A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Her First Deer @ 65
“We’d bring my friends along and he’d give us guns, but they were never loaded,” she said. “We weren’t serious about it. We were more interested in talking to each other and having a good time.”
As an adult she went turkey hunting with friends, who valued her skill as a caller more than a shooter.
“I can make a sound like a turkey. I never shot a turkey,” she said with a laugh, before making a pitch-perfect turkey call.
Finally, at 65 years old, Drake got her shot and found her killer instinct. The special education teacher at Beechwood Elementary School bagged the first deer of her life on Dec. 5, while hunting with her boyfriend Ray Bottin.
It was a moment a lifetime in the making.
“It’s thrilling. The hunt, the anticipation and hoping you’ll see a good deer, and then shooting it, it’s exhilarating,” Drake said. “I’ve always enjoyed being out in nature. (Bottin) gave me this opportunity to go, and I was tickled to death.”
Drake and Bottin had been out all afternoon on PawPaw Island on the first Saturday in December. As dusk began to fall, the deer started to emerge from the woods near their stand and Drake had her chance to finally get one.
Two does walked into the clearing as Drake lined up her shot. She’d shot guns at the range before, and dove hunted — with a loaded gun — as a child, but never shot a rifle with a scope. That presented its own challenge.
“I told her to put the cross-hairs on his shoulder. She asked, ‘What are the cross-hairs?’” Bottin said.
Drake figured it out and, from 90 yards away, dropped one of the does with a perfect shot from the 7mm magnum. Her doe weighed 140 pounds, and the gun felt like it kicked with the force of a mule.
“It’s healed now, but I had a big bruise on my shoulder. I wish it was still there. I was proud of that bruise,” she said.
After taking her first doe at an age when most hunters are ready to slow down, Drake is ready to make up for lost time. She and Bottin are planning another hunting trip next weekend, and she’s already planning on taking down another deer.
“I’m going to get me a big buck,” she said with a laugh. “A big buck, with a big rack.”
Courtesy of The Vicksburg Post