OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Scouting for Early Deer Hunting Has Changed
By Gary Miller
My early season deer scouting is different now than it was when I first started hunting them. In my early years the plan was to slowly move through the woods while looking for any signs of deer activity. I thought if I saw deer droppings or rubs on trees, I could hunt in that area. My mindset was that I had found a travel area and if I set my stand up along that path, I would catch the deer moving from one place to another. And while there is some validity to that plan and while it may work on occasion, I later discovered this was not the best way to find deer. I quit looking for where they might be and instead began looking for where I thought they were going. It seemed a lot less difficult to wait on them to come to me than constantly pursue their every move and location. As a result, I began looking for the places they liked to feed. In the early season it was most likely a newly planted field or an oak tree. When I began to scout this way, my success of seeing deer in my tree stand changed immensely.
I’ll digress a minute as I think of those who wish to harm our children with guns – the bad guys. It seems to me sometimes, our approach has been like my former way of scouting. We want to find signs of activity and even get rid of their method of harm, instead of just waiting on them where we know they are going. Anytime I see “weapon-free campus” signs, I don’t feel like that campus is more safe. I feel more vulnerable and I feel like my children are more vulnerable as well. I’ll leave it there and pick my previous thoughts back up.
Much like my new way of scouting, I also think the best way to approach my Christian life is not to look so much for the signs of where God has been but for the signs of where he might be going. And I’m not sure where he might be going will always be within the safe confines of what we call “church.” While I love being around those of like-faith and while there are great needs and burdens that must be shared and cared for, I think especially if we look at Jesus, the destination of God will be just as sure in my local jail, homeless shelter, food kitchen, recovery center, and even in the atheist club on campus. I know. I’ve been there. And I have never felt the presence and power of God greater than in these places. Are you a God chaser? Are you only interested in catching the breeze from where He has been? While you may enjoy the stories of success, you’ll never be part of one with that method.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.