Sanctification in Daily Work
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Meditating in the Woods

Sunny day rainbowLast week I finished this season’s opening days for deer hunting in Georgia. I don’t know if we will keep this leased property that is shared by about 5 other men. But, for us, it’s good work, camaraderie, time to talk about things without interruptions and lots of hours of sitting in the woods.

For me, it’s prayer time. As soon as I’m sitting in a stand my rosary comes out. With a light breeze in the pines and other trees it’s easy to relax and talk to God and my guardian angel. I’ve been fall deer hunting for over 30 years and I’ve lost track of how many times a deer shows up after I say my rosary. My brother hunts with me and he does the same thing.

Although I take good care of my physical self the best I can, including regular workouts, I can tell you that at 65 years old things are a lot more difficult than when I started hunting! But you find ways to do things differently.

My mantra lately is a great quote from Saint Padre Pio: “Pray Hope and Don’t Worry”

Meditating in the Woods

Morning in the WoodsLast weekend was the nicest weather for the opening days of the Georgia deer season I can remember. The days were clear and sunny and the evenings were cool. Most of the members of our Crystal Pig Hunt Club harvested deer! Some of it will go direct to the freezer, some of it has been donated and mine will include giving business to a small local processor to make cube steaks and summer sausage. Mmm, mmm.

Most of the “action” when you’re in the woods is over in a matter of minutes. The rest of the time is quiet time in your stand. It is the most relaxing time for meditating on life and all kinds of things. Since I started deer hunting about 30 years ago I’ve always made it a practice to say my rosary as soon as I get in my stand in the morning.

Most of the noise you hear are birds, squirrels, wind in the trees and sometimes I can even hear a deer walking near me. While keeping my eyes open waiting to see a deer there is a lot of time to have a conversation with God. Sometimes it’s me asking Him for help and guidance. Sometimes it’s just “listening” and letting Him talk to me. This may not be a retreat but in a way there are similarities. It is a very calming time with no internet, tv, phone calls or meetings. Although, we do send each other texts when necessary.

I never know if I’ll have the chance to do this again. And if that is the case, I have a lifetime of memories that include the most beautiful sunrises or sunsets. And then there is the time with family and friends, relaxing at camp, making and eating some good food. I can’t thank God enough for the opportunity.

Fall Deer Hunt

CPHC MembersThat last post was from a while ago when we were on a work day at our new Georgia hunting lease. Now it’s the season and we’ve been out for a few days of hunting.

We’re the Crystal Pig Hunt Club (CPHC). L-R Gary, Eli, Paul, Joe, Luke, Me.

Our hunt theme this year is the Rustler Hunt. That’s because we got a New Holland Rustler to use and it is a highlight feature of our hunt. This bad boy has gone over creeks, logs, stumps. The Rustler is like Honey Badger. He don’t care!

Our first hunt days saw mixed results. We saw lots of does and two are in the cooler plus one buck. We’ll be back though.

I take a lot of photos when I’m out and about. You can find a set from this year’s hunting experience here: Crystal Pig Hunt Club Rustler Hunt Photo Album

Hunting Memories

Hunting BuddiesIt’s almost time for deer hunting season. I’ll be hunting on a new lease property this year. The Crystal Pig Hunt Club members have been on location several times already getting things prepared. I’ve been deer hunting for more than 21 years now and have unbelievable memories that come more from the time spent with family and friends than the deer we’ve killed!

One recent trip to the new property was pretty much a wash out due to heavy rain. Here are three of my hunt buddies, nephews Luke, Joe and Eli. I’m the little guy in the back in the middle.

I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have the opportunity to hunt with these boys. They have grown into great young men over the years. Joe, the youngest in the middle will be hunting with us for the first time. He is majorly excited.

Thank you Lord for this.

Fall Deer Hunt

I love this time of year. Hunting season. After a great pheasant hunt a few weeks ago, I got back this week from what probably is my last deer hunt in Missouri. The property that I’ve hunted on for 20 years is up for sale after the owner passed away earlier this year. It may not sell soon at the price they’re asking but it’s kind of hard to plan on a hunt when you don’t know who will own your location.

My former business partner from Florida and friend along with my brother from Georgia and two of his sons hunted with me again this year. My nephew/Godson Luke was the main deer slayer with a massive ten pt. buck and a couple of does. I got an eight pt. and a doe. It was a wonderful time to get some outdoor exercise and just get away from “things.” I love sitting in the woods, saying my rosary or other prayers and just having some very quiet time with our Lord. That’s the best part!

Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota

This past weekend I got to go on an annual pheasant hunt in central South Dakota.

On the way a couple of us stopped for the night in Sioux City, IA. That gave me a chance to attend a weekday Mass at Sacred Heart Church.

After Mass they had Exposition. It is always nice to spend a little extra time in prayer with our Lord this way!

From there we proceeded to a farm near Highmore, SD.

Here’s a picture of our group after a lot of walking to find pheasants. We all got our limits and it was a great time for fellowship and fun.

On Sunday morning I took five of us to Mass at St. John’s in Harrold, SD. It’s a nice little country church. They had a 9am Mass which allowed us to get started on a day of walking the fields just shortly after starting time. I hope to get to do it again.

You can find photos from our hunt here.