Getting up early so that you can be in your tree stand before daylight to harvest your trophy buck, happens thousands of times a day during hunting season. An hour after the sun rises and the warmth begins to sink in, the tug to take a nap or head back to camp begins to compete with the desire to stay alert and put in the time to have a successful hunt. An unfair game changer is when your 90 year old mother spends the night at the hunting camp and you know she has bacon and her famous french toast waiting for you as soon as you arrive back at camp. I repeat…unfair..unfair….unfair…even for the most ardent and committed hunter!
Mom grew up on a Plant City, Florida farm complete with cows, chickens, horses, citrus and an outhouse. She learned that whatever she shot, she had to eat. Times were hard but she was part of that “greatest generation”.
Iris Larson working in the family strawberry field
She graduated from college, married and eventually settled in Central Florida where she and her husband, Robert, raised their three kids. Together they worked their way up the financial ladder, first through hard work in the citrus and drainage industries and later, through the tourism industry. In 2002, they were inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame.
As Dad got older and his eye sight began to fail, Mom would go hunting with him as his spotter. It was well known among most family members (Dad would never admit it) that she was the best shot with a 22 rifle. Once on a family vacation, she used a mirror and shot backwards over her shoulder to hit the target. After Dad passed, her trips to the hunting camp were very limited so it was with great excitement for us when she recently accepted an invitation to join her two sons and two of her 13 grandchildren at the hunting camp for an overnight stay.
Mom on Swamp Buggy
That evening, everyone went to their tree stands but Mom went with me in the swamp buggy to a large open field where we could glass for deer. It brought back a flood of memories for her. Later, we had steaks and spuds for dinner. As always, great conversation and laughter filled our camp kitchen. Right before bed, she whipped me in three hands of rummy.
Then, before I knew it, it was 6:30 in the morning and I was sitting in my tree stand surrounded by darkness and thinking about that trophy buck. And that my friends, is where it starts to get fuzzy. Somehow over the next hour our so, the thought of bacon and french toast began to taint my thoughts. I still wanted that buck but I began to doubt that he would show up anyway. About an hour after daylight, we were headed back to camp and boy were we met with a wonderful smell…BACON! I’m sure every deer in the county knew what was for breakfast. That smell was so strong that a gallon of Scent-A-Way would have been needed to become one with nature once again!
Mom Cooking Bacon
Randy, Cal, Mom and Taylor in their Wroxx Gear
The next hour did not disappoint. We did not get our trophy buck but the grand kids got to be around their grandmother and reminisce about old times, including all of those french toast breakfasts she used to make for them. Given the choices, I think we made the right decision. In this case, time in the kitchen was more important than time in the stand. Don’t you agree?