Watch “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors” and you get a glimpse of the popular country music performer’s passion for living the outdoor lifestyle. His enthusiasm is undeniable and it can be traced back to a memorable childhood moment shared with his late mother, Betty Sue Crockett.
“I grew up in an outdoor kind of family and when dad was working she’d take us fishing and hunting,” recalls Morgan, host of the popular series on Outdoor Channel. “Mom passed away last year and that makes this story all the more meaningful.”
Morgan tells the story with the same enthusiasm as if it happened now, instead of some three decades past.
It was a crisp, cool fall morning when at the time 12-year-old Morgan and his mom slipped into the middle Tennessee woods. Morgan toted a Savage 12-gauge shotgun loaded with a 00 buck shot shell, intent on using it to harvest his first deer.
The hunt would be simplicity at its finest, with no trees stands to carry or trees to climb.
“We sat down at the base of a tree and I was actually sitting in her lap, between her legs like you do when you’re turkey hunting,” he muses. “We were just sitting there quite as we could be, waiting for a deer to come by. Sure enough, a decent-sized doe came by and I took it, sitting in my mom’s lap. That’s a story you don’t hear about often.
“We hunted and did everything outdoors as a family. But mom always wanted us to know that she was just as capable of doing anything my dad could do out there. That we could count on her to go all the way with us when we went fishing or hunting.”
On this trip, she did that and more.
“Now what’s really funny about it was me helping my mom field dress my first deer, rather than the other way around,” he recalls. “Basically, I learned how to field dress a deer from my mom.”
Above all else, Morgan’s first deer story is a page taken from the chapters of a family storybook where sharing the outdoors has been the common theme for generations.