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Hunting in the Hill Country

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AT THE RISK OF BEING OFFENSIVE I want to report on the biggest pastime here in the Hill Country of Texas, even bigger than football: It’s deer hunting. The majority of our congregation at Community Church of the Hills (CCH) in Johnson City owns guns and use them.

One of our members, Aaron Wardlow, gave me permission to post his trophies from the first two opening weekends of 2016 (he’s allowed five white tail). The interesting thing is his philosophy about why he hunts deer. (These have all been shot with a bow and arrow, by the way). Here is his defense:

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“That is all the meat that our family eats for the year, so this time of year I am stocking up until next season. We usually only eat all natural non-processed meats that I harvest. So it’s not taken lightly and done for the thrill, I give thanks to the animal and God every time for the food to nourish our bodies.

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“I’m reminded that killing an animal is a very serious action. And it’s one that I don’t take lightly. I do it for food, I do it to connect back to this earth in a very visceral way, and I do it with respect and admiration for the creatures I pursue.

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“The act of, or even the idea of, getting blood on your hands may not be pretty, or palatable, or good dinner conversation in the city – but it’s a reality for all of us. Every single one of us, hunter or not, has blood on our hands – I simply choose to look that reality in the eye, take responsibility for it as much as possible, and do it in the most honest, ethical way I can.

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“Everyone that eats [meat] has blood on their hands. Some choose and take pride in doing it themselves, raising their children to not depend on others and to always be able to provide food for their families in the future.

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“Some choose to eat heavily processed foods prepared by others. But, just because you don’t want to take part in the preparation of your meals, doesn’t mean you have any less blood on your hands.”

I asked Aaron for permission to write this post on Facebook with a warning: “Do you mind if I share this? My liberal friends (liberal in the sense that they don’t understand hunting), may give you a hard time, but so what? Your comments put it all in perspective!”

Some of those comments:

  • From Arthur: Don’t be gay join the NRA
  • A reply from Cher, a bi-sexual, cross-dressing, Socialist Party member, anarchist & artist: Or if you are gay, join the Pink Pistols.14502941_10157609080085323_896726419429818826_n
  • My reply to Cher: Yet my wife isn’t gay! (See her pink gun?)

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 Laura replied to the post: That’s awful. I get it. I’m Vegan. So many healthier ways. Grew up in PA. A lot of Christian Vegans…. Killing is not needed.

Jon replied to Laura: It is definitely needed. Have you ever tried eating a live deer?

Mark summed it up when he responded to a politically liberal and anti-hunting man who complained that we were Trump supporters and hypocrites who shopped at gun stores and killed animals: God listed deer ‘specifically’ as one of the foods we can take and eat….. Who am I to say He is wrong?…  Maybe He should have asked a vegan first about what is healthy for the ‘people’ he designed and created and gives breath to? Did God speak too soon?

Aaron, being born and bred in Dripping Springs, Texas, (where he and his wife have been best friends since third grade), he’s tougher than most, so he can handle any criticism.

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And if he can’t, well, to quote Donald Trump’s infamous words, “. . . nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. . . .”

3 Comments

  1. Well done Steve. I’ll keep hunting and fishing God’s land and try to give you more to write about.

  2. Hi Steve; Great to see you at the 45th celebration of Hope Chapel. As to hunting, I grew up hunting with my close friends . . . mostly dove and quail which we brought to one of my friends’ mother who was a fabulous cook and, when she had enough birds to feed us all, would make the best stuffed dove and quail with a special sauce. I later became a BATF licensed gun dealer since it gave me access to firearms purchases at a much lower price. That was a long time ago. Now, at 75 and having other interests of a higher priority (i.e. missions work in Nicaragua), I rarely get out to send a few rounds downrange. Let me finish by sending accolades to Aaron Wardlow for so eloquently expressing what those of us who have been involved with hunting in a responsible manner for many years know to be true. Thanks, Steve; Thanks Aaron.

  3. Good post, I also enjoy hunting and fishing. I haven’t been hunting in a few years but I’m still in practice with my bow. Hunted meat is delicious and healthful , a hunter who takes his legal limit of deer, elk, geese, ducks and fish can feed a family quite comfortably especially when supplemented by a well managed garden.
    My current lifestyle leaves me little time for fishing and not enough for hunting but I still support hunters and gun rights which are important for more than just hunting.
    I’m not exactly a liberal, it depends on the issue but I probably lean more that direction than not but I don’t buy into the liberal stereotype of anti gun, anti hunting, tree hugging happy hippy.

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