This nun was never asked to join her dad and brothers to hunt so she is now making up for lost time. She feels hunting is a spiritual endeavor and believes thinning the herd is the best thing for animals. If you ask me, she’s pretty awesome! 

No-nonsense Catholic Sister John Paul Bauer bagged a big deer days ago and is drawing fire from some on social media.

An image of the Pennsylvania woman on the Facebook page of the Erie Catholic Diocese has gone viral and attracted more than a million views.

The nun, a teacher at Elk County Catholic High School in Saint Mary’s, shot a 10-point buck.

“In St. Marys, this is what you do,” she said. “You go hunting. And everybody goes hunting. The coach, myself, the students.”

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On opening day of deer season on Monday, she 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. That’s a tradition,” she said. “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, she was never invited to hunt with her father and brothers.

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She learned to shoot while serving in the U.S. Navy and returned to St. Marys as a nun and a hunter.

She sees something spiritual about hunting.

“When you’re up on a tree stand, you’re still, you’re quiet. You listen. You watch as the frosty ground just becomes alive,” she said. “It’s like creation all over.”

Sister John Paul has read a few Facebook posts criticizing her as the nun who slayed a beautiful animal.

She says it’s more about conservation than the thrill of the hunt, and she says without the deer harvest, the animals would starve.


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