by Tim Smith
The Story: Let me just start this article by admitting something. I'd probably never win an award for being "Mr. Compassionate". For some reason it's just not part of my make-up. For example, if my son got a boo-boo when he was a little fella my wife would pick him up, wipe his tears, wrap him in a big hug, clean his wounds and give him a Scooby-Doo Band-aid. Me, on the other hand, had a completely different approach. I would perform a quick triage from afar. If I determined there were no bones sticking out or stitches required, I encouraged him to "rub some dirt on it and get back in the game." Keep this in mind as we move on.
Last week I had a great opportunity. I would tag along with a friend and film his attempt at a Northern Missouri monster buck. In turn, I would be able to use this footage on a DVD project I'm working on. As we made the drive from Alabama to Missouri it was evident we would approach this hunt with a "No Mercy" attitude. We would pull out every punch in our tactical arsenal and tirelessly hunt every hour of the day on a mission to make some big buck a movie star.
However, on the very first day of our hunt our plan was interrupted. My buddy began to get sick and go down quickly. Whatever he had hit him like Mike Tyson and by noon he was coughing like a seal, shaking like a leaf and was drifting in and out of reality often mumbling something in his sleep that sounded like moo-moo and Honey Boo-Boo. Still stuck in a "No Mercy" frame of mind , I responded with a few encouraging words. I told him to put on another jacket. It would help with the chills. He could also cut down some of that coughing noise by sticking a towel in his mouth just before he let loose.
The Word: On day two my buddy sounded and looked worse. But, he insisted he'd be o.k. and we made our way to the stand. Who was I to argue? He was a grown man capable of making his own decisions. We had a buck to kill.
Around 8:00 a.m. I took a few minutes to read a little Scripture in the stand. Here's what I read:
"There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others.....so you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone." (James 2:13,24).
The words cut me to the core. What was I doing? Why were we still in the stand? The guy next to me was obviously hurting. He needed mercy. He needed compassion. He needed help. He needed a brother. He needed me. My faith certainly hadn't been reflected in my actions.
He agreed to let me take him to the local Emergency Room where they determined he had Influenza Type-A. After his diagnosis we decided it would be best to head home. No deer was worth this. On the way home I did my best to take care of his needs and get him safely home. During the long 14 hour drive I often reflected on the words I had read earlier in the day feeling convicted to my core.
Field Tip: Don't lose sight of the important things in life. Too often as hunters we become consumed with the hunt. Faith, family and friends are the important things in life.
Making Him Known,
by Tim Smith
The Story: One of my favorite comic book characters as a kid was Spider Man. In fact, I liked him SO much I had a Spider Man mask and Spider Man Underoos. In my attempt to save the world, I'd run around the Smith Household clad in my "Spidey gear" (i.e. underoos and mask) and use my "Spidey Senses" to detect evil and save the day by shooting my "Spidey Web" on the bad guys. Just for the record, there were numerous occasions where I saved my mom, sister and cat from the evil antics of Green Goblin and Mysterio. I was pretty much a BIG deal, a game changer in fact-Just sayin....
As I've grown older, I've unfortunately outgrown my underoos and my need to be Spider Man. However, I have learned something recently about Spidey Senses I wanted to pass onto each of you. Drum role please---Whitetail Deer have been infused with "Spidey Senses"! Oh yeah, it's a proven fact. I personally have encountered deer that can see you think, hear you change your mind and dodge a speeding arrow traveling at 300 feet per second. Only a creature with "Spidey Senses" can do this. Don't laugh-it's true!
On a recent hunting trip I encountered an 8-point that had these superpowers. As this buck turned broadside I settled my pin low on his vitals. At the moment of truth this buck showed no signs he was onto me or that he had super powers. However, as I squeezed my release and unleashed the arrow from my Mathews bow, this deer's "Spidey Senses" kicked into overdrive. As you can see in the photo below, the deer's body dropped nearly a foot in less than half of a second. As I watched this deer metamorphosis, I sat as shocked as a pig in a smokehouse. Had this deer been trained by David Copperfield? No! This dude had "Spidey Senses"!
The Word: I know this sounds crazy, but Peter Parker is not the only human with "Spidey Senses". God has given us all a form of "Spidey Sense". As believers, our Spidey sense is actually a gift of the Holy Spirit. Let me explain. Did you ever feel convicted by being somewhere you weren't supposed to be or by doing something you weren't supposed to do? I bet you have - I know I have. In the Book of John, chapter 14, Jesus informed the disciples he would send a helper in the form of the Holy Spirit. In chapter 16 Jesus goes on to to say that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit would be to "convict us of our sin". So, when you get that feeling deep inside that's the work of the Holy Spirit.
Field Tip: A deer will never ignore its "Spidey Sense". If it feels threatened or unsafe it will naturally flee from danger. Just like a deer, if something doesn't feel right or we find ourselves in a bad situation, we are also to flee from the situation. Don't stick around. FLEE!
As for the 8-point in the picture, he did have "Spidey Senses" and he used them. However, my Mathews bow also has super powers. It's fast-"Flash Gordon" kinda fast! By aiming VERY low on the vitals of this buck and relying on the speed of my bow, I was able to take this buck. I'll admit it wasn't a perfect shot. However, it was a deadly shot. Remember this tip the next time you're faced with a long shot and a buck with "Spidey Senses".
Field Tips is a light-hearted look at everything outdoors. The stories will make you laugh, the verses from God's Word will inspire you and it'll always provide a "tip" you can take into the deep woods. The best part is you can read it all in under two minutes (even if you're like me and a proud product of the Alabama Public School System).