“It doesn’t have to be in a certain order, but you have to get a moose, a deer, a bear, and a turkey. But the moose it’s like, it’s the hardest to get because you have to be drawn out of the lottery to be able to shoot it. So, that’s like the hardest thing to get.”

At just 15 years old Gracie Feeney, daughter of Sara Lacasse and Stuart Feeney, has accomplished what most hunters are unable to achieve in a lifetime- the Maine Big Game Grand Slam. Starting in September with a 222lb. black bear and continuing into October using her bow and arrow for a buck, then a 675lb. moose in Zone 4, she finally completed her goal with a wild turkey here in Zone 7.

“It was the first time I was drawn for a moose permit. I put in every year. You have to get picked out of a drawing of a whole bunch of people. It’s really lucky if you get it.”

You can say that again. For 2022, over 79,000 people put in for the much-coveted Maine moose permit and only 4080 permits were issued.

Her father, Stuart Feeney, got her and her younger sister Jozee into hunting at an early age. So, while fifteen might seem young to some, she has actually been hunting for over 5 years.

“Well, they changed the law. It used to be you couldn’t hunt until you were 10 years old. They changed it when I was 9, so that’s when I started hunting. But I had been practicing before, at a shooting range. There’s multiple around here.”


While she has never taken the Hunter Safety Course (because she is waiting until she is 16 so that she doesn’t have to take it again), she assures me she is very responsible and knows what she’s doing. “I’m very good with firearms. My grandfather was a game warden.”

From her record, it is clear to see that she is very experienced. The bear she got was the second one in her lifetime, and she estimates it was her sixth deer. The first deer she got when she was nine.

As for both the buck and the wild turkey, she got those in Rangeley, but the bear was baited at her family’s camp in Beattie, Maine.

“We have a camp where we go bait, and we had a couple of bait sites, and we just had a lot of activity this year on them. And you sit in a stand over bait for like 2 to 3 hours a night and yea, I shot that at one of those stands up near my camp.”

Besides big game, she also hunts for partridge, geese, duck, and yes, she also takes advantage of all the lakes in our area. “I love fishing. I fly fish and I do spinning rod.”

With all that hunting and fishing I wondered aloud if she had time for any other interests. “I actually quit soccer last year because I wanted to hunt more, but I play softball in the spring. So, it’s kind of the only other thing I do.”


A 10th grader at Rangeley Lakes Regional School, she says there doesn’t seem to be that many other kids into it like she is. “Not a lot of people hunt in my school.” Fortunately, she enjoys going out with her family members.

Besides her dad and sister, her stepmom, Liz Walker-Feeney, is an avid hunter. In fact, it was she who is responsible for getting Gracie’s dad into bear baiting.


As far as the moose portion of her grand slam goal, while all three of them put in for a moose permit, it was she and her stepmom who won the privilege to go out to Zone 4.

She described the area of Russell Pond Township as very remote, way up north, where there is no service.

“There are two different October hunts. We got the first October hunt which is from October 10th to the 15th. So, we only had six days to hunt, Monday through Saturday. We did a lot of walking this year.”


“We knew where the moose were, so we were kind of just walking up on the ridge. It was kind of our last walk of the day. It was getting to the end of the week, and we were kind of like getting down cause we had passed up, like we saw like 10 bulls, and some of them, we were like, ‘Oh, they’re kind of small’, but I ended up shooting one that I had seen two days earlier in the same or right around the same spot where I shot it. So, we were just kind of walking where we knew they were, but we weren’t tracking them.”

Her dad was there in case need be, but he wasn’t needed to take down her moose. “Your sub-permittee can help you shoot it… but he didn’t need to help me. I shot it with one shot. And I dropped it.” She said proudly.

“I shot on the fourth day, I think, the Thursday, and so did Liz. We shot them 10 minutes within each other.”

Astounding! I had to make her repeat it. She laughed and explained.

“We were taking photos with mine and my dad needed to go find a spot where we could easily get the moose out. And he comes running back, and he’s like, ‘Grab the gun! (She laughs), I just saw another one!’. And he called out, and it walked across, and she shot it.”

“So, we both had a moose, …” she laughed again and continued, “We didn’t think about all the work that would come afterwards!”


Yes, I had heard this before. After the glory of the successful hunt begins the laborious efforts of getting it home.

“Yea, it was a lot of work and we met three guys who helped us get them out of the woods. They were very helpful because we were up until like 2 in the morning getting them out because we had two. They were like, ‘WHERE is it?’ and we were like, “Um… HOW MANY you mean?”, she laughed.

Needless to say,the chest freezer is  now full, even after having given a lot of the moose away to family.

So, what does she hope for the future? “I do want to help the hunting community. I actually want to be a game warden like my grandfather was, and yea, I’m just kind trying to figure out what I need to do to get there.”

Speaking of her grandfather, earlier in the day, before the interview, he had come for one of his frequent visits. This time bearing a gift.

“He just gave me one of his game warden knives that he got for getting warden of the year.”

Finally, to answer the question about why she enjoys hunting and fishing so much, in case you haven’t guessed it by now.

“I don’t know. You get to like provide food for your family. It’s like giving back to your family. And, it’s just, once you get into it, it’s just the adrenalin, it’s just so much. It’s exciting. And you’re always with your family when you’re doing it. So, spending time with your family.”


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