I took the opportunity last Monday to try something I had never done before - predator hunting. My primary reason for wanting to learn how to do this is to thin out some of the coyotes that have been moving into eastern Virginia. Many area hunt clubs saw significantly fewer whitetails this past season, and popular opinion is that coyotes are playing an impact in these lower numbers. Well, the presence of coyote tracks and scat, as well as sightings by deer hunters, indicated that a pack was spending time in our hunting vicinity, so we felt pretty confident that we could have at least one come into our setup. However, despite being well camouflaged, setting up in locations with good predator sign, playing authentic-sounding wounded rabbit sequences on our electronic call, and keeping the wind in our favor, we did not have any predators, including coyotes, come into our multiple set-ups. What we did discover, though, was that there were plentiful numbers of crows in the area that were curious and that even responded to our coyote calling. Fortunately, we had a couple dozen crow decoys in the truck and several crow sequences loaded on the call, so we decided to change gears, change firearms, and take advantage of the crows' receptiveness. We had a huge group of crows come into our layout within the first 30 seconds of playing the initial fighting crow sequence, and had a great time shooting that group and those that followed as they circled back on several occasions to check out the commotion. We were even able to replicate our setup and have similar success in another other area before the action slowed.
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."
If you have ever had the opportunity of going through Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God" study, you will recall that its major charge is to see where God is working around you and join Him there. You know, sometimes we develop our 'best laid' plans and ask God to join in and bless our efforts. Now, when we are in the center of God's plan or will, then that works out. However, if what we are wanting to accomplish is not in His will, then regardless of how well we plan it out and ask Him to bless it, it is not going to turn out like we hope. Our focus, plan and efforts last Monday were to get after those coyotes, but as it turned out, only the crows were receptive. So in order to have a profitable day, we chose to set aside our original plan and adjust to what was working. While we were out Monday merely to have a little bit of fun and stretch our legs, the hunt was a valuable reminder of this important spiritual reality. Pastor Brad Hoffmann reinforced this thought today when he encouraged us to be willing to turn loose of our pre-conceived plans in order to follow God on His spiritual journey for our lives.
Guys, I ask you - are you aware of what God is doing in your life right now, or are you consumed with your own plans and desires? And do you know where and how God is working in the lives of those around you? Take time to examine your plans, your spiritual journey and what God is doing in and around you, for it may be time to let go in order to follow Him. - GE
Tip of the Week
Before you head out on your next outdoor adventure, be sure to let someone know of your plans, to include where you are going, when you are scheduled to return, who you are with, and how to get in touch with you and your party. Your original plans might change due to any number of situations - changing weather conditions, mechanical failure or otherwise. Keeping at least one person aware of your plans, and any changes to them along the way, can mean the different between life or death should something catastrophic happen to you or those with you.