JACKSON, Miss. – It hadn’t been the best deer season for Bertha Vickers.
The Morgantown, Mississippi, woman had opportunities to harvest deer on three occasions from a blind that relatives built for her, but she didn’t get the kill shot on any of them.
Vickers was happy with the blind and its location, but not with her .243 caliber rifle.
“It’s a real good place to sit, but after I had bad luck, one of the boys brought me another gun,” Vickers said. “It’s a 7mm-08. I’d seen the gun shoot and knew it would hit.”
But again, she had trouble. Vickers wasn’t able to cock the gun, so she tried a workaround. That didn’t work either, so her granddaughter took the gun, cocked it, and shot the deer.
Her luck changed a few days after birthday.
Vickers celebrated turning 101 and was back in her hunting blind, hoping for a chance to harvest a deer.
And this time, she was ready.
No big deal
Vickers’ name may sound familiar. She was born on Jan. 9, 1918.
Woodrow Wilson was in his second term as president. World War I would soon be over and anyone who could afford a car was most likely driving a Ford Model T.
She was featured in The Clarion Ledger last year when she harvested a deer a couple of weeks before she celebrated her 100th birthday. She didn’t understand what the fuss was about.
“I don’t know why everybody is making such a big deal about it,” Vickers said at the time. “If I’d killed a big buck I could see it, but it was just a doe.”
Vickers mows her own lawn, keeps house, cooks and raises vegetables. She’s hunted and fished most of her life. She still enjoys fishing, but at her age, she said can no longer go alone.
“I didn’t get to fish any last year,” Vickers said. “I’m not as strong as I was last year. I hope to get to fish a little this year.”
Squirrel hunting is another matter.
“I killed several squirrels before I went deer hunting,” Vickers said. “I just went right around here in the edge of the woods. I’ve always gone by myself close by.”
Back in the blind
After missing four this season, Vickers was determined to bag a deer.
And when one came in view from her position in her blind, she decided to watch and wait.
“I decided to wait for a bigger one,” Vickers said. “Before long, a bigger doe came out and I shot.
“Then I saw two deer on the ground. It shot plum through both of them. They both dropped right there.”
It was her first successful deer hunt as a 101-year-old. And although completely by accident, it was the first time she’d bagged two deer in one shot.
The hunt didn’t end there for Vickers. She took part in the cleaning process and shared the meat with family.
For her, hunting isn’t about stocking up on meat as it once was when times were lean and there were children to feed. Now, it’s simply about making memories and enjoying the outdoors. It’s also something she plans to continue doing.
“When you’re as old as I am, you naturally think each one could be your last one, but I’m going to go as long as I can,” Vickers said. “I enjoy it. I love being outside.”
Follow Brian Broom on Twitter: @BrianBroom
More: Man shoots buck with two heads. One had been dead for quite a while.