The Lake Uno Mas Hog Hunt by Randy Rowley 8/3/08 ©


On a Friday evening in April, 16 friends and I left Austin for a hog hunting and work weekend.  We arrived at Artesia Wells four hours later.  We only had 15 miles of dirt roads to travel and then we would be at our destination – the Uno Mas Ranch.

Unbeknownst to us, it had rained heavily where we were going and the dirt roads were now mud.  Paul Wilson’s truck drowned out after a mile, followed by several vehicles getting stuck, and missing a turn three times.

Four hours later, at 3:00 AM, Kevin Font’s SUV got stuck to both axles in front of a cattle guard.  The men from five of the vehicles decided to pitch camp next to Kevin’s truck and await daybreak.  Paul and I decided to try to find the ranch.  We thought that we found it but weren’t sure so we camped by the side of the road until morning.

Saturday began with the men from the main caravan freeing Kevin’s SUV and continuing their trek.  However, Steve Watkins’ truck became stuck after a mile.

Paul and I found the ranch and then went back to the caravan to show them the way.  We decided to abandon four of the two-wheel-drive vehicles on the side of the road and shuttle the men and equipment the remaining four miles to the ranch in the two four-wheel-drive vehicles.

We arrived at the ranch around 11:00 AM, ate lunch, and rested.  Around 1:00 PM we began to scout the 10,000 acres and put out corn.  I took two first time guests – Tim and Jesse Price with me.  I had left my rifle back at camp because the ranch hand told us we wouldn’t see any hogs until dusk.  Tim and Jesse had the foresight to bring their rifles along.

As we were driving along we saw a bunch of dark animals in a field a couple of hundred yards ahead.  Our binoculars revealed a herd of about 30 adult hogs and several piglets!

We stalked up to about 100 yards from the pigs, who were happily grazing, and oblivious of our presence.  Tim and Jesse knelt by a wooded sign and used it as a rest, making sure that they picked out different hogs.  They agreed to fire on the count of three.  On “three” there was a simultaneous Kaaaaabooooooom!  Pandemonium ensued with hogs running in every direction!

Some of the herd ran in front of the hunters in Randy Slagle’s truck, which managed to get a couple shots off.  We looked for blood but couldn’t find any.

Later, after we took the hunters to their stands, good results were achieved.  Keith Miller downed a 210 pound boar with a 120 yard lung shot.  Kevin Font downed a boar only slighted smaller than Keith’s with a better than 200 yard head shot.  He also shot a 100 pound sow with a 198 yard neck shot.  Two other hogs placed themselves in harm’s way but were missed.

After dinner, we began to drift off to sleep around 11:00 PM.  However, we were awakened around 2:30 AM by an approaching thunderstorm.  We decided to get the heck out of Dodge and quickly packed.

Due to limited seating, some of the men had to wait at the ranch with some of the equipment for later pick up by the two four-wheel-drive vehicles.  At 8:30 AM, Randy’s truck made it back to the ranch, and that was only because Larry Dowden pushed it the last two miles.  Much of the equipment and Randy’s trailer had to be left at the ranch.

As we were heading down the dirt road, Randy’s truck started to slip off the road.  Four of us climbed a barbed wire fence and pushed Randy’s truck to keep it from sliding into the fence.  We finally made it out to the highway around 11:00 AM.  The entire exodus from the ranch to the highway took over eight hours.

Incredible as that sounds, it was only by God’s protection that all seven vehicles were able to make it out of the slop (although Steve Watkins’ truck would only run in low gear and I would need a new differential in my Jeep a few months later).

It’s a good thing that we left when we did because the storm dumped around two inches of rain.  If we hadn’t left, we probably wouldn’t have made it out for a week.  None of the seven vehicles escaped from being stuck during the weekend and Randy’s truck wouldn’t have made it back to the ranch without Larry Dowden pushing it the last two miles.  Yet throughout this entire ordeal no one got mad, not one unwholesome word escaped anyone’s mouth, and no one attacked anyone.  We were discouraged certainly, but there was an absence of outward sin.

Did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about trials?  For example, James 1:2-4 (NLT) says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

James did not say that trials were joyful.  Instead he taught that it is our perspective of trials and how we respond to them that will ultimately result in perfection and completeness.  What we should consider as joy is the opportunity to develop endurance or patience.  It’s all about our attitude.  Trials can teach us lessons that we would never learn without them and can make us stronger Christians.  If we did not have trials, we would remain weak, baby Christians, who are unable to take on greater responsibilities from God.

Peter echoed James’ teachings on joy during trials in 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NASB), except for a different reason.  He wrote, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”  If we share in his sufferings, we will also share in his joy.  “To the degree” implies that those who have shared more of the sufferings of Jesus will rejoice more at his coming in glory.

When trials happen to us in public we must always remember that people might will be watching us to see how we react.  If a car rear ends us, what will we say to the other driver?  If someone insults us will our response be edifying?  If we’re treated unfairly by a peer in a team meeting will we strike back?  How do we react when we’re falsely accused?

Far too many of us react in the same manner as those who belong to Satan.  We forget Ephesians 4:29 (NLT), which says, “Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”  We also forget James 1:19-20, which says, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

We react in such a manner because we haven’t completely yielded every area of our lives to God.  We’re willing to let God guide us, but if things don’t go our way we want to be able to throw a hissy fit.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, ““Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.””  People are either going to be drawn towards God or they will move further away from him based on our reactions when we experience trials.

After the Uno Mas hog hunt I had a conversation with Jesse.  He told me that our response to the trials that we faced on that hunt was the main reason that he and Tim joined FCS.  He said that no one was cursing or displaying a bad attitude and no fights ensued.  To be sure, getting vehicles unstuck only to have them become stuck again certainly wasn’t fun but we handled the trials in a Christ-like manner.

Shortly after that hunt Tim accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord!  His name is now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Tim possibly wouldn’t have made that decision if he had seen men who professed to be Christians react badly to our group trial.  If we hadn’t let our light shine, if we had reacted like those who do not know Christ react, Tim might never have met Jesus.

How do you respond to trials?  Do you react in a way that would make your heavenly Father proud?  If not, I encourage you to surrender this area of your life completely to him.

Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

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