Lacomb breakfast gives hunters start to season, venue to swap stories

A crowd of about 400 enjoyed the annual Hunters’ Breakfast at Lacomb School on Sept. 30.

The hearty all-you-can-eat breakfast nourished deer hunters on the first day of the season, as well as deal hunters on their way to the some 25 garage sales in the community.

Kristy Hacker, Lacomb PTC president, said it took about 30 volunteers to run the breakfast. They raised $1,400 after expenses.

By Audrey Caro/
LACOMB HUNTERS BREAKFAST attendees fill the school gym Sept. 30.

Curt Wilcox is a life-long hunter, but that day he was just there for the breakfast.

He normally goes hunting with his three sons and his son-in-law, he said.

“Usually we avoid the first morning because there’s a lot of other people,” Wilcox said. “Unless we have a particular buck picked out and we’ve seen him before and think he might be there.”

His 4-year-old grandson, named Hunter, seems eager to join the group.

“He told me the other day that he found a gun that he’s going to buy and that he’s going to shoot a deer and a bear,” Wilcox said with a laugh, adding that Hunter did recently catch a rabbit. He let it go.

Wilcox’s grandfather, Mike Bates, took him hunting when he was 3 years old.

He learned to hunt and also engaged in a fair amount of shenanigans, he said.

One of the most memorable hunting trips with his grandfather involved his much younger cousin.

“He wanted to go with me and my grandpa,” Wilcox said.

Part of that outing included walking through a long field full of sticky mud.

“You’d take a step and the mud clung to your boots,” Wilcox said. “It was so hard to lift your feet up, it was nearly impossible.”

About halfway through, his cousin spoke up.

“He was probably about 6 years old at the time, and he said, ‘If I ever get out of here alive, I’m never going again,’” Wilcox said. “He only went one more time. That was with my brother.”

Wilcox used to go to eastern Oregon to deer hunt the first part of the season, with his grandmother Cordelia Hatmaker, then return to the Lacomb area for the rest of the season.

“We’d be real selective and shoot a three point or better in eastern Oregon,” he said. In the Lacomb area it would be something smaller.

“My grandma, she would tell us about all these deer and never shoot one,” Wilcox said. “I never saw her shoot, but she saw a lot of them. We would go where she told us to go and shoot.”

One time when Wilcox and his uncle were hunting with his grandmother, she told him her deer was off limits.

“She picked out this particular deer and told us not to go there to shoot the deer,” Wilcox said. “She said, ‘Stay away from there, that’s my deer.’”

He and his uncle obeyed and went quite a distance away from the deer his grandmother told them about.

The deer they shot had some similarities to the one she described.

“We propped it up to look like that deer and I said look, ‘Oh look what I got,’” Wilcox said.

When his grandmother asked where he got it, he told it was right where she told them.

“She got mad and said, ‘Get out of here, you’re not going to stay in this camp,’” he recalled.

She told him to stay with his uncle, but all his uncle could cook was Spaghettios, so he came clean.

He turned the deer around so she could see it was not hers.

“So I got to stay and eat good food in her camp,” Wilcox said.