ST. MARY’S, Penn. – Sister John Paul Bauer, a teacher at Elk County Catholic High School in Saint Mary’s, Pennsylvania shot a 10-point buck early this week.
Over a million views on Facebook is extraordinary, but Sister John Paul is amazed at the attention she is getting.
“In St. Marys, this is what you do,” said Sister John Paul. “You go hunting. And everybody goes hunting. The coach, myself. The students.”
On opening day of deer season Monday, Sister John Paul waited alone in her tree stand for about three hours for a possible target to wander by.
While she waited, she prayed the rosary.
Shortly after, a herd of doe arrived, followed by two big bucks.
She bagged the largest one, a 10-point buck with a 16-inch spread.
Was it divine intervention?
“I’ve always prayed the rosary on the tree stand,” she said. “That’s a tradition. You get up in the morning, you pray the rosary in the tree stand. So, I just think the Blessed Mother did smile upon me.”
Growing up, Sister John Paul was never invited to hunt with her father and brothers.
She learned to shoot while serving in the U.S. Navy.
She returned to St. Mary’s as a nun and a hunter.
She says there is something spiritual about hunting.
When you’re up on a tree stand, you’re still, you’re quiet,” Sister John Paul said. “You listen. You watch as the frosty ground just becomes alive. It’s like creation all over.”
Sister John Paul has read a few Facebook posts criticizing her, the nun who slayed a beautiful animal.
She says it’s more about conservation than the thrill of the hunt.
She says without the deer harvest, the animals would starve.
This was the third deer Sister Bauer said she has shot since she began hunting.
Sister Bauer said she also brought home a bear during hunting season five years ago.