By Gary Miller
Hunting season is upon us again. In my home state of Tennessee, squirrel season opens at the end of August and dove season on the first day of September. This is a great time to introduce young and new hunters to the shooting sports. Many times deer season comes and goes without a single shot being fired. Sometimes this can be discouraging for those who are excited about pulling the trigger. These early, small game seasons, allow hunters to shoot until their shoulder gets sore. I love being the guide on these hunts.
My trips during these seasons are usually with someone who has just started hunting. It’s really enjoyable to see a smile come on their face, and the spontaneous ones are the best kind. It seems I always want to say, “I told you so. I told you that you’d love it. I told you that it would be all that I said, and more.” It’s fun being right.
I still can’t get over the feeling that I get when I enter the woods with a gun or a bow. And it’s even greater knowing that after all of my years of hunting, that feeling is never going to leave. I used to wonder if the passion would wane after a few years. After all, I have rushed in to other things only to have the newness wear off over a period of time.
Hunting has always been different. I know men that have hunted for years, who still have a hard time sleeping on the night before opening day. It’s the adult version of Christmas Eve. The visions of sugarplums are in the form of apples and persimmons. The present under the tree is a fat doe or a big buck. Our Santa Claus, however, is the true living God of creation who has given all of us the gift of rolling hills, beautiful mountains, sparkling streams, and an abundance of wildlife. I stand amazed and in awe of the masterpiece of His design. I don’t ever want to take it for granted. I'm thankful for my eyes that can see it. I am thankful for my ears that can hear it. I'm thankful that I can smell the sweet breathe of God. And I'm thankful for a mind that can't understand why He is so good to me.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org