After watching “A Day Afield with Clyde Roberts, 102-Year-Old Hunter” last fall, I thought to myself, My, how awesome it would be to still be hunting at the age of 102. The short video was darn right inspiring and good for the soul.
Now, one year later, at the age of 103 Clyde is back at it – still climbing up into treestands and still killing big bucks.
Below, Christin, Clyde’s granddaughter, shares the exciting account of their hunt together that resulted in a big ol’ 8-point buck!
Story by: Christin Elliot | Clyde’s Granddaughter
A little background…
Papa (Clyde) retired at the age of 65 from Rubatex in Bedford, Virginia and took up trapping and deer hunting as a hobby. He bought a lifetime hunting license for $5! He turned 103 on October 29th, 2016. This hunt was super special to me because I was also born on his 60th birthday, am his only grand-daughter, and love hunting as much as anyone in my family, but spending that afternoon with him will forever be one of my most special memories!
Christin, Clyde’s granddaughter, proudly holds up her papa’s big buck for a picture that will undoubtedly be passed down through generations. (Photo by: Allen Bailey)
We had planned to hunt on opening day, but his buddy was celebrating his 80th birthday and Papa wanted to attend the celebration, so we decided we’d go on Tuesday.
When Tuesday rolled around, it was no ordinary Tuesday, it was Election Day. Like any true gritted American, Papa really wanted to vote, so my youngest son and I picked him up and took him to the polling station. Did you know Trump will be the 18th President in Papa’s lifetime?!
After we got back from voting we got ready to head over to his stand. We got in the stand around 3 p.m. and the skies were overcast and we had a good wind for this particular stand location.
103-year-old, Clyde Roberts, poses for a picture with his biggest buck to date.
Papa can’t turn his head very far to the left ever since having surgery on a brain tumor 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! At about 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 while sitting, which is totally different from hunting with my two boys. All of a sudden around 4:30 I saw the doe and fawn coming up the edge of the field into the food plot again. Papa saw them and after watching a few minutes he said he thought the doe would be a good one to take.
I then 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 three fingers to let Papa know there was another deer in the field.
I had been texting back and forth with Dad just to keep him updated on 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!
Clyde stands behind his giant Virginia buck!
At this point, something in the woods caught my eye and I realized it was a tree limb moving. . .then I saw his antlers! I eased Papa’s gun up for him and since he hadn’t seen the buck, I needed to let him know it was a good buck without moving or yelling. I held my hands out in front of me to describe the 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 100 yard shot from his CVA Acura.
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!
Once I knew the buck was expired I got us ready to get out of the tree. Papa went down first and told me to go on and check on the deer and he would take his time getting over there. I immediately called Dad and my oldest son, who is a freshman at Montana Tech. I could not contain my excitement!
Once they saw the first photo, they understood! The buck had only gone about 10 yards into the woods after the shot. If he had gone another 5 yards he would have gone over a 20′ embankment! Thank goodness that didn’t happen. I drug the buck back into the food plot so Papa could get a good look at him without having to walk any further. As he was walking down the field and saw the buck, he began to thank the Good Lord. It was one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my hunting career. I will never forget it. Papa is still on cloud 9 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 Bedford County buck!