Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, knows far more about the outdoors and shooting than pageants, runways, and crowns.
“I have five brothers, but none of them ever really wanted to go hunting, so I went with my Dad,” said Vail, one of nine siblings. “I guess that may have been one of the reasons. It gave me some great time alone with my Dad.”
Eventually the family came to Fort Riley, and later Fort Leavenworth. Vail became more of a participant than spectator.
She shot the first of several deer with a high-powered rifle when she was 14, and has had shotgun success on wild turkeys and squirrels.
A friend introduced her to archery and bowhunting last summer.
“It just feels more natural and more of a challenge,” Vail said. “I’ve just fallen in love with the whole thing.”
Last year she shot a yearling buck bowhunting by herself in Kansas. In November, she bow-killed a 150-class eight pointer in Ohio.