OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Turkey Hunting in the Mountains
By Gary Miller
Turkey hunting, where I live, is not for the faint of heart. Even though there are some easy places, much of the hunting I do is in the mountains. Our mountains are not like the Rockies but they are also not like the Deep South. The highest peak is about 3,000 feet. Needless to say, to traverse the ridges and valleys in search of turkeys can be a very exhausting experience. It seems if I’m on this side of the hollow, the bird is always on the other side. So, here I go down in the depths of the hollow on this side only to climb up to the top of the ridge on the other side.
By the second week of hunting I’m in great shape. What I have noticed, however, is the view is always better the higher I get. And not only is the view better but it’s that particular view that always lingers in my mind. I never think about the wonderful sites in the small, dark valleys but the picturesque landscape from the top of the mountain remains permanently ingrained in the recesses of my mind. I often think of the possibilities of getting lost when I keep climbing and climbing. You know, it’s easy to do that when we’re so wrapped up in getting to the top. You can get so turned around you lose your bearing. The experts say when this happens to find a water source and follow it down stream. Downstream? You mean to find where I’m at, I have to go down? You mean down in the hollows? You mean down in the valleys? You mean down where it’s dark and where the view is limited and confined? I guess so.
Sometimes we all get caught up in climbing higher and higher in things other than hunting. We get wrapped up in the possibilities and what my lie just ahead. In the climb, sometimes, we lose sight of whom and what we are and where we are as well. It’s at that time the Lord has to awaken us and bring us back to Him and to ourselves. How do we get there? In the valley. But don’t fear the valley, because it’s there where He always shows us the way back home.
Gary Miller has authored three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations. Gary can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.