By Craig Day, The News On 6
POTEAU, OKLAHOMA -- It was a successful bear hunting season in Oklahoma. The state's 30-day bear hunting season lasted just 24-hours.
That's all it took for hunters to reach this year's limit.
News on Six reporter Craig Day went to Poteau to meet an Oklahoman who may not look the part of a bear hunter.
Kelsey Weaver is a senior at Poteau High School. She is involved in student council and plays on the basketball team. But she also loves to hunt.
"When my dad said he was going, I had to go," Kelsey said.
Not only did she try bear hunting, she succeeded, big time! Taking a black bear, weighing more than 200 pounds, with her crossbow in LeFlore County.
"I was so happy, so excited and nervous at the same time," she said.
Kelsey's father, Wes Weaver, was not surprised.
"I knew that if she got a shot at it, she would get it," he said.
Kelsey's bear hunt is the talk of her classmates at Poteau High, and among outdoorsmen across the state.
"I was so excited. I couldn't believe it that I actually killed a bear," Kelsey said.
She's also the first female hunter in the state to kill a bear during Oklahoma's new black bear hunting season.
Cindy Willis, Kelsey's mother, said the 17-year-old is still the typical teenage girl.
"She likes to dress up, she likes makeup, she likes earrings," Cindy said. "But she also likes to hunt and always has."
Oklahoma's bear population is growing. Some estimate there are as many as 800 in the state.
In 2009, that prompted the state to open a bear hunting season in four southeastern Oklahoma counties. This year, Kelsey is among 31 hunters to kill bears.
Although she has been hunting since she was four-years old, for this young lady who got her nails painted hunter orange one day before the bear hunt, this latest experience is perhaps the most memorable.
That is until her next outdoor adventure.
"Don't let anyone say just because you're a girl, you can't do something," Kelsey said.