I slowly open the door of my cabin and step outside on the front porch. The night is black, with only starlight shedding a subtle glow. I could cut the humid air outside with a knife. With the entire inside of my cabin lined in various kinds of wood, it stays fairly dry. The stark humid contrast to the outdoors is a sensory blast. The woods are dead still, and the constellation Orion is in the southern sky as it always is for my hunting in October. I stare up at it for a few moments and think. How awesome is my God.
As I began my northward walk to archery hunt, there is a faint setting crescent moon in the east but nary a hint of sunrise yet. The occasional rustle of popple leaves breaks the silence. They and the oaks are the only trees that still have leaves.
The leaves underfoot are silent with the damp heavy air. I decide to turn right back around and go back to the cabin to remove an underlayer of clothing since it is 65 degrees. The walk northward is totally silent, but even so, I jump two deer who snort at me several times as I stand still listening. I have clicked off my green Stylus flashlight. The deer wait silently, wanting to hear my noise again so as to identify me, but I do not accommodate them. Soon they are walking again. As I stand here in the dark, I think again, How awesome is my God.
That encounter busted my chance of getting to and at sitting in the south food plot undetected, so I continue further to a new tree stand I just put up, nestled in a fallen oak tree on the north 40. It is more of a firearms seasons stand than an archery stand, but I want to test my various stands to see where and when deer are moving so when I have hunter guests I can put them in good spots.
I stand at the base of my tree in the dark and grab hold of the tree. I can smell the moist oak bark of the tree and the wet leaves around me as I inch up, step by step. Ascending in silence, I settle in and watch the sunrise. I lean my head back and close my eyes. How awesome is my God. the thought comes again.
There are no deer today, but plenty of squirrledge. By 9am it appears as though nothing is going to happen, so I still-hunt back to camp, taking one hour to creep slowly rather than the usual ten minutes the walk to camp would usually take. Besides flushing several grouse and sneaking up on a couple of squirrels, the trek back is uneventful. The air is uncharacteristically heavy for October and the sun is beginning to poke hazily through the horizon of soaring trees all around me. The forest floor last week was brilliant yellow and red with the fresh fallen leaves. Now it has aged to that amber monochrome of fall. I walk softly, like a bear, testing each step to avoid snapping a twig underfoot. I have an arrow nocked in the event I jump something worth shooting.
God's creation is a signature of how awesome He is. There is not a time I am out in it, that I am not stunned to appreciative silence of every nuance and smell of it. Every tiny detail, the magnificence of the heavens, the majesty of aged oaks, the gnarled roots of trees toppled by tornadoes, tiny orange mushrooms or a squirrel staring me down in uncertainly of what I am. There are times when I am led to simply fall to my knees in the middle of the woods with my arm upstretched to my Abba Father, in praise and thanks to Him for the privilege of partaking in His creation. Being an archery hunter means mostly being in this nature wonderland alone, but what better way to worship my Awesome God.
© November 2007