Mission: Hunter

Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison (Genesis 27:3, KJV).

Did you know God is pro-hunting? That's right, and he has some things to say about the chase—positive things. We see positive truths about hunting in the Bible. History, science and common sense also inform our thinking about God's created order and the role hunting plays in the stewardship of wildlife and nature.


"Mission: Hunter" is a blog that addresses a wide range of hunting topics through the lens of theology for the woods and for hunters who pursue deer, wild turkeys, and other creatures in their native habitat. Its touchstone is the moral "rightness" of hunting from a Christian and biblical point of view. 

In the Old Testament the history of hunting goes back, at least, to the days of Noah (Genesis 9:3). In the New Testament it was God who told Peter, one of Jesus' closest disciples, to "Kill and eat" (Acts 10:13). The idea that hunting is immoral cannot be supported by the Bible. Hunting is moral, something positive, and not wrong for a Christian believer to do.

I am a hunter. Many people think my identity is in hunting, but my identity is in Christ. My mission is not to have Christianity sanctify my hunting. My mission is to pursue Christ, as a Christian who hunts, who writes about it, and who uses hunting as a platform for communicating the gospel. Mission: Hunter—or The Everyday Hunter, on a mission.

I think we need to clarify what a trophy is, and here's where we can start:

Is every trophy in a record book? No.

Is every trophy a candidate for a record book? No.

You've probably been in someone's trophy room. Is every trophy that person took mounted and in his trophy room? No.

Can we all agree on what a trophy is? I think we can.

Are you a trophy hunter? I think every hunter is a trophy hunter. That's certainly the way it is with a mother coyote that carries a fawn back to her den of pups being weaned from her milk t...

I just finished reading a book loaned to me by a buddy, Dana Gould of Dayton, PA, titled One Man's Passion for the .220 Swift Cartridge by Vincent Dougherty. Here's a hunter who decided early in his life to shoot everything with that flat-shooting, high-speed, small-caliber cartridge.

His book is full of lessons, and one of the lessons is that the smaller the cartridge you use on big game, the more you need to know what your bullet is doing when it impacts and penetrates the animal. This 570-page book on the .220 Swift p...

It's a huge honor and privilege to have been recently named a Field Contributor to Deer & Deer Hunting magazine. Beginning with the December 2019 issue, my byline now appears in the magazine's masthead. Subscribers should already have the February 2020 issue, and for other readers it's available now on news stands.For the second month in a row I have two articles in the magazine.

If you spent the fall trying to avoid hitting deer, you might want to read "8 Reasons Why We Hit Deer" starting on page 10 in the February issu...

If you want to knock any deer over with one shot, I'll tell you how to do it. I'm not going out on a limb with that statement because it's not about the cartridge. You can do it with a .243. You can do it with the .300 magnum.

Re-read those last two sentences. What's common in both of them? That's right — every word except the caliber. "You can do it." Yes, if you know where to put the bullet AND YOU CAN PUT THE BULLET THERE, you can do it every time. (The great majority of times anyway, because there are no guarantees i...

Gun seasons are mostly over, and I wrote this during the Pennsylvania firearms season. But it's even more relevant in the later seasons when hunters are out with muzzleloaders and bows, or hunting predators.

Cold is tough for some hunters to cope with, but for centuries man has lived in northern climes where he had to survive cold temperatures — with a lot fewer advantages than we have today.

Over the years I've hunted in some frigid temperatures, and have learned how to deal with the cold. In my December 2 column in the...

Don't miss the December 2019 issue of Deer & Deer Hunting magazine. It's loaded with deer data! Including TWO (2) of my articles! On page 50 is a feature called "Amazing Adaptable Whitetails." How have deer adapted and survived, even under today's pressure? Find out here. 

In the Deer Browse column, on page 10, I've written "World's Biggest Forkhorn?" It's hard to answer that question for sure, but this crazy-big 4-piont taken in Kentucky early this season has to be a top contender. Ohio hunter Riley Emery arrowed a buck...

For most of my life I've been wanting to write this article. The first set of antlers I ever saw were the wide, heavy antlers hanging in my grandparents entryway. As a little kid I couldn't imagine anything bigger, and I'd count the points every time I went to their house. That article has finally been published in the December 2019 issue of Pennsylvania Game News. The story of Grandpa's Post-War Buck from 1947 ends with a surprise twist seventy years later in the 2017 season. This might be one of my best, for several r...

Gun seasons are here! The majority of hunters have waited all year. We make all our preparations, and then if we're unsuccessful we scrap our plans and hunt every day differently.

But what if we tried making every day as much like opening day as possible? While we can't make every day exactly like opening day, we can think about some of the things that contribute to our success on opening day, and do those things on the days that follow.

You can probably think of a few, but to get started thinking about what those thin...

It's bearing down on us — the opening day of firearms season. It's this Saturday (November 16) four miles from me in New York, and Saturday, November 30. Read about it in today's front page feature in the Jamestown Gazette, "Thank a Hunter!" 

These are the days when most hunters enter the woods in search of America's most prolific and abundant big game animal, the whitetail deer. But it hasn't always been that way. There was a time not that long ago when deer were scarce, and would have been virtually extinguished if it...

Do you know why we hit so many deer in October and November? "The rut!" you say. Yes, but it's a lot more than that. In the whitetail world, everything is changing right now. In my new article at Deer & Deer Hunting online, I detail 8 reasons why we hit deer. If you and your family are going to be safe on the roads, you need to know hitting deer is more than a matter of rut-crazed bucks running willy-nilly into the paths of cars. Check it out: "Deer Collisions — A Hunter’s Perspective: 8 Reasons Why We Hit Deer."

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