Happy Sunday! OR whatever day it may be when your reading this! I wanted to share another lesson that God taught me yesterday.
So let me let you in on a little secret about me, I love hunting (which you probably already know). I have been hunting since I was 15. My passion for it has only grown with every year especially as I am constantly learning and growing. It's like I have this burning desire down deep in my soul for the outdoors and mostly hunting. So are you ready for my secret...so here it is..I can get a little bit, let me see, POSSESSIVE of deer. Like, If I see one on my camera and I fall in love with it...well WORLD...that right there is MY deer. I don't care what anyone else says..it's MY Deer. MINE. MINE. MINE. Point blank..MINE. Mind you, I don't own my own piece of hunting property, therefore we are on hunting leases and other's property that allows us to hunt there. But by jeamny, that's MY DEER.
As hunters, especially bow hunters, you have probably been this way as well at one point or another. Let's face it, archery hunters put in a LOT of time each year to chase these deer. Really if you think about it, our work never ends. We are always scouting, putting in food plots, mineral sites, bait sites, cameras up, moving cameras, checking cameras, plotting on maps, tracking the wind, shooting our bows over and over, adjusting, checking out the latest and greatest gear that can give us an edge on the famous old whitetail nose hole, that can some how smell you from forever away. We put up stands, move stands, just to put them up again, look for deer sign, move stands again. Then one day, we check our cameras and FINALLY, there is the deer that we have been looking for at midnight every few days, we are fortunate enough to get a glance at this majestic creature we long to see, chase, shoot, eat, and stare at on our walls to brag about, be thankful for, and pass down for generations so they can see what WE killed. A big buck can give a sense of superiority..like "yeah that's MY buck that I took in 2011. Then we get to share the story to all who say "wow that's a nice buck, where did YOU get him?"
We've all been there. We LOVE To hunt, we LOVE these animals, and we PURSUE them..some move passionately then others...apparently...since I can get a little obsessive. I can get so into a particular deer that no other deer matters, all I Want is MY deer. Chasing him even makes me grouchy and emotional. I don't know why I get this way, but I can. That's just me. Chasing big bucks is in my DNA and it's what I love. God made me this way.
But what I need to remember is that no deer is MY deer. It's all HIS. Every beautiful big whitetail is all HIS. I've been really grouchy this week putting all my time and effort into a certain deer. Ive been after this deer since I obsessively said he was MINE. ALL MINE. Sorry Teddy. Sorry WORLD. He's MINE. MINE. MINE. My luck hasn't went so well in archery season and with Rifle Season starting tomorrow, well that added extra "stress" to my situation. Well God, like he always does when I need it, he ol so gently humbled me yesterday. I was being and talking selfishly about MY Deer when he reminded me, Who was really in charge here. He allows me to hunt and be passionate about these animals, but ultimately they are HIS. He reminded me that I need to be thankful just for the opportunity that so many don't get, and that is to pursue these wild majestic animals in HIS great outdoors. He is the one that allows us to do these things that we so easily take advantage of and don't always give thanks for. HE reminded me that these are HIS deer, not mine. It's not ALL about ME..even as bad as I want it to be sometimes..it's Not. IT's about HIM. They are HIS, as we are HIS. In the long run, it's not my obsessive passion for certain Bucks that I like to think are MINE, it's all about HIM. In the end, It's not about how many BIG Bucks are on our wall, or how obsessive I am about chasing them, it's about how I am living this Life to serve him. I pray all the time that God will use me, as I know that my life is not my own, my life is ultimately his. He is why I am here. It's not to act selfish and make this life about me. It's to make my life about HIM.
God always has a way of knocking me down when I need it most. He humbles me when my selfish human ways start to try to take over. So I always ask that God will use me to fulfill his WILL for my LIFE while I am here..even if that is to teach me lessons and use my short coming, selfish, big buck obsessive lessons that he teaches me to share with someone else. Remember..it's not all about US. It's ultimately ALL about HIM.
God Bless. Happy Hunting. Stay out of my hunting area. JK. Not Really ;)
Hey ya'll! I just wanted to check in after our hunting trip to Crazy Horn Outfitters for the opening archery season in Ohio. I tell you what, if you want to get on some great deer, then this is where it's at. We have been there 2 years in a row for archery and turkey season and we have yet to leave unhappy! Great deer, great lodge, great food, and great people. Win-Win! Make sure to check them out on Facebook.
So anyways, the point to this story is before you head out to pursue the animal that has captivated your hopes and dreams all summer, please make sure to practice, practice, practice, and practice some more. All those hours you put in scouting, preparing, putting up trail cameras, tree stands, shooting, baiting, then checking cameras, and constantly repeating all the above..it all comes down to those few seconds when that animal comes in and all that hard work runs through your mind before you squeeze the trigger, and it's over..or at least we hope it's over.
I had practiced for months and months shooting my bow in preparation for archery season. All I could think of was those few inches that I may be shooting low, or high, or left, or right, could ultimately lead me to losing, wounding, or missing the animal that I had been preparing for, for so many months.
It all came down to those few seconds on Sunday morning of opening archery season in Ohio when I squeezed the trigger of my release and watched my Victory Archery Arrow with my afflictor broadhead hit right into the heart of the beautiful eight point that the good Lord had put before me. He ran 50 yards and was done. DONE..right in my lane of sight. WHAT JUST HAPPENED! No blood trail, no tracking, no wondering if I made a good shot...he was there just laying in field 50 yards away. HOLY SMOKES! That only happens on TV...right?!
What I came to realize after all of this was done and people were asking me questions, was that I didn't one time think about my shot placement, squeezing the trigger, breathing, or anything that could sometimes run through your mind before you take take the shot. I had drew my bow back and shot so many times that it literally was all muscle memory from there. It was so AUTOMATIC that I didn't have to question anything. I had done my homework, studied for the test, and passed! Of course I prayed A LOT before this trip. God was so good to me in Ohio and I give him all the Glory.
I just wanted to tell you that practice really does make perfect. Can we still mess up...OF COURSE..as hunters we have to battle so many different elements in the field. BUT if I can get a little further ahead of the game that I am pursuing then you can bet that I am going to give it a try.
So my advice to you.. Pray.Practice.Hunt.REPEAT. It really does make a difference!
Be Blessed this Season!
So you may be wondering why the title of this blog is "An unexpected lesson" and my picture is a broken bow string. I can't say that I blame you if you are. I have felt lead to share with you a little lesson that God taught me yesterday that was very unexpected.
God has been dealing with me over the past 4 years to learn to TRUST HIM. (Basically ever since Teddy came into my life...hmm. I won't go any further with that ;). Just kidding..well kinda. We have been through a lot of things that have tested our faith and have caused us to rely solely on God because he had taken all other means away. When we are sometimes pushed to the edge with no where to go and with no other resources left then that is when God will step in in a way that you could NEVER FATHOM....ONLY IF you just "let go and let God".
We are all hear on this earth for a divine purpose and we will only live out that purpose if we choose to let God take control of our lives, our wants, and our deepest desires and choose to live out what God has put us here on this beautiful Earth for. As crazy as the world is, it's still a beautiful thing.
Have you ever been asked, "What is your testimony?" I had been asked that a time or two in the past and I always thought, "I don't know if I have one or not." That was then that I asked God to please help me have a great testimony so I would be able to speak about it one day when and if I was ever asked that question again. Well God is always good and always follows through and he has definitely been giving us a testimony that we will one day share with everyone when the time is right. For now, I want to get into the lesson that he taught me yesterday when I was struggling with the stresses of everyday life. I had already learned to "Let Go and Let God". He has already proved to me that he WILL provide. I once heard Joyce Meyers say, "If it's his will then it's his bill." It was then that I had an "ah ha" moment I guess you could say. God has to take care of it and you just have to let him. So in saying that, I was anxious all week about things that may seem like simple little problems to some people, but to me they were major. I had been shooting all summer to get the perfect alignment with my bow to be "dead on" when the the time came to harvest the animal that God will provide. I could not get it tuned in to save my life. I started stressing as season is only 3 weeks away and we are blessed to be able to go to the BIG BUCK capital in my opinion, OHIO! I don't take hunting animals lightly because I admire and respect them so much. They are all I think about most of the day! So I was having archery issues, work is busy issues, hunting show issues, deadlines, finances, getting things done, too much too do and not enough time, worrying about the next best 3 months of the year.. and I was bound and determined to go home and shoot my bow and get that thing lined in no matter what right after work..presuming Kylee didn't have other things in mind haha..
So I did...
I went home, Kylee played, and I shot my bow. In the back of my mind all those little things that I had been worrying about and stressing over just kept going through my mind and every time that I would release that arrow I would get me more and more anxious. I had just got off the phone "complaining" to Teddy about my worries and of course my bow. So as I hung up the phone upset and put it into my pocket, I pulled my bow back, looked through my sights and pulled the trigger on my release only to hear a snapping of my bow string. I looked down and my heart sank. As I sat there and said a few choice words, I realized that this was not what I was supposed to be doing. I was letting the stresses and pressures of everyday life get to me instead of doing what God had already taught me to do..."Let it go and let him take care of it." I got up, asked for forgiveness for my choice words and not trusting him and I "LET IT GO".
It was a humbling moment, but God spoke to me and it took me doing something dangerous and scary for me to see it because I was so preoccupied with things of this world.
In the end, I took it to the bow shop and come to find out..basically everything on my bow was set up incorrectly causing all the issues that I was having. Thankfully I had an extra bowstring just waiting to be used. Issues solved!
Moral of the story, don't get caught up with the pressures and stresses of this world. Get in the will of God and stay there. Remember, if it's his will then it's his bill and he will take care of it. It's called Faith. I have learned to be in the will of God and to live for him, it requires Faith! Faith can truly move mountains my friends. Remember, "Let GO and LET God" take care of. He arose from the dead....he can do ANYTHING.
Stay Safe this year and Happy Hunting!
Almost Heaven Outdoors is happy to announce that they have teamed up with Carbon TV! For those of you who can't follow us on the Pursuit Network, now can catch up on all the latest episodes and extra behind the scenes footage! All you have to do is click this link and follow us on Carbon TV bit.ly/2vlUzTF . We truly appreciate it! Happy Hunting!
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So that is the jist of the equipment and how it works. Below is our video explaining why we use and love Scent Crusher's products..esp the Closet, Ozone Gear Bag, the Ozone Go..aw heck..we love all their products!
Well, spring is almost here and It's time to get back out there and practice practice practice! We are very passionate about the products that we use and the people behind them. We have been shooting Walk-On Archery targets for three years now. We fully stand behind this company and their products. Who reading this has to go and spend 50 bucks or more on a target at the beginning of every season? That gets costly and its annoying. This year, I challenge you to invest your hard earned dollars into a target that is going to last from year to year. Depending on what your needs are, they have a few different products to choose from. Make sure to watch our video below to hear about the details of one of our favorite field point targets. The BUCKTAG 4.0!
Make sure that you tune in to the PURSUIT Channel to watch out very FIRST Season of Almost Heaven Outdoors. We air 2nd qtr, Sunday mornings at 7:30 am! Set your alarm clock, get your coffee, and tune in! Don't forget to set your DVR's as well..just in case you oversleep ;). In the meantime, here is a teaser for you to enjoy while we wait for April :)>
Hmm, where to start. As deer season is quickly approaching and we are all out scouting, setting up cameras, putting minerals and bait sites out, I couldn't help but look back on the deer that I was so obsessed with only a few years back. I wanted to tell you about how good God is. God is ALWAYS good and faithful, but this is one prayer that was sent his way every day, every night, every single second that I was thinking of this deer...this was one prayer that I desired to have answered with everything in me.
I'm sure as hunters, you have been there. It was June 2011 and it was time to start scouting and putting my cameras out. I had two leases that I could hunt that year, but one lease was extra special to me. I had hunted that lease since I was 16 and had so many memories there, that I had to give it a go. The other lease that I was on was just not producing that year, or maybe I just wasn't finding the honey holes, but whatever it was, I am glad that I chose to scout my favorite place.
I was bound and determined, some may say I have stubborn tendencies, but I wanted to first of all, go by MYSELF, find MY OWN spot, put MY OWN camera out, and look for MY OWN deer. I wanted to be all in, all invested, so I could feel as I hunter that I could truly do this all by myself with only the help from the good Lord above. As a female, people often assume that someone "takes you hunting" or "does all the hard work for you", well that was something that I wanted NO PART of. I wanted to put my time in and EARN my trophy! So...I asked God to lead me to the right place to hunt.
I decided to do some scouting and put a few cameras out myself. I found this one place in particular that was literally right beside the property gate entrance beside the main road. I was driving by and noticed a deer path! I thought, "what the heck". This would be close walking especially at night when things can tend to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I repeatedly say my favorite verse over and over in my head while walking in or out in the pitch dark of night, Joshua 1:9, " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This always calms my nerves if I get spooked. Only us ladies are ok to admit that the darkness can be spooky even though we know, you macho dudes feel the same way whether you admit it or not. I followed the trail into the woods and to my surprise this close to the gate by the main road, there were deer paths EVERYWHERE! I immediately got excited and decided I was definitely putting my camera out here! I chose my path to put the camera on, threw out some corn (which is legal in West Virginia) and I left there and anxiously waited for week to check it.
The week passed and I had been reading some hunting magazines learning about scent control. This year I had decided to really take it serious. I decided I may as well give it a try to see if it really worked, especially while looking around and not seeing a buck of my own on the wall, I figured "what do I have to lose!" So I put my rubber boots on. some gloves, and sprayed down before going in. I took my computer with me and headed to the woods! My corn was gone which is always a good sign and I took out my memory card and put it into my computer! I couldn't believe what I was about to see within the first 10 pictures, MY BIG BUCK! I got so excited that I started doing the happy dance and taking pictures to save on my phone. He was an 8 point with nice long tines and just a plain out great deer for West Virginia, and deer that some people their whole life in West Virginia would never get to harvest, let alone see! He was coming in at 9:00 pm or midnight or 4 am. He wasn't hanging around to eat, he was just passing through. I got many pictures of him throughout the next few months which only made my obsession and love for this deer grow. I would go to bed every single night, look at the picture of this deer on my phone, give the picture a smooch (yes kinda weird I know), and then say my prayers and ask God to please please please bless me with this deer. I really think that I prayed about this deer so much that God probably gave him to me so I would stop asking haha. I would think about him during the day, at night, and in my dreams. I was literally all in for this buck and THIS buck ONLY. I have a habit of finding a deer and immediately claiming him to be mine no matter what, and I kind of get possessive over them. I can't help that I do that, but I do.
So fast forwarding to bow season. I had a climbing tree stand so I picked MY OWN tree and began to sit. I sit every morning going in at least an hour before daylight and I would sit every night that I could get out of work. Luckily I had a job that I made my own hours so I could really use that to my advantage during hunting season. I don't think I hardly missed a day, especially a morning. I was sitting in my stand one morning (I could always hear deer traveling because I learned that I was in a travel corridor for these animals who would come from the river and the cornfield across the road in the mornings and come into the woods where I was set up, and cross the dirt road and head into the holler in the clear cut the rest of the day. This one morning in particular it was really cold and there was frost on the ground. I will never forget this day. I was sitting in the tree before daylight listening to the deer walking around and wondering if I was actually sitting right above the deer I was so passionate about. It was about 5:30 am when I heard tires screeching and a horn blow. (Big deer had been ran over by vehicles here in the past because of the main road). My heart almost stopped as I prayed to God that MY buck had not just got hit. The sun began to shine that morning and of course I am begging God to please bring MY buck in. At about 8:00 am that morning, I heard a deer coming from the left towards the main road, I excitedly got ready and to my surprise, here HE came walking in from my left and going down the path that was behind me. I couldn't get him in bow range and I was freaking out. So i decided to use the grunt call to see what would happen. As I blew, he stopped dead in his tracked and looked RIGHT AT ME! I was in awe at his beauty as he stood there for that brief second looking right at me. This was the first time I had ever seen a buck this big in the woods while hunting let alone the buck that I was certain was MINE! By heart went into a million pieces when he jumped and took off down the path leading to the clear cut. I watched as long as I could see him and begged God to give me one more chance, but off he went out of my sight. My hunt was DONE. I was going home with tears in my eyes as my one chance had been ruined and all my hard work and prayers went down the drain. I had a hard day that day thinking about all the "what if's" that may have changed the outcome. As night fell, I kept the faith and continued to ask God for this deer that I was so passionate about and truly felt in my heart that he was MINE.
I continued hunting the rest of bow season and moved my stand into a group of 3 trees that was closer to the the path that I had seen him and many other deer take, but I didn't see him anymore. I had him pass through once on my camera but then a two week span came by with no pictures or sightings of him at all. I was once again devasted, but I continued on thinking, " You just never know what may show up" although my heart was taken by MY BIG 8 point and I didn't want ANY other deer. Then came rifle season....
Not a lot of people hunt on this lease during bow season, but when rifle season comes in everyone shows up and EVERYTHING IS FREE GAME. Let me just tell you, if God wasn't tired of hearing my prayers for MY BUCK from June to October, he surely had to be the first week of rifle season. I had to cover other clients for one of the girls that I worked with during the 1st week so my time was going to be limited the first week. That added to the stress factor that I wasn't going to be there and someone else was. So I hunted every chance I got and prayed every free second that I had for this deer.... and then comes Thanksgiving day 2011. It was really cold that morning. I remember. I woke up at 4:30am and didn't even give my car enough time for my windows to defrost before I headed to the lease. It was 17 degrees with a cold crunchy snow on the ground. I didn't need any kind of light to see that morning. I had my .300 Winchester Magnum (which I have a special bond with ol' Bertha) and I had just got a new scope for my gun. I was ready! I climbed up in my tree but not as far this morning. I sit down and got ready. It was still dark when I heard someone pull up to the property gate. It was so still and quiet that morning that the rattling of the lock and the gate could be heard for miles it seemed. I heard that gate open and then close, but the car had took off back down the highway. Well not too much later just as it was breaking daylight, I caught movement coming down the path to my left. I immediately saw those beautiful tines glistening as he was walking with his head towards the ground and he wasn't stopping for me to get a good shot. I got my gun up and then I heard it....someone was pulling up to the gate and making all the noise trying to unlock the lock. My heart really started pounding because I thought he's going to run and get away from me again..but to my surprise he STOPPED dead in his tracks!!! I couldn't believe it, this was my chance...God was giving me my chance!!! I found the vitals and prayed for God to guide my shot and I squeezed the trigger. I saw him jump two times and then I didn't see anything else. I couldn't see that far ahead of me because of the briers. Then excitement went to panic. I didn't know if I missed or if he was down! I immediately called my mom and come to find out..she was the one who was just passing through the gate!!!! She had come earlier and forgot her hat so she went back to get it. If she hadn't forgot her hat and had to come back and open the gate, he may have never stopped long enough for me to get a shot! I asked her if she would stop and help me find MY BUCK that I just shot. She ran into the woods and we followed the BLOOD trail! I had hit him! He only ran about 20 yards from where I shot him and he was dead! I couldn't believe it! MY BUCK that I had Prayed for every single day, the one I had found on MY OWN was laying at my feet. I immediately hugged mom and we jumped for joy. I thanked God over and over for answering my prayers, and then I just had to hold his antlers and take pictures with the deer that I had stared at on my phone for months and then spooked during bow season. The funny thing is, my brother and dad were hunting on Cheat Mountain together and they heard my .300 go off down in the valley that morning and radioed my mom to see if I had just shot MY deer that I had so passionately been pursuing all season and the one that would have ruined family relationships if any one of them went after him haha. That was a season and a deer that I will forever hold close to my heart. It taught me so much about hunting, myself, and how with God all things are possible. Nothing is impossible with God and everything will happen in his time. He says ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find. God is good all the time. All the time God is good.
We just got our truck back from CIC Auto Body this past weekend. They really fixed our bed liner up. They put the Extreme Spray Bed Liner in our truck and also did the undercoating for us. It looks great and it is really going to protect the truck a lot longer then it would've without the bed liner and undercoating. If this has been on your to do list, definitely check them out if you are in our area. We really appreciate them and their hard work.
If you are like we were, we seen this deer and didn't have a clue that it even existed! Just another Texas Exotic that we get to learn more about! These Texas Exotics are so fascinating, and you just never know what you may see while you are in Texas. These animals are not known to so many of us and that is what makes them so fascinating! Just like you, we are just learning about this animal. So with that being said, here is a little background on this beauty! By the way, their ears are my favorite :).
This my friends are what they call, a Barasingha Deer. A what!? Yep, that's what i said too! Get this, they can live 20-30 YEARS!!!! WOW! They are also commonly known as "swamp deer" and they are primarily from India. They grow to be very large deer. The males will weigh 390 to 570 pounds and the females up to 300 pounds plus. That would definitely fill a freezer! They have a yellow-brown coat and stand approximately 4 feet tall. Males are generally darker in color than females. Tufts of hair can often be seen hanging out of the large ears of both sexes. The antlers appear only on males and grow in a C-shape from a profile view. The number of antler points can vary greatly, but 10 to 16 (5 to 8 points per side) is common. A brow tine near the base of each antler is typical, with the majority of the points concentrated near the ends of the arching antler beams. Each point from the main beam may fork once or more. Forking in the mid-tine is most common, but not always. Mature male antlers measure from 30 to 35 inches in length, but can grow to reach 42 inches plus. Females do not grow antlers. The shedding of antler velvet takes place in late August to September and they usually drop antlers in February.
Barasingha deer refer to inhabit marshes or swamp lands and like to feed in open grasslands and take shelter in brush during heat of the day and harsh weather conditions. Males create wallows and gather harems of females during breeding season and they use smell as their primary sense for detecting danger, just like most animals. They will drink twice a day during the hottest parts of the year which i find interesting. Males will fight for dominance and the right to breed females. The breeding season extends from September to April in most states, with a spike in rutting activity seen in December and January. The Barasingha deer are the only exotic deer that are monestrous -- females only come into estrous once a year. Gestation lasts 8 months and females give birth to only 1 young per season. This low birth rate lends to a naturally low recruitment rate (animals reaching breeding age).
Thanks Joe Reed of Mountain Home Hunting Service for introducing us to these beautiful exotic deer. Learning about animals that you didn't even know existed is always fun and you never know, we may be back to take one of these trophies ourselves one day! Be sure to check out our buddy Joe Reed if this is an animal you would be interested in taking :)