A Deer Hunter is Born by Randy Rowley 2/8/19 ©


On the third Saturday in November Ron Denison picked me up for his first deer hunt.  We proceeded to a ranch near Hamilton Pool that Ron had been invited to hunt by the landowner.  By 5:45 AM we were settled in a double deer blind.

About four minutes before legal shooting time a deer suddenly snorted at us to our left.  This was surprising because there was no wind, we weren’t making any noise, and we were wearing full camo including mesh facemasks.  We found two does in our binoculars, one bigger than the other.  One or both continued to snort at us intermittently, about 25 yards away in the woods.   It soon became legal shooting time and I had a clear shot at the bigger doe.

But I had a dilemma.  She was on my side of the blind but our primary mission was to get Ron a deer.  In order for Ron to shoot he would have to lean over me, which would probably make a lot of noise.  As I mulled over what to do the deer walked off.

In about 10 minutes we saw movement again.  It was the bigger doe.  She was behind heavy brush and trees but she once again gave me a couple of shots.  Again I waited for Ron to find her in his scope but the angle was not good.  Where the doe stood there was a two-foot gap in the trees.  I felt that we might not get another shot and asked Ron if I could shoot.  He answered yes and I took the shot with my Remington Model 700 .25-06.  She dropped where she stood.

Suddenly the smaller doe, who we did not know was there, took two steps out from the brush and gave Ron a perfect broadside shot.  He took it with my Browning A-Bolt .30-06.  The doe jumped from the impact and ran away from us with its front legs low.  I lost sight of her in the heavy brush 10 yards behind the feeder.

We waited 30 minutes as I wanted his doe not be pressured and run further away.  After half an hour we went to find our does.  We found mine first, right where I had shot her.  We then went to where Ron had shot his doe and found a very heavy blood trail.  We found her about 10 yards past where I lost sight of her.

We tagged them, dragged them to the dirt road, and went to get Ron’s truck.  On the way back we stopped by the blind to get our gear.  As we were putting it into Ron’s truck we heard what I thought was a snort.  In about five seconds we heard another one.

We got the rifles, loaded a round, and leaned against Ron’s truck and waited.  The deer continued to snort intermittently.  All of a sudden a doe walked right out in the open.  She started to walk towards heavy brush, but Ron foiled her escape with the A-Bolt.  She ran straight away and fell behind a bush.  I was pretty sure that she was down so we didn’t wait this time.  We found her about 10 yards further from where I had seen her go down.

We loaded the deer and took them to the cleaning area.  Within an hour or so we had the three deer in ice chests.  We put the guts and hides in large heavy duty trash bags, loaded them, and went to dump them.

As we drove down a dirt road I saw some dark shapes in a grove of trees.  Ron stopped his truck and my binoculars confirmed what my eyes had told me – turkeys!  We quickly got my guns out of their case.  I used the hood of Ron’s truck as a shooting rest.  I had a shot at a Tom that was walking away but waited for Ron to pick one out also.  But he couldn’t find one in his scope.

My gobbler turned around and went into brush.  In about 15 seconds it returned.  I once again had a shot but as I waited for Ron, the bird went into heavy grass and I lost sight of it.  In about 10 seconds I located what I thought was the first Tom and now he had another Tom right behind him.  They were walking away from us.  There was only about a one-foot gap in a group of trees and brush and I told Ron that I had a shot.  He still couldn’t find them in his scope and said to take the shot.  I let loose a round from my .25-06.  One turkey flew to the left and another to the right.  I feared that I had missed.

We went to where the Tom was when I shot.  As I walked across the field I saw a dark shape that looked like a burnt log.  When I was about 20 yards from it I recognized feathers.  The bird hadn’t taken a step.  It weighed about 20 pounds and had about an 11” long beard.

I’ve had more productive days afield but regard this as one of my best.  Besides killing my first turkey, I got to hunt with a good friend and witness the birth of a deer hunter.

John Chapter 3 tells the story of Nicodemus, a teacher of the law and Pharisee, and his encounter with Jesus.  John 3:1–3 says, “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.  For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”  Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.””

Nicodemus took Jesus’ answer too literally.  He asked Jesus to elaborate.  Jesus explained that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Our bodies (flesh) give birth to new flesh, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Nicodemus still didn’t get it.  He might have thought, as many Pharisee’s did, that he was entitled to the kingdom because he was a physical descendant of Abraham.  He asked Jesus in verse 9, ““How can this be?””  Jesus chastised him for not understanding and finally spoke very plainly in verses 16 – 18, ““For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.””

Jesus emphasized in this passage and several others our need to have our hearts reborn spiritually or to be born of the Spirit.

Just as with Nicodemus, there is much confusion today over what it means to be “born again.”  The term became popular in mainstream society in 1976, when Jimmy Carter, who said he was a “born-again Christian,” was elected the 39th United States president.  People visualize like Nicodemus did trying to enter into their mother’s womb as adults and know that it is impossible.  Adding to the confusion, unfortunately is the fact that many people who claim to be born again live lives no different from those who do not believer in Christ.  Christianity adds to the confusion, as various denominations define born again differently from one another.

Yes, there are differences, but because Jesus declared that we all must be “born again” every Christian denomination has a doctrine of spiritually re-birth.  The Lord said in Ezekiel 11:19-20 NLT, “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them.  I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations.  Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.””  Being reborn spiritually awards us with a new heart of flesh.

Have you been born again?  If you’re not sure, I encourage you to read God’s Trophy Room.  Just like on that cold November day when a deer hunter was born, we all must be born again in order to see heaven and experience God while we remain on earth.

Randy and his doe

Ron and his first doe

Randy and his gobbler
Ron and his second doe
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