Haw Creek Outfitters is owned and operated by Jeremy Barton. Jeremy is an 8th generation “Florida Cracker”. His great grandfather, Andrew “Drew” Tucker and great grandmother, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Tucker lived in Fort Christmas, Florida in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Drew ran about 1800 head of cattle, sold hides, and farmed citrus and potatoes. Lizzy ran a local general store and raised nine sons, two of which died at a young age of the whooping cough.
Throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the US government enforced a mandatory policy for cattle ranchers to “dip” their cattle every 14 days due to the fever tick eradication. Dipping meant to push cattle through a large “vat” filled with insecticide to kill ticks and hopefully eliminate the disease. For large ranchers like Drew this was very costly and taxing to dip 1800 head of cattle every two weeks.
In 1931, Drew decided to move his family and all of his cattle just north of the mandatory quarantine line which is near present day State Road 40 and into Flagler County. Jeremy’s grandfather, Raymon Tucker was 17 at the time. Raymon and his younger brother, Gilbert, who was 14, took a year off from school and all by themselves took two cattle drives from Christmas to Flagler County, along Haw Creek, near present day Cody’s Corner. Each trip took about three weeks and was about 100 miles one way, this included crossing the St. Johns river. There were no fences during this time, so for seven months Raymon and his brother Gilbert lived in a tent in the woods to prevent the cattle from heading back south toward Christmas. It was during these seven months that Raymon and Gilbert trapped raccoons, sold the skins to their father, and sold the meat to locals. Their father then sold the hides to clothing factories in the northeast. They then used this money to buy their own herd of cattle not common for teenagers in this time period.
Drew owned and leased around 40,000 acres of land in Flagler and Volusia Counties at this time. Drew passed away from an accident while working cattle in 1939.
Raymon continued his father’s passion of cattle ranching and created Haw Creek Ranch. Raymon accumulated several thousand acres of land in Southwest Flagler County. He also established several herds of pure bred beef cattle and raised some of the fastest quarter horses in the United States. He raised six daughters, one of whom is Denise Tucker Barton, Jeremy’s mother. Raymon passed away in 1998, but his legacy lives on. Jeremy was taught that same hard work ethic by his father, Craig and mother, Denise growing up that Drew taught his sons. Jeremy and his wife Jill still live on this same property that holds some of the best Osceola Turkey hunting in the state.