Wounded by Randy Rowley 5/1/08 ©


On the first day of February, eight friends, my son, Ryan, and I headed for a weekend FCS hog hunt with Texas Wild near Cross.  I killed two hogs – a 175 lb. boar and a 120 lb. sow, David Chalmers killed a 140 lb. boar, and Tim and Jesse Price both killed 50 lb. sows.  First-time guests Eddie Lee Toohey and Jim Bob Cohenour missed a sow, or we would have bagged six.  Still, with five hogs killed, it was our second-best hog hunt up to that date.

Jimmy Cohenour, a first-time guest on that hunt, was skunked.  After hunting two other ranches with the same results, Jimmy decided to develop his own hog ranch.  He bought 100 acres bordering the Colorado River near Blessing, installed an electric fence, except along the river, and then offered semi-guided hunts on it.  I decided to give it a try.

Ryan, his friend, Kelvin Cheung, and I arrived at Jimmy’s ranch on the evening of Ryan’s 18th birthday.  Jimmy’s 14-year-old son, Jim Bob, who ran hunting operations, recommended stalk hunting, but we asked to hunt from stands, as it would soon be dark.

Shortly after getting into their stand, Ryan and Kelvin had a herd of hogs come to their corn and hog bait.  A medium-sized boar fed on some slop just ten yards away from their stand.  Ryan shot it in the head with his Remington Model 7600 in .270.  Ryan was very excited as this was the first big game animal that he had killed.  It weighed 152 pounds.  We skinned, gutted, and quartered the hog, and then went to bed.

The following morning Jim Bob put me by a large fallen tree and told me to use it as a shooting rest.  He then went to a swampy area that the hogs liked to attempt to drive some towards me.

In a few minutes, I heard the unmistakable sound of several animals running through the woods.  A herd of about 50 pigs ran broadside about 40 yards in front of me.  Thinking that I would not get a better opportunity, I took a shot with my Remington Model 700 bolt-action in .25-06 and hit a medium-sized hog.

Ryan and Kelvin (who were observing from a 52-foot-tall stand) saw the hog lie down and reported that fact via our two-way radios.  Thinking that the hog had expired, Jim Bob and I went to retrieve it.  That proved to be a big mistake, as the hog ran off into thick woods, likely because he heard us coming towards him.

I despise wounding birds and animals.  I’m known to look for a wounded dove for half an hour – while ignoring dozens more that are flying over my head.  I believe that I am responsible for retrieving the wounded creature, and if it is not dead, dispatching it quickly.

God said to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28b (NKJV), “‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’”  Part of the responsibility of having dominion is to make quick kills to prevent suffering.

I was sick about wounding the hog.  I was also mad at myself for not giving it at least half an hour to expire, as it had laid down and not piled up.  I was also kicking myself for taking the shot with my rifle when I had my
Fabarm Red Lion II 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun with a 3-inch chamber and a full choke right beside me.  The fifteen .33 caliber 00 buck pellets that each shell contained would have been a much better choice for shooting at a running pig at that range.

We looked for the hog for several hours to no avail.  Twice I had the herd running broadside ten yards from me, but I didn’t take a shot because I didn’t see the one I had wounded.  Shooting another hog was out of the question at that point.  It would have delayed my responsibility to find the pig that I had wounded and quickly dispatch it if it was not dead.  I didn’t want the wounded hog to continue to suffer while I selfishly skinned, gutted, and quartered another.

But there comes a time when one must admit defeat.  We searched for another two hours.  Discouraged, I concluded that we were not going to find the wounded hog.  Not wanting to go home empty-handed, I reluctantly decided to resume hunting.

Jim Bob and Kelvin went to hopefully drive some pigs towards Ryan and me as we hid behind some big trees.  They soon flushed a herd of hogs that first ran towards us, but then veered and headed towards a hill.  I ran up the hill, angling towards them.  When I got to the top, they ran across my bow about 20 yards away.  I chose a decent-sized hog and nailed him with my shotgun.  He ran about 50 yards and piled up.  I was sure that he was dead, so I didn’t wait.  He weighed 135 pounds.

Seven days later, Jimmy informed me that they found the hog that I wounded and finished him off.  As I suspected, I had gutshot him.  I was greatly relieved that he was no longer suffering.

Did you know that we have a commonality with that wounded hog?  We’ve all been wounded as well, at least emotionally.  Many of our wounds were suffered during childhood.  Even children raised in the best homes and who attended the best schools and churches still suffered wounds because sinful people raised them.

Although friends, relatives, and strangers inflict some wounds, fathers mete out most of their sons’ wounds, and mothers impose most of their daughters’ wounds.

Some wounds are the result of neglect.  Often they are the result of a father working mega hours to support his family.  He leaves for work before his children rise, and when he finally drags himself home, he’s too tired to spend any time with them.  He doesn’t want to hurt his children, but being an absent father wounds them, regardless.  Women usually don’t share the same workaholic disease that men do, but they can neglect their children by getting too involved with social groups and even ministries.

Children in such homes often believe that if they were more intelligent, more athletic, better looking, or more lovable, their parents would want to spend more time with them.  They often believe that they are the reason for their parent’s absence.

Other wounds are very intentional.  These wounds are often inflicted by parents trying to re-live their lives through their children – to try to make up for their failures when they were young.  For example, a father who wasn’t a star quarterback tries to make his son into one.  And heaven help that boy if he wants to play in the marching band instead of play football.  Or a mother who wasn’t very attractive as a child tries to make her daughter into a beauty queen.  If her daughter can’t take the pressure, she finds herself alone and rejected.

Parents who have this mindset try to pressure their children into getting with the program.  If a child still refuses to get on board, their parents might resort to threats, actual punishment, and even psychological, verbal, and physical abuse.

Before long, the child starts to believe that the names that his parent is calling him are correct and acts out.  Sometimes children in such situations have extreme reactions.  For example, a boy repeatedly called a wimp by his dad overcompensates and becomes a bully.  Trends become routines – routines become habits – habits become a way of life.

Regardless of how we received our wounds and how deep they are, there is hope – and that hope is Jesus.

We need to acknowledge to ourselves and God that we are wounded.  We need to ask him to heal us and to make us new.  Jesus said in John 14:13, “‘And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son’” and James 5:13a says, “Is anyone among you in trouble?  Let them pray.”  However, we’ll never come to grips with what happened and be entirely healed unless we forgive the one who inflicted the wound.

When we are ready to be healed, we must acknowledge that the wound hurt us and continues to hurt us, but we forgive the one who wounded us.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, “‘For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’”

When we don’t forgive the one who wounded us, we often think that we’re getting back at him or her.  But in reality, we are destroying ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Bitterness can make us very sick and even kill us.  Emotional consequences include having hatred in our hearts and losing balance.  Spiritual results include losing our joy and peace and even becoming unable to grow in Christ or be used by him.

If you’ve been wounded, I encourage you to forgive the one who hurt you, regardless of whether he or she is asking for forgiveness.  When we forgive, we set the captive free, and later, to our surprise, we learn that the captive was us.



Buckshot recovered from Randy’s hog

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