GREENE — Last month, Terry Labbe’s son Jeff asked if she’d like to join him deer hunting. His granddaughter had taken to the sport. There was a chance his mom might.

“I said, ‘Well, I don’t know. I have never shot a gun,'” remembered Terry Labbe. “‘I’ll come over; we’ll (target) practice and I’ll see how I do.'”

She did well.

On Wednesday, the 80-year-old Lewiston woman bagged a small buck on her second day out.

“I’ve called everyone,” Labbe said. “My girlfriend that lives in Auburn, I called her this morning, ‘I shot a deer, at my age!’ She was so excited. ‘Send me the picture!'”

Labbe said she grew up with hunters — her brothers, her son, her husband, Dick. None had ever asked her to go out before. She surprised herself with her target practice skills, but also admitted to being discouraged when she missed two deer on opening day.


“She grabbed a hunting magazine; she says, ‘All right, you show me where to shoot that thing,'” said Jeff Labbe. Turned out, she’d been aiming a little high. “I put a crosshair mark right where she should shoot it.”

Terry, Dick and Jeff had been sitting in a hunting shack on Jeff’s property for two hours Wednesday when they spotted the buck 30 yards away. After fumbling with the safety, Terry Labbe took one breath and pulled the trigger.

“I think (Jeff) was as excited as I was, if not more,” she said. “You know, I’m 80 years old, I’ve never shot before in my life, so it was like, ‘Wow, I can still do it.’ It’s not how old you are that counts. You want to do it, you do it.”

To put Labbe in a little context, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, about 300 of the state’s 219,000 licensed deer hunters last year were 80-year-old women.

On average, for those hunters, the success rate in getting a deer was between 15 and 20 percent.

Labbe on Thursday was taking the 61-pound button buck to get butchered into steaks, hamburger and sausage. Labbe is planning on taking a hunting safety course next year, so she can get her own hunting license, not just go out on an apprentice license, and join her son in the woods again.

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Terry Labbe, 80, of Lewiston shot her first deer, a button buck, on her son’s property in Greene. She has never hunted before this deer season. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Terry Labbe, 80, of Lewiston shot her first deer, a button buck, on her son, Jeff Labbe’s property in Greene. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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