Monday, August 5, 2019

Another Mass Shooting

The TV was littered with more horrible news of another mentally ill person shooting innocent people as they shopped and enjoyed some time with their friends.

It is a sad situation, no matter how you look at it, or what side of the aisle you are on. When evil strikes, everyone looses.

It is in times like these that we seek to place blame. It is natural, I believe it is part of the human condition to try and explain the unexplained. To try and make sense of things we cannot make sense of. Some have said the blame is on the semi-auto rifle. Others are blaming the gun laws, the 2nd Amendment, some idiots are blaming the President as if he walked into that store and started firing the rifle.

The reality is that blame is a scapegoat. Blame is an excuse, when what we need are reasons.
I have told my children for years, there is a big difference between and excuse and a reason. We need to quit looking for an excuse for the killing of Americans, and look for the reasons.

I am not an expert by any definition, but I do have an opinion. First and foremost, we didn't get to this point in our history over night, and we will not fix it over night. We got here one generation at a time.

When a generation of Americans refused to stand on principle and straddled a fence on morals. It began. When common decency was replaced with chips on shoulders and when "leaders" used people for personal monetary gain it began.

As a person of faith, I believe that healing begins with God. A relationship with Jesus Christ will change the hearts of these calloused people and begin to soften the pain they feel.

We have become an "anything goes" society. And then we wonder why some things go awry. We promote behavior that is contrary to decency and values, and are shocked when someone actually behaves in a contrary manner. We cheer things that only a few years ago were decried as not only taboo, but mentally ill.

We support the murder of full term babies by doctors who carry out the wishes of mothers who don't want the responsibility of rearing a child. Here's an idea. If you don't want the responsibility of a baby, - close your legs!

Then we are appalled when someone walks into a store and shoots people. Do you see the irony?

There is no excuse for these things, but there are reasons. The reason we kill babies is because we embraced evil as "choice".

The reason people drive airplanes into buildings is because they are evil. The reason people walk into stores, churches or any other place and shoot others is because of evil.

These killings are not the fault of President Trump, Nancy Pilosi or even the fault of the guns. Just as it wasn't American Airlines fault when those planes were flown into the World Trade centers, it isn't the guns fault. It is the fault of evil.

Blame is an easy way to push responsibility onto others, rather than accepting it where it belongs. Blame belongs with me, and it belongs with you. All of us who have sat silently by and not done anything to change the atmosphere of our country. Every Christian who has not rallied with others to change the culture of sin and evil - we are to blame. We as Christians, and as Americans need to stop pointing fingers and fold our hands in prayer. We should accept the responsibility to stop evil, even if it is legal!

We need to unite together. Baptist, Wesleyan's, Methodists, and Lutherans. Catholics and Non-denominational people all need to unite in one voice and cry out to God to save our country.

Mass shootings are similar to airplane crashes. They stir the soul because of the randomness and sheer number of people impacted at once. Truth be told, Chicago and New York see more killings every day than occurred in El Paso.  But those don't bother us.

638,000 babies are killed every year by doctors. That is 1,748 babies are killed EVERY DAY and there is no outcry.

It is all bad. It is all evil. It is all senseless.

Excuses do not have solutions only more excuses. Reasons have solutions.

The solution?

Often the simplest solution is the best. And in this case it is simple indeed. The best solution to the evil happening in our country? Is a relationship with your God. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ will heal our land and will soften the cold hearts of the self absorbed and the ill.

Let's pray that the leaders of our churches, and our government will commit themselves to a relationship with Jesus Christ and to behaving like Godly people and lead our nation to the throne of Grace.

Let's all commit to praying for God to heal our land and to touch the heart of every American.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Opening Day is Closing In

Here in South Carolina, we are only 13 days away from opening day of deer season in some parts of the state. The traditional August 15th opening has a long history. Going back to the colonial period, August 15 has been the opening day of deer season in the coastal plain for centuries. No one really knows why this date was selected, but for the low country those traditions die hard.

Many of the areas where August 15 is the opening day also has a long tradition of running deer with dogs. The coastal plain of South Carolina is loaded with thick, impenetrable swamps these deer call home. And for much of the area, the dogs are used to push the deer from these thick confines and in front of waiting hunters.

Typically large blocks of timber are selected with standing hunters armed with shotguns and buckshot only are positioned to intercept deer trying to escape. The dogs are tuned loose on the opposite side of the block of timber and the deer attempt to escape the dogs who are chasing them.

Deer usually choose one of three methods to escape the dogs. They run very far ahead and try and escape often a half mile or more from the dogs. Others will stay right in front of the dogs and circle and circle and cross paths confusing the dogs scent trail and escape that manner and still others simply double back on the dogs and escape. Many of the biggest bucks are killed in this manner while they are doubling back on the dogs.

Having done this a few times, I must admit, it isn't my cup of tea. For me, it just sounds like a bunch of dogs barking in the woods.  I don't understand the excitement others gain from this kind of hunting. But I fully support their right to do so, as long as its legal.

Other hunters on opening day will pour into ag fields in the afternoons and wait for bucks to emerge for evening feeding. Summer patterns for bucks are very predictable. They have had no pressure for six or seven months and they are easy to pattern. Setting up downwind along a soy bean field almost feels like cheating it is so easy. Scouting these bucks a few weeks in advance will confirm they enter the field at the same location at the same time every day. Positioning your stand within range makes for a quick and easy kill.

For hunters who do not have the benefit of food plots or ag. fields, resorting to intercepting bucks along travel corridors is best during the early season while they are still in bachelor groups.

For one thing, you cannot hunt the early season and ward off the hordes of mosquito's without a ThermaCell. This one appliance has changed hunting forever. It actually allows you to hunt the early season and not cover yourself up with deet. It completely eliminates the need for bug spray.

The biggest challenge in hunting bucks in August is dealing with the heat. With temperatures often in triple digits with high humidity. Staying comfortable in stand is a real challenge. Several years ago, I began taking a small battery fan with me to the deer stand. This small 8" fan uses two "D" batteries and will run for 40+ hours on a set of batteries. The gentle breeze this fan makes is a game changer. It allows me to tolerate the heat. I have not noticed any ill effects from the fan. I have had deer within feet of the fan and they do not seem alarmed at all.

Another tip, is to bring frozen bottles of water with you. Placing the frozen bottle on your neck will lower your overall body temperature and help keep you cool. It also give you good cold water to drink as it melts.

Lastly, I cannot emphasize enough is hunting the wind. If you go into your stand in early season with the wrong wind, you are educating your herd quickly.

Personally, I avoid this part of the season. It is just too hot for me. I will wait until mid September into October to go. When the temperatures begin to drop, I get excited and want to go every day! I just cannot enjoy it when it is so hot.

But for those who cannot wait. Get out there and get after them. Keep us posted on how it goes and get you some velvet bucks.

Best of luck.