In the Sportsman’s Paradise, there’s no more time-honored family tradition than hunting trips. They create indelible memories for a lifetime, along with establishing priceless values for the youngsters, as they venture into the great outdoors, in pursuit of waterfowl, deer, squirrel, hogs, and even alligators. A great day in the woods or on the water is within a short trip for nearly everybody so inclined in Louisiana.
At 13 years old, Kaylee Ann Stacy of Natchitoches has been there and done that, and then some. Her parents, Russell and Mary Edith Stacy, are most comfortable in camo. Along with a love of all that Louisiana offers, they are avid big game hunters. Once they determined their only child loved hunting and adventure, and was worthy of the opportunity, there were no borders for Kaylee’s passion.
Before she began tackling algebra, Kaylee enjoyed numerous hunts with her folks around the globe. She has stalked wildlife across North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. “I love to hunt with my mom and dad. I’m pretty different and I do different things,” she said in a recent interview.
Kaylee has harvested many impressive animals, notably greater kudu, Moluccan rusa deer, chamois and Himalayan tahr. She already is a life member of seven hunting conservation organizations, which promote safety, awareness, wildlife conservation and life skills such as respect, patience and self-discipline.
The eighth-grader at the NSU Middle Lab School is exceptional in many ways. Her grades are top notch, earning her Junior Beta Club membership, and her skills playing the violin are first rate in the school orchestra. Kaylee is a cheerleader and finds time for involvement with 4-H and citizenship and community volunteerism projects.
On Jan. 10 in Dallas, she takes a place on one of hunting’s biggest stages by accepting the Dallas Safari Club’s 2020 Colin Caruthers Young Hunter Award, presented annually for hunting and academic achievement along with community service and leadership. “It’s pretty cool. It’s kinda shocking,” said Kaylee. “It’s pretty special. Not many 13-year-olds get this chance. “I want good grades. Hunting is really important to me also.”
The Stacys are all life members of the Dallas Safari Club (visit the DSC website at biggame.org) which, through its foundation, funds conservation grants annually such as elephant and lion projects in Africa, desert bighorn sheep restoration in North America, anti-poaching projects and more.
Time will tell if she takes a place next to Natchitoches’ most famous hunter, the late, Grits Gresham, host of ABC’s “The American Sportsman” for 13 years and the first outdoorsman enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. At this stage of her life, Kaylee Stacy is undeniably making quite a name for herself and having a blast every step of the way.