© Photo courtesy of Sandy Lake Lodge
In their five years of existence, Sandy Lake Lodge had never seen a 95-year-old visit to hunt moose – until last week. Laura Wood of Nova Scotia proudly displayed the cow she shot last Thursday in the backcountry behind Grand Falls-Windsor.
Laura Wood of Nova Scotia has bragging rights.
Not only was she was the first Sandy Lake Lodge visitor this season, she was the first to shoot her moose – the first moose she has ever shot - and also became a first at the outfitter’s lodge.
Sandy Point Lodge in the back of Grand Falls-Windsor sees a lot of people come through their doors this time of year, but never anyone quite like Ms. Wood.
“We’ve had some gentlemen in their 80s come,” said Dick Fevens, who along with his wife Anna, owns and operates Sandy Point Lodge, located on the edge of Sandy Lake approximately 53 km by road in the backcountry behind the former paper mill in Grand Falls-Windsor. “Every year we normally have (people in their) 70s and 80s, but she is the oldest lady that we’ve had, and she’s the oldest hunter that we’ve had in by far.”
At the age of 95, Ms. Wood travelled from the Yarmouth County area of Nova Scotia with family members in an attempt to shoot her first moose.
And that she did – in one shot.
“I don’t know how many other outfitters have older people, that has got to be one of the oldest that has ever come to Newfoundland to hunt, I would think,” Fevens said. “It was just wonderful to have her here. It was amazing.”
Unfortunately, due to her family member’s work commitments, she could only stay four days, and the Advertiser missed the opportunity to meet her, as she had to fly home again on Friday.
Fevens, however, was more than happy to speak to the Advertiser about the sweet women she is, and his experience, along with guide Si Thompson, in hunting with her.
“I’m just totally amazed,” Fevens said. “We are so blessed that we had her come in to hunt with us. She left more behind than what she took away. She was that type of a person that you just loved being around.”
The moose hunting season opened last week, and the first two days of Ms. Wood’s visit were hampered by Tropical Storm Leslie, so for three of her four days hunting, they only saw a couple animals.
“The fourth morning she did get one, she got a nice cow,” Fevens said.
Fevens explained Ms. Wood as a people-person, with a very positive attitude.
“I wish all of our hunters (who) come were as positive as what she is,” Fevens said. “She’s 95, she’d hunt in the morning. We’d bring her back about 10 a.m., she’d have a little nap, have dinner, then she would want to play cards. We’d go out and hunt in the evening, she would come back, get her supper and then want to play cards in the evening. She loved playing cards. She was positive the whole time.”
Fevens said Ms. Wood has been hunting deer since she was 16 years old, and believes last year, after hunting every morning and night during the season, was the first year she didn’t get one.
She is healthy, he said, and was quite able to get along through the woods of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Ms. Wood’s son and nephew helped her during the trip, especially when it came to trekking off the road, he said, remembering one evening trip out hunting.
“We must have been 300 yards from the road and she almost made it back to the vehicle before I did,” he said.
Fevens said he asked Ms. Wood if she would like to come back.
“She said, ‘well, I don’t know. I’m getting a little old.’”
Though, he is hopeful she will return.
“When she came, her plan was to shoot two moose,” Fevens said. “The first one didn’t matter what it was and the second one she wanted horns. She never got her horns, maybe that’s in the cards for next year, who knows?”