Miss Kansas bags buck during bow hunt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Miss Kansas traded evening gowns for camouflage when she went out on a deer bow hunt this winter in southeast Kansas.

Theresa Vail joined a December hunt in the Pratt area organized by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, JB Outfitters and Realtree Outdoors, which taped the hunt for a television show, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1jg2AgM ).

“I like to hunt, and I’m not going to hide that. A woman can enjoy being out there bow hunting just as much as a man can,” said Vail, who was also the first Miss America contestant to reveal her tattoos during the national pageant’s swimsuit competition.

Vail, 23 and a sergeant in the National Guard, has been a hunter since her dad introduced her to the sport when she was 10. She took part the hunt to get a chance to shoot a trophy buck.

“I think a lot of people have preconceived notions of what a beauty pageant queen will act like,” said Vail, who was scheduled to be the featured speaker at the Hunter’s Expo in Overland Park, which ended Sunday.

Vail bow hunted for three days in cold, wet conditions with Realtree’s David Blanton. Vail got her shot at an 8-point buck in the final hour on the third day.

“I have only been bow hunting for a year,” she said. “I had taken a couple of does, but I wanted a big Kansas buck. This was a thrill.”

Vail majored in chemistry and Chinese at Kansas State before she became Miss Kansas. She said she probably won’t immediately return to school after her reign as Miss Kansas is over. She’d like to get a job in the outdoors industry, possibly with her own TV show on hunting.

She also speaks to groups about bullying and her love of the outdoors and expects to be busy after she steps down as Miss Kansas.

“For one thing, I’m going to do a lot more hunting,” she said.

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