Just obeying the Lord

Sep

08

2022

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Sep

08

2022

Yesterday I spent the day putting out trail cameras. These cameras take pictures when motion is detected and are perfect for surveying the deer population. You put them in key places where it is evident that deer are frequenting and pour a pile of corn on the ground and when they come to eat it the camera takes photos of them. Later the state wildlife biologist that is helping me will analyze the photos and determine how many and which deer need to be harvested to keep the herd healthy.

For those Bambi lovers, deer simply must be managed efficiently to prevent disease and starvation. Since natural predators don’t exist in adequate numbers anymore, hunters must manage the herd, and they do a very good job at it. As evidence, there are far more whitetail today, and turkeys and waterfowl for that matter, than when the early settlers got here. Leave them unchecked with no harvest and they will reproduce so fast they will become a real problem and wreak havoc on neighborhoods (as many golfing communities can attest).

The neat thing about trail cameras is that the camera will notify you real-time when deer show up in a particular spot. In effect, you know where and what time they are feeding 24/7. I have harvested far too many deer to remember over the years and don’t receive the thrill of taking a magnificent buck like I did in my youth. Today I like to watch them grow, flourish, and produce huge racks. I do take an allotment of deer to effectively manage the herd, obtain a supply of venison, and on occasion take a spectacular buck just prior to his getting so old he starts going downhill.

Deer consume quite a bit of food. My wife complains that they are eating us out of house and home. A slight exaggeration for sure. The supplemental feeding is expensive, as are the crops I plant. There is a free supply of natural browse and acorns that grow naturally, and all that chow combined provides them with more than enough nutrition.

I also manage the turkey population, plant food for waterfowl around my ponds, control predators like coyotes, etc. It reminds me of offshore fishing. By the time you buy a big offshore boat, pay for fuel, buy equipment, bait, hire a mate, and pay a million other expenses at the end of the day you end up with ten pounds of fresh fillets at $1500 per pound. No, it isn’t a good financial investment.

The past two days a buddy has come over and helped me around the farm. Yesterday he told me he loved my lifestyle. Spending every day either in the woods or on a tractor and in general just doing what I love. Not that it isn’t hard work toiling in the hot Mississippi sun, but it is very rewarding, and every drop of sweat is derived from a labor of love. I have another buddy who chides me every week for working so hard on this farm and realizing no gain from it.

Huh?

No gain? I’m not a smart man as Forrest Gump famously said, but I am rewarded beyond my wildest dreams. I could work in the corporate world until I dropped dead and for sure would have a few dollars more to give my heirs, but just think what I would be missing. Most importantly I am spending quality time with God. I would wager that I have a far deeper appreciation for God and His creation than most any of the wealthiest of the wealthy on Wall Street or stuck in some high rise. I watch the sun come up and go down and see a thousand sights a day that reminds me of Jesus lovingly creating all of it just for us. God gave us dominion over the animal world, and I am actively trying to do a good job. That’s it for today I think I’ll go fishing this morning and thin out some of those pesky Bass.

Gen. 1:26
“Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

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