Bedford County native considered oldest American hunter dies at 105
According to the Virginia Whitetails, Clyde Roberts, 105, native to Bedford County, died Tuesday.
The Virginia Whitetails announced his death on
, writing: "He inspired so many more of us in the outdoor world than he could have ever imagined...We've all enjoyed watching the amazing journey of Mr.Roberts, far past triple digits."
EVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) These days hunting is primarily done as a sport. But back in Clyde Roberts' time, being a hunter was providing for your family to eat food to survive.
"I worked hard and accepted the Lord when I was 16 years old," Clyde said. "That's the secret to life."
If anyone would know a secret to life, it's Clyde. He's 103 years old.
"I don't feel 103," Clyde laughed. "I feel about 85."
Roberts was born on Oct. 29, 1913. At 7 years old, he stopped going to school and went to work for 75 cents a day. When Clyde was 25, he bought his first car -- a 1929 model Ford for $137.
"A quarter then would have bought a little somethin' but now a dollar won't buy anything," Clyde said.
Working and going to church were really the only memories Roberts' son Michael had of his father Clyde in the early part of his life.
"The free time he had, other than going to church, was all about putting a roof over our heads and food on the table," Michael said.
At 65 years young, Clyde retired.
"I wasn't going to do a lot of sittin' after I was retired," Clyde said.
At that time, Clyde had a lot of time on his hands, more than he really knew considering how much longer he lived after 65, so he was thankful his son Michael introduced him to trapping and deer hunting. There are more than 9 family photo albums full of Clyde with a number of foxes, coons, possums, beavers, bobcats and other animals.
"It's just like Christmas time," Clyde said. "You didn't know what you were going to have."
Clyde also loved deer hunting.
"I just like to be up in a tree stand and when one comes out I like to shoot it and see him drop," he said, eyes lit up with excitement.
No need to sugarcoat it. Clyde likes to kill bucks. He says on average he'll get three a year. If you do the math that's more than 100 deer so far. But it's taken more than a century, or a Clyde Roberts lifetime, for him to get his finest achievement as a deer hunter.
Last summer, 103-year-old Evington native Clyde Roberts asked God for one thing.
"Last summer, I asked God to give me the strength to get up in my tree stand and kill another deer," Roberts asked God. "And he did."
Clyde brought down a more than 200-pound monster eight-point buck. His biggest ever. I asked him if he was nervous and he told me "no." Clyde says he usually is but with this one it was different.
"My hand was steady and I dropped him," Clyde spoke proudly.
And all it took was 103 years to accomplish. Well done Clyde.