How many times have you thought you knew someone, only to find out they had a surprising secret?
For some who think they know Tyler’s Melvina Buie, that may exactly be the case.
After first meeting in the eighth grade at Tyler’s Roberts Junior High, Melvina and Herbert Buie married in 1948. The couple has traveled the road of live everywhere together since…including into the deer blind.
Even in their 80s they have continued that hunting tradition this fall, with Mrs. Buie again taking an 8-point buck on the Robertson County lease they have been hunting for 45 years.
Mrs. Buie grew up in a non-hunting family that moved from Mount Vernon to Tyler when she was 12. She didn’t start going hunting until about 60 years ago, first just because her husband went. That, however, evolved over the years into her becoming the bigger hunter of the two.
“I just started going with him early on, sitting there and hunting with him. Then I got into it by myself in my own blind,” she said.
“I got her into it, but she is better at it than me. She takes it a lot more serious than I do,” Buie said, noting the two have always hunted just deer and always in Robertson County.
Mrs. Buie continues to use the same .30-06 rifle her husband bought her in 1956 at Mac’s Gun Shop.
“What a shot she is with that .30-06. This year they said there is a shortage of shells, but I said that won’t bother her,” Buie said. “She shot two shells this year, one at the range and one through the shoulder of the deer like one of those guys in those hunting magazines.”
A large caliber rifle like a .30-06 packs a wallop, but it is a kick Mrs. Buie is willing to endure to have her faithful rifle on hand.
“I have a rubber kick pad, and I brace it pretty good on the deer blind shelf and just hold it tight against my shoulder,” she explained.
Based on the number of mounts at their home, his office at Tyler Packing Co., and the antlers stacked on the back porch, hitting the target is not a problem. In fact neither could remember a year she didn’t take a buck in the one-buck county.
Mrs. Buie said apparently the ability to shoot comes naturally since she didn’t come from a shooting background.
“She doesn’t let anyone touch her .30-06,” Buie said. “She is a good shot. When I can’t hit with my rifle, she takes it out and shoots it at the range we have and will hit the bull’s eye on the first shot.”
Through the years the Buies have also gone from hunting in the same blind to having separate blinds. That is certainly a good way to maintain a happy marriage at the deer lease.
“I can go anytime I want,” Mrs. Buie said of the two-blind arrangement.
“She is very particular. When we get to the stand she says I don’t want anyone to spit, don’t slam the doors or anything,” Buie said, adding his job has been reduced pretty much to taking her to the blind and picking her and her deer up.
In the early years Mrs. Buie would take grandkids and sometimes her dog to the stand. Today she is more likely to just take in the natural surroundings.
“I just sit there and drink coffee and wait until I see the deer come out and watch them. I just enjoy sitting out there,” she said. She will carry a book or maybe a hunting magazine to while away the hours waiting on the deer.
To date her biggest buck is a 10-pointer with a 21-inch inside spread that holds a place of honor on the wall at their home. It is still considered the best deer taken by a large group of friends that hunted together over the years.
Buie said the couple is lucky that they continue to have good health which allows them to continue to hunt. Getting up at 4 a.m., part of their daily regimen is a morning workout. He said not only is Mrs. Buie still able to pull the trigger, but she also helps loading her deer into the hunting Jeep.
Mrs. Buie said hunting is a hobby other women should try.
“I would say just go and sit in a blind. Watch and learn to enjoy watching the deer. I just enjoy being out like that. It is peaceful,” she said.
And she isn’t ready to stop.
“I plan on doing this as long as I can,” she said.
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