When we began dating one of the very first things Jackie shared with me about himself was that he loved deer hunting. Looking back I think it was his way of finding out sooner rather than later if it would be a problem should we work out permanently. While I had never been exposed to hunting and had only tasted venison once or twice, I had no problem with it at all as long as it was done responsibly and the deer meat was consumed and not wasted. With that answer began my introduction to all things deer hunting something I now look back on with very mixed emotions. Today marked the official start of the pre-hunting season at our house as Jackie planted the food plot today.
I never imagined just how much time and work goes into preparing for the actual deer hunting season but the over the years I have received quite the education in all things deer. This runs the full spectrum from planting the perfect food plot to processing the deer and the meat. Jackie has been a patient and thorough teacher and when taking me out on hunts, has been a accommodating hunting guide even scouting out a suitable rest area for me.
For Jackie hunting is much more than a sport. He has a passion for it that runs deep within his soul, but beyond that he has a deep respect for the animals themselves. When he ventures deep into the bottom fields where he hunts and climbs into one of the hunting houses which he made nestled amid the trees, he is cleansed from the cares and worries of the world. He sits quietly communing with God surrounded by the beauty of all He created with nothing more than His spoken Words. And then appearing almost magically like little fairies from behind trees the deer come into view.
Most days when Jackie ends a hunt he comes home without having taken a deer. But on the days when he takes one, he says a prayer of thanks to both the animal and God for the sustenance it will provide us thru the year. There are many, most of whom are meat eaters, who take exception to deer hunting. We were just talking to one of our friends about this very subject the other day and we wondered if these people had ever thought about how their meat gets from the grocery store to their table. I know how commercially raised beef, pork and poultry are raised and if you don't know I will tell you it is not a pleasant or pretty life actually it is heartbreaking. Additionally I would tell them it is good for the deer that their population be kept in control and responsible, humane hunting is the best way to do it.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.