Our archery season is about open. In fact, it opens Sept. 27, in 10 days. That approaching event made me think of a hunter I know from down in Georgia. Let me tell you a little about her.
This is the story of a real outdoor woman. Not one who "pretties up" for the television cameras and has had some "foundation" work done. Not one who hunts or fishes or canoes or kayaks to prove a point. This is the story of a woman who simply loves being outdoors and simply cannot sit still anywhere other than in a deer stand, a boat, on a tractor or a riding mower. This is a woman who is just as comfortable hunting or fishing alone as she is with a group.
She is retired from the aircraft industry. I mention that only so you can get an idea of her age. I have no idea nor do I care what it is. I doubt she cares, either. She has a family and even grandkids but is perfectly happy sharing time with the wildlife and plants.
Florella Crouch may well be the best female hunter I know. For sure, one of the best of any sex when it comes to deer. When I met her, almost 20-years ago she impressed me by running to change from her hunting clothes so she could go fishing the minute she got back from a morning hunt. None of that fire has left her.
You are not likely to see her on any television show. I don't think she has the patience to put up all the trivial stuff involved. She is serious about hunting to the extent she goes no matter what the weather is like. Not so much because she wants to kill something but because she wants to be outdoors. Last winter, while I kept the fireplace warm in the lodge at White Oak, she hit the woods.
Florella has 40-acres down in Georgia. She keeps it manicured and does not hunt or should I say kill the deer on it. She feeds them as in puts in food plots but as far as I know, has not killed a single one of her bucks. She saves her shooting for a small hunting club she belongs to. As a sign of her dedication and the respect of her fellow hunters, they made her president. She is the only female member. She also killed the biggest buck there, last year.
I remember when Florella came to the very first Does and Bows hunt at White Oak Plantation. This was a hunt for women only that became the premiere hunting event for women. She spent every daylight hour either hunting or fishing. She came to every hunt we had for women only, all 13 of them. Every year, she was usually among the successful women. One year, she killed a beautiful, eight-point piebald buck and caught an 8-pound bass. She could hardly wait to change her clothes from camo to shorts and start casting.
Today, she plants her own food plots, works on the lease, hangs her own stands, blood trails and drags her deer out, scouts and finds stand locations, fishes ponds and lakes near her home in Milledgeville, GA and spends time fishing from her kayak in Florida. She is also a superb cook, makes her own jerky, wine, beer and preserves.
When she gets bored, she hits the club and works out and does some X thing that makes most men quit after a day or so. Then she comes home and manicures the grounds around her home. On her bucket list is a Rocky Mountain elk hunt. I guarantee, she will be in shape when she goes. She simply cannot stand inactivity.
Sometimes she shoots a recurve bow, sometimes a compound. She hunts with a rifle but prefers a bow for the challenge. Many times at White Oak, as the other women sat around talking or doing their nails, Florella was shooting her bow or walking the bank of the pond at the lodge, casting for bass.
It also seemed to me, every woman on every hunt liked her. She has that kind of personality. I have never seen her mad. However, I did see her correct some folks one time. For some reason, they started calling her Flo. She quickly corrected them in a nice way by just saying, "My name is Florella. Do not call me Flo."
So, I don't. You go girl!
Contact John L. Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org