the wonders of the great outdoors.
Clyde is a fantastic example and role model for all hunters, with his respect for the game he pursues and the many young hunters he has mentored over the years passing the treasured hunting heritage and traditions to a new generation—in Clyde’s case, several generations!