Before the Christmas trees and eggnog, before the turkey and mashed potatoes comes another holiday, though unofficial. It is a time, not for red and green, but for blaze orange. It is a time, not for crowding around a table in a warm, comfortable home, but for sitting cold on a platform in a tree and growing a beard. It is the week of rifle season for deer hunting.
In view of this unofficial Minnesota holiday, I would like to take some time to point out what the Bible has to say about hunting. One of the very first hunters we find in the Bible is a man called Esau, found in Genesis 25. Genesis 25:27-28 says “And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field… and Isaac [his father] loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison.” You may find it hard to kill just one deer this year, but imagine what it was like for Esau, who Genesis 27 tells us used only a bow and arrow to kill his deer. But the Bible says that Esau was “cunning.” That word in the Hebrew means literally “knowing.” Esau was a good hunter because he knew how deer acted: where they were, what they ate, and how to kill them.
I have never hunted; I didn’t grow up knowing how. But let’s say that today I get bit by the hunting bug and go to the store to buy a gun. What kind? I should probably know what kind of gun is capable of killing a deer, not just scaring it away. So I get my gun and go into the woods after buying my permit. Where am I going to look? How will I know where the deer are? How will I know where to hit it or even how to make sure my shot is accurate? You cannot just “hunt,” you have to know something about what you are doing.
If you are a young hunter this weekend, learn from those who are more experienced on how to hunt. Learn the tricks, and be patient. If you are an experienced hunter, take some time to be thankful for the ones who took time to teach you how to know to hunt. Take some time to teach a younger man how to know more about deer hunting. Then have some fun and go get one!