The latest hunting trend: old ladies

Sports teams are winning games right and left thanks to little old ladies on the sidelines. Now you, too, can court (Old) Lady Luck by bringing an elderly woman along for your next hunt.
The latest hunting trend: old ladies

Featured Photo: iStock

Little old ladies are becoming a major factor in sports these days, and savvy teams are taking advantage of their luck-attracting presence. There was Millie, the 99-year-old Vikings fan who helped the team edge out the New Orleans Saints on their way to the NFC Championship game. And Loyola-Chicago’s improbable trip to the Final Four seems unthinkable without Sister Jean rooting them on. Evidence of the power of old ladies to win games goes back at least to 2013, when a pair of older women helped the Warriors win a playoff game.

Smart hunters like 23-year-old Nick McCoy of Eminence, Kentucky, are taking notice.

“I asked my Meemaw to go turkey hunting with me this year,” he says. “She’s making me take her hairdresser’s cousin’s daughter to Applebee’s in exchange, but I’m going for a Turkey Grand Slam and need all the luck I can get.”

Forty-nine-year-old Brian Hobbs of Woodbine, Maryland, found that bringing his 97-year-old grandmother along on hunts has a number of advantages.

“A lot of guys just look at it from the luck angle. They don’t even take into account the knitting factor,” he says, showing off the scarf his grandma knitted for him while they waited on stand for the buck he was after. “I’m not sure how she managed to exactly duplicate Realtree’s Edge pattern in yarn, but she did. And my neck has never been warmer.”

Thirty-two-year-old Sam Ferrante of Ludlow, Vermont, says he’s surprised it’s taken other hunters so long to realize how valuable old ladies can be in the field. He’s been bringing his great-aunt Bertie along on his hunts for three years and says he’s at the top of his game thanks to her.

“She always brings a bunch of those butterscotch hard candies in her purse,” he explains. “At first, I worried that the crinkling sound they made when she opened them would scare away the deer, but it turns out deer love the smell of butterscotch. I had a big 8-point walk downwind of us while Bertie was sucking on a butterscotch, and he came in on a string. In fact, my top three bucks taken to date have all been butterscotch bucks.”

And Shep Baxter, 29, of Sierra Vista, Arizona, says his 91-year-old great-grandmother has taken over hunt-filming duties.

“It took Gammy a little while to learn how to use the camera, but then she took a class at the Senior Center after chair yoga and she really enjoys filming,” he says. “I do have to dub music in over the video, though. Otherwise, you hear Gammy saying, ‘Is this thing on? Wait — what does the red light mean again?’”

Making the hunt more enjoyable for Grandma

If you’re interested in trying out this trend for yourself, here are a few tips to making your hunt better for both you and your favorite old lady:

1. Consider a ground blind.

Mobility issues make a ground-level sit the hunt-of-choice for most elderly ladies. But don’t limit yourself to a ground blind. If your grandmother is still spry and tells everyone she has plenty of “zip,” she may be cool with a treestand hunt. Just make sure you outfit her with a TMA-approved safety harness. (Rumor has it that some harness manufacturers are coming out with floral-print harnesses to take advantage of this trend!)

2. Plan an early dinner.

Whether you’re hunting morning and evening or sitting all day, make sure you plan to take a break around 4 for dinner. (Bonus: if you do leave the stand, your grandma should know of plenty of places with great Early Bird savings, so you can save a lot of money on your meal.)

3. Bring along something for your hunting partner to do.

Some older women enjoy crafting on stand, so hit up Hobby Lobby before you head to the woods. If your grandma isn’t into crafts, you might consider bringing along a photo album full of family pictures, or maybe just photos of her cats. The good news is that the more time you spend in the field, the more you’ll learn about some distant cousins you’ve never met. Or your grandma’s cats.

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