The Rights and Rites of Passage

November is a magical time for thousands of hunters across our nation who are heading for the woods. They are hard to see in camouflage, as they silently climb up into their tree stands or slip into their blinds and wait for daylight. All the while praying for the “big trophy buck” to come close by for a clean shot.

This is a tradition passed down from father to son for many generations. Most families count on the venison meat to fill their freezers for meals in the coming year. We do.

My handsome great-grandson is 9 years old. He spent two days with his father in a blind waiting for the chance to take his first buck. That was a challenge because waiting does not come easy to our family. As the last day and the last opportunity was fading away with the sunlight, suddenly a 7-point buck came into view 80 yards out. My grandson’s first shot hit the perfect spot, and the buck went down! The only problem now is his head may get too big for his hat! (Just kidding!)

Anyone who has ever experienced the thrill of a successful hunt knows the feeling. Buck Fever — not fatal, but it is catching — sweaty palms, hyperventilating, visions of grandeur! It is expensive to treat; “Buck Fever” never goes away!

This experience will be with him for the rest of his life. Skinning the deer for meals to come can, in itself, be a rite of passage. Young men mature into providers during these times, as God intended.

Justin and Easton were hunting on the same ground I hunted on as a 6-year-old with a 22 caliber rifle. The tradition continues, and we pray Easton brings his son hunting one day, too!


A skilled Marksman came to my High School, with a 22 caliber rifle and wax bullets for a demonstration of his shooting expertise. He threw wooden blocks in the air and hit each one. He made a statement that never left me, “If you hunt with your children, you will never hunt for them.”

I am thankful for many things: my savior Jesus Christ, my family, being an American, and our Second Amendment. Remember our Second Amendment provides so many blessings beyond our protection.

We pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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