By Rev. Terry D. Carter
My love for hunting and the great outdoors began when I was a young boy in the flatlands of The Natural State, in central Arkansas. You see, I grew up in the country beside a man I loved and honored very much, my grandpa Carter.
He hunted for the sole purpose of feeding his wife and 10 kids. He harvested numerous deer long before the days of stylish camo clothing, scents and high-tech tree stands. And he did it the old-fashioned way: Go to the woods and harvest a deer, or go hungry this winter.
I remember sitting on his front porch on cane bottom chairs for what seemed like hours as he told me hunting stories.
Over the years, my calling led me into full-time ministry/preaching, but my love for hunting never diminished. At every chance I would escape to the woods to hunt white-tailed deer.
One of my more memorable hunting adventures took place in an area I’d bowhunted for a couple of years. Big buck sign was plentiful there. I placed my tree stand at the corner of an old field/food plot and timber that overlooked a well-used trail and a fence line. Conditions were perfect: cold and clear.
Soon from out of nowhere, “Mr. Big” appeared.
He stood broadside about 60 yards away — too far for a bow shot. I waited for him to walk closer. Much to my dismay, a stray dog spooked him and he ran away.
I sat in my tree stand and prayed these words, “Lord, you created that buck deer, and you know where he ran off, too. I am asking for you to lead that buck back to me and let him walk right down the fence line so I can get a clean shot.”
After about an hour of sincere prayer, the buck I had been scouting for 2 years — a beautiful 10-point — returned.
He walked within 20 yards and stopped, offering a clear broadside shot. The party was over. He ran about 40 yards, and the lights went out. I was ecstatic.
Over the many years, the Lord has blessed me with several nice bucks, so my taxidermist calls me “The Deer Huntin’ Preacher.”
You see, God’s creation and a properly managed hunt go hand in hand. People who do not understand this principle do not understand that this is the way God planned it from the very beginning.
Hunting is proclaimed even in scriptures. Genesis 10:9 says, “He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; ... Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” Genesis 27:3 also states, “Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.” Genesis 27:5 also says, “And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.” Genesis 27:7 declares, “Bring me venison, and make me food that I may eat.”
Deer are even mentioned in the scriptures. Psalm 42:1 states, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”
Please allow me to mention as I close that we when we hunt, we need to respect the wildlife and God’s creation because He has placed them here for our enjoyment and pleasure.