OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Searching for A "Promised Land" in Deer Hunting
By Gary Miller
I was determined to locate a good place to put my tree stand; away from any other hunter. I was hunting on private property but others hunt there as well. It’s large enough for several people but I wanted to make sure I was far off the beaten path. I was willing to climb, crawl, and creep until I had found my “promised land.” I loaded my lock-on tree stand and my stacking sticks on my back and headed up the mountain. The first 300 yards was almost straight up the hill with an occasional bend. I knew most hunters would be unwilling even to go to these extremes.
But I was not satisfied. After a few more turns, I was standing in a saddle that was an obvious, deer travel, corridor. I studied the situation a few minutes. (I really just needed to rest.) Then after some soul-searching I determined I needed to go a little farther, around the next hollow. I wanted to be sure I would be alone. By now my shirt was soaking wet and my legs were feeling the extra weight of the tree stand. I moved about 50 yards below a thicket, just above the crest of the hill.
When I made it to the other side, I noticed a nice flat. I weaved my way through the mountain laurel until I reached the center of that small flat that was loaded with plenty of signs of deer. I made it! I knew I was at a place that no hunter had ever been. Heck, I doubt if even ole Daniel Boone himself had ever set foot on this virgin territory. I quickly located a perfect tree where my stand would go. I set the stand up, put the stacking sticks together, and strapped everything snuggly to the tree. I climbed up, looked around, and noticed an odd shape about 40 yards away. You guessed it……. another tree stand! I wished I had brought my chain saw!
Sometimes in our lives we think we too are at a place where no one has ever been. We think we are alone in our situation or circumstance. We feel that nobody has ever faced the trouble we are now facing. The fact is there is nothing new. Someone else has been where you are. Some details may have been different but the place is the same. Our consolation, however, is not in the knowledge that someone else has walked in our shoes, but our consolation and comfort is in knowing that if we’ll look around we’ll find the Lord has already been there too, just waiting for us to arrive.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.