VALENCIA — A hunter for 40 years, Mike Sippey has been unable to complete the “triple trophy.”
His daughter did so in three weeks.
Colleen Sippey, 22, of Valencia bagged an 11-point buck in Penn Township midway through archery season. A week later, she shot a turkey.
Less than two weeks after that, her father and uncles had a bear hunting trip scheduled at their cabin in Tionesta.
“I’ve been wanting to go up there for years now, but my dad always figured it was a guy thing, or I was a little too young,” Sippey said. “This time, he wanted me to go for the triple.”
Colleen Sippey had been hunting since age 12. She’s bagged a doe almost annually before getting her first buck this year.
“When she was little, Colleen used to come out with me when I hunted and just sit with me,” her father said. “She was fascinated by it. She couldn’t wait to do it.”
One of eight sisters, Sippey said half of her siblings joined her in getting into hunting.
But they lost interest in the sport by age 16 or so.
“Colleen is the one who stuck with it,” her father said. “She’s a good shot. This year’s bear hunting trip was all family, so it was a good time to bring her along.”
They were in the woods throughout a weekend, with no luck. They planned to hunt until noon Tuesday before closing up camp. Sippey shot the bear, a 148-pound two-year-old boar, at approximately 7:30 that morning.
Moments earlier, she saw a coyote about 140 yards away and thought about taking a shot at it, “but it was moving too much and I wasn’t confident I’d hit it,” Sippey said.
The bear suddenly emerged from the same area.
Rick Campbell, a hunter from Mercer, had been following The bear’s tracks in a fresh blanket of snow, chasing it down into a valley where Sippey had a clear shot.
Campbell heard the shots and continued into the valley to check for the bear.
“He helped her trail it. He was a true sportsman,” Sippey said.
“It was the first time I ever hunted bear. I couldn’t believe it,” Colleen said.
Neither could her father.
“I’ve been hunting for 40 years and still haven’t gotten a bear,” he said. “I’m always with other people when they get one ... It’s just never me.”
When his daughter shot the 11-point buck, she used the new crossbow Sippey’s children had gotten for him last Christmas.
“The biggest buck I’ve ever gotten was an 8-point,” Sippey said. “I never got anything like that 11-point Colleen shot. It was magnificent.”
When Colleen saw the buck, “I was ecstatic,” she said.
The buck and bear aren’t the biggest game Colleen has ever shot. She got a buffalo while on a hunting trip with her father in Laramie, Wyoming, in 2007.
“I had wanted to hunt buffalo since I was 5 years old,” she said. “My dad surprised me with that trip when I was 17. We drove two days out, two days back.
“It was an eight-day trip all together and we hunted just that one day. It was well worth it.”
A graduate student at Duquesne University, Sippey is working on her master’s in secondary education.
And her hunting career is far from over.
“I’d love to go back out west and try some elk hunting. I’d like to hunt a variety of game,” she said.