Monday, October 17, 2011

Too close

I am not particularly fond of ground blinds.  I have watched all four of my kids take deer out of one with a firearm.  I even arrowed a nice gobbler out of one last spring.   However, I have not had any luck bow hunting deer out of a blind.  It seems that no matter how much I try to hide the blind with brush, I always get busted by any whitetail in range.  This past week however, I decided to try a ground blind. IMG_1012

I had set this blind on the edge of an alfalfa field about two weeks ago.  Mattie took a deer that evening with a rifle.   I knew deer would be hitting the alfalfa so I thought it might be worth a shot.  The blind isn't brushed in at all but I thought that after two weeks the deer would simply ignore it.

Sam and I headed out after school and got settled in about 5 o'clock. Sam was set up in a ladder stand only thirty yards behind me.  We felt like we had a great opportunity for both of us to shoot deer.  The wind had finally shifted to the north making a sit on this field seem like a sure bet.

About 6 o’clock, I saw movement to the west.  Three deer were coming across the neighbor's picked corn field. Unfortunately, they angled too far south and jumped into the alfalfa about 90 yards from me.  Two tractors with bailers out on the highway a half mile to the south spooked them and they soon ran back towards me, jumped the fence and disappeared into the safety of the trees.

About fifteen minutes later I heard what sounded like a deer walking in the freshly fallen leaves.  Soon I noticed ears moving through the eight foot tall marijuana along the field edge.  One after the other, I soon had three fawns in front of the blind. As they fed on the green alfalfa they came ever closer and before long were a mere 10 feet away.  As I tried to hold my breath and remain motionless I saw a doe and another fawn about to jump the fence into the alfalfa.  If I could keep these fawns from busting me that doe would be at thirty yards when she hit the ground on my side of the fence.  I looked back at the fawns and saw six eyes staring at me from 10 feet away.  I could hear their breathing and see their little noses flaring.  Their whiskers were shining in the late afternoon sun.  There we were-Me hoping the doe would jump the fence while three fawns tried desperately to figure out if I was something they should be worried about.  Eventually two of them decided the answer was yes and bolted back over the fence and across the the corn field taking the doe with them. I didn't kill a deer on this night but it surely will be one of my most memorable bow hunting experiences.

The biggest difference between the doe and these three fawns was maturity.  Because they were hungry, the fawns paraded out onto the alfalfa field without any hesitation.    By the time they figured out that I was a threat, I could have easily sent an arrow through their chest..  The doe on the other hand slowly worked her way to the fence and then paused.   Experience taught her to carefully scan the field for any possible danger before jumping the fence.  The fawns survived because I decided not to shoot them.  The doe survived because of experience.

In his prayer for the Philippians, Paul proclaims that God who began a good work in them would carry it on to completion.  (Phil 1:6)  Paul’s concern was that the Philippians would grow in their faith and mature in Christ.  Through prayer, faith, and the word of God these believers would grow in their Christ-likeness.  This maturity would cause them to display the attitude of Christ. (Phil 2:5)   Maturity comes not from trying harder but simply by spending time with God and allowing him to change our hearts and minds. As we mature, we progressively become more and more like Christ.   Our challenge is to allow God to mature us as we learn to display his character.   This maturity allows us to display joy in any and all circumstances as we walk by faith rather than by sight.

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