Betty Cantrell became just the second Miss Georgia to win the legendary Miss America title Sunday night and the first from the Peach State since 1953.
My wife and I were flipping between the pageant and men’s final of the U.S. Open. Miss Alabama, Meg McGuffin, was fourth runner-up so we were trying to keep up with the final announcement. Of course, my mind was wondering, with a dozen or so beautiful and talented women in the finals, how many of them might be hunters or anglers. All came from states with great hunting legacies including Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and West Virginia.
Well, what do you know? Cantrell does hunt and that’s pretty doggone cool. She told The Macon Telegraph that she grew up on a farm and her father is a big hunter.
“I always went hunting with him when I was little,” Cantrell said, “so I learned to skin a rabbit, clean a deer, all those great things that every girl should know.”
Bazinga! That makes two Miss America finalists in the last few years who are hunters. Theresa Vail of Kansas, a 2013 Miss America finalist, also enjoys hunting and archery, which she explained in this DDH “I’m A Deer Hunter” feature. Vail parlayed that love of the outdoors into several endorsement opportunities and now has a television show, “Limitless with Theresa Vail” on Outdoor Channel.
Cantrell told the Telegraph she still enjoys hunting when she has the chance to go. She is a student at Mercer University in Georgia, and her duties as Miss America will keep her busy for the next year until her reign ends. Perhaps she and Vail can find the time to get into the woods for some hunting this season.