Miss Charlotte' completes turkey slam

"When I was probably 8 years old, all my little girlfriends wanted to play with their baby dolls. I wanted a BB gun. I liked to be outdoors," she says with a laugh. "On one of my first dates with my husband, we went quail hunting. I've always been very active, not at all sedentary."

Not at all.

Businesswoman and philanthropist though Houser may be -- she has sat on the boards of several charitable and health-related institutions in Brevard County -- her passion is the outdoors, and not merely to tramp in the tall grass and view sunsets. An accomplished angler, she is positively lyrical when she describes the joyful serenity of fly fishing in Canada and Ireland. Her tales of hunting deer and elk in the Great Northwest are the stuff of travelogues.

So last year, when someone mentioned something called the "grand slam" of turkey hunting, she was game, and this spring, having traveled the country to do so, Houser shot a gobbler from one of each subspecies of wild turkey found in this country. The Florida wild turkey fell in Osceola County; the Rio Grande, in Texas; the Merriam's, in Wyoming; and the Eastern, in Georgia.

Not bad for a "70-plus" great-grandmother with arthritis and eye problems who calls it her turkey quest.

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