73-year-old Brenda Smith proved that you're only as old as you feel this past September when she bagged a bull moose that weighed close to 1,000 pounds near her home in Ashland, Maine. The kill would be impressive for a person of any age, but the fact that Brenda had been fighting a nagging shoulder injury for a long time, and that the kill shot was taken at nearly 300 yards--uphill--makes her story even more extraordinary.
At 5-foot, 2-inches, Brenda might not initially seem capable of such a remarkable feat. However, she’s been hunting all her life (mainly birds), and says her eyes had been set on getting a moose for quite some time. Here she is, drawing her tag for the moose.
Brenda drew her moose tag here, at a lottery in Fort Kent, near the Maine/Canada border.
The day of the kill, September 29th, was cold and rainy. “That’s what it’s like year-round up here,” Brenda joked. But once she and her hunting partners reached the high elevation of the Maine forest, the weather luckily cleared. The sun came out and blue sky appeared.
The moose was shot in a clearing (pictured here). Aside from the thin strip of road in the background, Maine’s undulating hunting country is visibly lush and undisturbed.
The tricky part was getting the moose from the woods to the truck. Luckily, Brenda had help.
“The antlers are a wonderful color of brown,” says Brenda, who plans to have them mounted on maple.
Not bad for someone who turned 73 this week.
Despite the moose’s notable size, Brenda was unimpressed with the pelt. “It really wasn’t a pretty hide,” she said. However, she did keep the meat. She filled two big freezers with half of the meat, and the other half went to her hunting partner. The 16-point rack is currently being mounted by one of Brenda’s good friends.
Carting out the moose on a flatbed truck…
“It’s a wonderful way of life. I love living up here,” Brenda says of the Maine wilderness.
It might look like litter, but all those soda bottles were actually filled with ice to keep the moose cool before it was hung.
Brenda and her hunting partner, Ron Grover, pose in front of the kill.
The rack was 42-inches, when all was said and done.
When she’s not hunting, Brenda lives a quiet life with her husband, who is in the lumber business. A lifelong teacher, Brenda currently works with troubled children and stays busy trying new things. “I think you have to try everything in life,” she says. “Don’t ever stop at anything unless it’s unsafe.” Special thanks to Brenda Smith and her daughter, Robbin, for the photos.
73-year-old Maine woman bags thousand-pound moose.