You might remember Clyde Roberts from last year when he shot the biggest buck of his life at the age of 103 (full story here). One year later, Clyde is still climbing treestands and harvesting big bucks at the age of 104. Before jumping into his incredible hunt from this year, get to know Clyde a little bit through this great video from Virginia DGIF, it’s sure to inspire you.
The following was written by Clyde’s son, Mike Roberts, who accompanied him on this memorable hunt.
On Monday, December 4, 2017, Clyde Roberts, thought to be America’s oldest, active deer hunter, bagged his 3rd white-tailed deer of the season. Having already taken 2 does from a 20-foot treestand located on his Bedford County farm, Roberts traveled to the “Cove” in rural Halifax County where he was the guest of former NASCAR driver and wildlife conservationist, Ward Burton, and son, Jeb.
Clyde with a one of the two does he harvested during Virginia’s gun season.
Ascending the ladder into a Redneck Blind around 2:00 in the afternoon, and accompanied by his son, Mike, the elder Roberts waited patiently in hopes one of the several black bears roaming the area would wander within range. At approximately 4:00, two whitetail does walked out into the field and began feeding. Moments later, the deer raised their heads and began looking back toward the woods; Roberts whispered, “There’s something else coming!”
That something else turned out to be a coyote, which trotted out less than 30 yards from the blind. With tails raised and ears erect, the two deer nervously watched the predator zig-zag across the field until it was out of sight. No shot! For half-an-hour, and with rifle ready, Clyde kept an eye on the does as they grazed within 75 yards of the blind.
Some fifteen minutes later, Clyde whispered, and a bit too loud, “There’s a buck!” Upon seeing the does, the handsome 8-pointer’s attention immediately shifted from food to romance. Picking up his pace, the buck crossed the field and began chasing. As he pushed one doe into the adjacent weed cover, Roberts’ son stopped the action with a sharp grunt – giving Clyde an opportunity to settle the scope’s crosshairs on the animal’s front quarters. At the crack of the .270, the buck cartwheeled into the brush.
With a smile on his face, Clyde turned and commented, “Did my best to hold it on his shoulder!” A proud son patted his father on the shoulder and said, “Congratulations, Daddy, you got him!”
At the age of 104, Clyde Roberts holds his trophy buck tall.
Amazingly, this centenarian has harvested 10 whitetails since eclipsing the century mark; all but 4 of them taken with a .50 caliber muzzleloader and by a man who never hunted deer until retiring at age 65, 39 years ago! During that span, Clyde has missed tagging a buck only one year. In the early 1990s, he was unable to climb a tree or shoot because of a dislocated shoulder and 3 broken ribs – the result of an attack from a deranged, Angus bull. Roberts’ biggest buck was felled on Election Day, 2016, when his granddaughter, Christin Elliott, accompanied him to the polls in the morning and the treestand later that afternoon. What a memorable day that turned out to be!
And while his hearing is not the best, due to sawing lumber for years without protection and gamma-knife surgery required to remove a benign tumor located near the right-side inner ear, Clyde’s eye-sight remains keen. Case in point: the week before, while Roberts and his son sat watching an old field that Clyde tilled with a one-horse plow as a 10-year-old child, he pointed to a pig-nut hickory, loaded with the soft-hulled nuts (over 100 yards away), and whispered, “See the squirrel up in that tree?”
Clyde’s biggest buck from 2016
And not to be overlooked, Clyde’s deer hunting did not look promising for 2017. During August he suffered a painful gall-stone attack. Because of his advanced age, rather than operating, doctors prescribed a drug to, hopefully, dissolve the stones. The bad news was that the side effects of the 3-month prescription stripped Roberts’ of practically all physical stamina. With his son in Montana on a month-long wildlife photography, trout fishing, and mule deer hunting trip, Clyde, who could barely walk, had given up hopes of hunting.
Then, 2 days prior to his son’s return home, Clyde’s doctor took him off the drugs. Almost immediately, his strength and attitude improved. Unbelievably, this 104-year-old sportsman hunted 11 afternoons of Bedford County’s two-week season. And he does not hunt on Sunday! Even though the dejected hunter was unable to participate in the early muzzleloader season, when buck activity is at its peak, he sat patiently for hours. As has often been the case, Clyde’s patience eventually was rewarded.
Keep in mind, here is a man who still prepares breakfast each morning, drives a Chevy pickup, attends church services on Sunday, mows the yard, and works a garden. When asked about his secret to longevity, Clyde quickly answers, “Hard work and living for the Lord!” Who can argue with such?