Be Ready by Randy Rowley 11/25/08 ©


On a windy and chilly Friday in December, Allen Neumann and I headed to the Siller Ranch near Derby for an FCS weekend deer and hog hunt.

On the first afternoon, we hunted in a heavily wooded area.  Allen had quite a few dove and quail come to the feeder he was hunting by, but he didn’t see any game.  I also had several dove and quail come to the feeder I was hunting by; however, at dusk, I was blessed with the sight of an approximately 200 lb. boar from the neighboring ranch charging straight at my corn and Pig Out Wild Beast Bait piles.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t get through the hog-proof fence, or I would have introduced him to a Federal Nosler Partition

The following morning I decided to hunt a stand on the edge of a 200-acre open field.  The stand that I chose overlooked two feeders about 80 yards away on opposite sides of the stand and another feeder about 200 yards away.  About 7:25 AM, a doe came to the far feeder.  I put my scope on her, but I was presented with her rear.  She suddenly bolted and ran about two-thirds of the way across the field.  She was now at least 300 yards away.

She stopped and presented a broadside shot.  I lined my crosshairs on her chest and squeezed my Browning A-Bolt’s trigger.  I know that I hit her because she started to limp away slowly.  She stopped twice more, and I shot both times, with no evidence that I had hit her.  I lost sight of her as she entered some green mesquites.

A sickening feeling sprang up from my gut and enveloped me as I realized that I failed to compensate for my bullet’s drop!  At 300 yards, a 180 grain Federal Nosler Partition .30-06 bullet from a rifle sighted in at 100 yards (which mine was) drops 14.7”.  Instead of hitting her in the chest, I probably hit her leg below her vitals.

I had wounded an animal due to my stupidity and probably would not find her.  She would likely suffer and eventually be taken down by coyotes unless another hunter mercifully killed her first.

I decided to wait 30 minutes and then look for her.  I hoped that I had hit her further up and that she would lie down and die.  About ten minutes later, I saw another doe walking along a fence on the opposite side of the field.  She was about 350 yards away.  After walking about 100 yards, she came to a stop, about 250 yards away.  This time I aimed at the top of her back.  When I fired, she immediately kicked her back legs high over her head.  She ran a few yards and stopped.  I shot again.  I lost sight of her in the tall grass but marked where I thought she was.  I waited 30 minutes and then went to look for the does.  I couldn’t find either.

I gave up the search and went and picked up Allen at our agreed-upon time.  We looked for the second doe first and, after a long search, Allen found her.  She was further than I thought.  The first bullet had grazed her lower torso, doing no damage, but the second bullet hit her neck.  I miscalculated the range and, therefore, aimed too low.  After a long search, we gave up on finding the first doe.

I learned some valuable lessons that day.  The furthest shot at a deer that I had taken (and made) before that hunt was about 150 yards away, and I had never shot at rifle range targets further than 100 yards away.  I didn’t have a tool to measure the distance to my quarry accurately.  I was not ready to shoot at the first two does and shouldn’t have.  After the hunt, I invested in a Bushnell Yardage Pro 800-yard laser rangefinder and fired several rounds from 200-yard and 300-yard lanes at the Eagle Peak Shooting Range near Jonestown.

The Bible has a lot to say about being ready, including:

  • God told Moses to get his people ready to meet him. Exodus 19:10-11 says, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow.  Make them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”
  • God told Jeremiah when he called him to be a prophet to get ready to be his messenger. Jeremiah 1:17a says, “Get yourself ready!  Stand up and say to them whatever I command you.”
  • Titus 3:1 says, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 (NASB) says, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
  • 1 Peter 3:15 (NASB) says, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

But, by far, the most important thing that we must be ready for is spending eternity with Jesus.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:37-44, “‘As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.’”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

Are you ready to spend eternity with Jesus?  Are you ready to meet him in the air?  We can and should prepare for hunting and fishing eventualities, but if we don’t prepare our eternal home, we will fail as I did with that first doe (and almost with the second one) on that cold December day.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” and Romans 10:9 (NLT) says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  God has a simple plan on how to spend eternity with him in heaven – thank him for sending Jesus to take the punishment for your sins, ask him to forgive you, and ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord.


Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

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