I belong to Two Creeks Hunting Club in Jackson Parish, sharing a camp with my good friend, George Seacrist. The camp located adjacent to ours was formerly occupied by another member of our club. While getting dressed for the daily hunt, we'd pull on our camo pants and shirts. This hunter in the camp next to us would walk out dressed in a camo skirt. This hunter was Elizabeth Seacrist, George's mother, a spunky little lady who garnered the nickname of Calamity Jane, a moniker we shortened to simply "CJ".
Some ten years ago, I wrote an article about this special hunter and how she came to love the sport. Here are excerpts from that article...
"Ruston's George Seacrist had a preconceived notion about his mother. He knew she loved to cook the squirrels he and his dad brought home, but never in his wildest dreams did he know that secretly, his mother wanted to be included in the hunting party. In other words, she wanted to hunt....
"The week before squirrel season opened this year, my son, Phillip, and I were sighting in our guns for season opening when this lady showed up. She wanted to shoot so I decided to patronize her, assuming that she would soon tire of the event, the recoil, the dirt and gun powder. To my surprise, this lady was a crack shot. She indicated that she would really love to go hunting with us, and after she put two rounds in the bull's eye at 100 yards, I couldn't tell her no," Seacrist continued.
So, George did what any obedient son would have done; he took his mom squirrel hunting.
"On this trip, CJ shot her first squirrel and I was there to witness it all," Seacrist recalled. "As I guided her, I had memories of my dad taking me hunting as a youngster. I was constantly reminding CJ to watch the direction of her gun's muzzle, be careful stepping over logs, walk quietly - the same things my dad taught me."
As the seasons progressed, CJ developed a hunger to pursue more challenging game and she became interested in deer hunting; her keen accuracy with her rifle brought down several deer.
A couple of years or so ago, CJ wasn't able to come to the club as often because her health began deteriorating. Eventually, she became a resident of a long term care facility as the ravages of Alzheimers disease began robbing her of her cognitive abilities.
Even though she couldn't remember the names of club members with which she shared many days at the camp, she still wanted to go deer hunting. George, ever a faithful son, would pick her up and bring her to the camp and he'd sit in a deer stand with her. Amazingly, one day last season, she had something to tell when she returned to the facility; she bagged a fat doe that morning.
CJ's battle ended one morning this week when she drew her final breath, just 15 minutes after George arrived from his job in Mississippi. It was as if she clung to life just long enough to spend her last moments with her hunting mentor, her son.
Here's a final quote of George from my article of ten years ago....
"As a young boy I admired her expertise in cooking the wild game we brought home; her skills in the kitchen brought out the best of all flavors. Little did I know that her real longing was to get to hunt those critters even more so than the cooking part."
My friend George is mourning the loss of his mom. However, when he sits in his deer stand this fall, the spirit of a spunky little lady wearing a long camo skirt will be right there with him.
May you rest in peace, Elizabeth "Calamity Jane" Seacrist. Our club won't be the same without you.
(In view of the arrival of Hurricane Isaac with its potential impact on north Louisiana, heavy rains with lake wind warnings in effect all over, this week's fishing report will be simple – batten down the hatches and stay inside until this thing moves away from us. Should our area be clear of the effects of the storm by the weekend and early next week, look for things to return to normal. There are several bodies of water that have gotten very low and have been in serious need of rain. Therefore, the overall effect of Hurricane Isaac could have some positive benefits.)
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.