Thursday I spent the morning and afternoon doing something I very much enjoy: hunting. My wife and son were out of town, so I had the rare opportunity to hunt twice in one day. After a dismal morning of seeing only a raccoon and a common house cat, I decided to try a different spot in the afternoon. Although it was an unusually warm day, I thought that there might be a chance of seeing something in the afternoon as no deer were moving in the morning.
I’ve been known to have trouble keeping up with all the different hunting seasons here in Kentucky. It seems like Florida’s deer hunting laws were much simpler to understand. Yesterday I was hunting with a muzzleloader. I was careful to obey all the laws related to hunting with a muzzleloader. I checked my watch for legal shooting hours. I had a hunter’s-orange hat and vest on. I even wore a tree-stand safety harness for added responsibility.
I decided to get in the stand early and relax and prepare for the prime hours just before sunset. To my surprise, a doe came in around 3:30 PM. That time of day is rare for a deer, especially on a warm day. The deer seemed to be oblivious to me, even though I was a mere 20 yards away. As the deer continued to approach, I thought for sure that this was a gimme shot. Finally, the deer spotted me when it was about 10 yards away. It did not run away at first, but simply checked me out thoroughly. As it started to inch away, I took my opportunity to shoot. As I slowly pulled the trigger, instead of a “BOOOOOM,” I heard a “pop.” The primer went off on the muzzleloader, but it did not ignite the gunpowder inside the barrel. Needless to say, I was ticked off. I put a new primer in and fired a test shot to make sure everything worked. I received the “BOOOOOM” that I had anticipated before. By this time the deer was long gone (and probably any other deer within a reasonable distance).
As I pouted inside, I texted some friends of mine for sympathy and laughs. That’s when my distress turned to relief. A fellow brother in Christ and avid hunter, Clay Hall, told me that muzzleloading season was not in fact a week long (as I thought), but only two days long. This fact made me an illegal hunter. If I would have shot that deer, I would have been a poacher. Imagine the humiliation I would have faced trying to explain to everyone that I didn’t kill that deer illegally on purpose. Needless to say. I thanked God that the primer went off, but the gun did not fire. God spared me that day from potential disaster.
God’s providence is an awesome thing. He works through mankind and creation to bring about His plan and will. Sometimes, it’s something as small as saving one of His children from doing something stupid. Other times, it’s something on a much larger scale. In either case, it is because of His grace towards mankind and His working all things for His own glory. Saturday morning I was hunting again…with a bow. I saw another doe that morning. That doe no longer lives in the woods. Thanks be to God.