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


On the third Saturday morning in November, Ron Denison picked me up for his first deer hunt on a ranch near Hamilton Pool.  By 5:45 AM, we settled into a stand made for two.

About four minutes before legal shooting time, a deer suddenly snorted at us to our left.  That 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 a thick grove of oaks.   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 stand, but our primary mission was to get Ron a deer.  For Ron to shoot, he would have to lean over me, which would probably make a lot of noise.  As I mulled over the best solution, the does walked away.

In about ten minutes, we saw movement again.  It was the bigger doe.  She was behind heavy brush and trees, but again I had clear shots a couple of times.  I waited for Ron to find her in his scope, but his angle was not good.  There was a two-foot gap in the trees where the doe stood.  I felt that we might not get another shot at her and asked Ron if I could shoot.  He answered, “Yes,” and I took the shot with my Remington Model 700 in .25-06.  She dropped where she stood.

Suddenly the smaller doe, who we didn’t 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 in .30-06.  The doe jumped from the impact and ran away from us with her front legs low.  I lost sight of her in the heavy brush ten yards behind the feeder.

We decided to wait to look for her, as I didn’t want to pressure her and cause it to run further away (if she was still alive).  After half an hour we went to look for 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 ten yards beyond 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 stand to get our gear.  As we were loading it into Ron’s truck, we heard what I thought was a snort.  In about five seconds, it repeated.

We grabbed the rifles, loaded a round, 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 my 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 around ten yards further away from where I thought she had piled up.

We loaded the does into Ron’s truck and took them to the cleaning area.  In around an hour, we had them in ice chests.  We put the guts and hides in large, heavy-duty trash bags, loaded them, and headed to the designated dump.

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.  But he couldn’t find them in my A-Bolt’s scope.

The gobbler turned around and went into the brush.  In about 15 seconds, he returned.  I once again had a shot, but as I waited for Ron to locate one, the Tom went into heavy grass, and I lost sight of him.  In about ten seconds, I spotted what I thought was the first Tom, and now he had two gobblers right behind him, 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 and said, “Take it.”  I loosed a round from my Remington.  One turkey flew to the left and another to the right.

We walked to where the Tom was when I shot.  As I got closer, I saw a dark shape that looked like a burnt log.  When I was about 20 yards from it, I recognized feathers.  He hadn’t taken a step.  The Tom weighed about 20 pounds and had a ten-inch 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 and his encounter with Jesus.  Nicodemus was a teacher of the law, Pharisee (a Jewish sect that strictly observed the traditional and written law), and a member of the Sanhedrin (an assembly of rabbis appointed to sit as a tribunal).  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.’”

Jesus knew what Nicodemus would ask and provided the answer before he could get the question out.

‘Born again’ means ‘spiritual rebirth,’ or a ‘regeneration of the human spirit from the Holy Spirit.’  Being born again is where God acts to impart eternal life to a person who believes.  When we believe in Jesus and profess that he is our Lord (see Romans 10:9), we become children of God.

Nicodemus misunderstood Jesus’s statement and thought that he was speaking of physical birth.  He asked Jesus to elaborate.  Jesus explained in verse 5, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

Nicodemus still didn’t get it.  He asked Jesus in verse 9, “How can this be?”  Jesus chastised him for not understanding and then 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.’”

What Nicodemus didn’t ask is, ‘Why do I need to be born again?’  Perhaps that is because, as a teacher of the law, he knew that everyone sinned and fell short of God’s standards (see Romans 3:23) and that the penalty for that sin was eternal separation from God (see Romans 6:23).  He also knew that salvation from works and trying to keep the law wasn’t the answer.  What he didn’t know was how he could be saved.  He needed a spiritual transformation.

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.  As Nicodemus did, people visualize trying to enter into their mother’s womb as adults and know that it’s impossible.  Unfortunately, Christianity adds to the confusion as various denominations define born again slightly differently from one another.

Yes, there are minor differences, but because Jesus declared that we all must be “born again,” every Christian denomination has a doctrine of spiritual rebirth.  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 results in a new caring and receptive heart.

Have you been born again?  If you’re like Nicodemus and 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 to see heaven and experience God while we remain on earth.

Randy and his doe

Ron and his second doe

Randy and his gobbler

Ron and his second doe

Categories : Devotionals

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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.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/