My childhood was as near perfect as it could be. I grew up in Flat River , Missouri, now incorporated into Park Hills. Both of my parents had advanced college degrees, which was pretty rare for a small town in SE Missouri. I had it better than Beaver Cleaver.
Both of my granddads loved to hunt and fish as did my dad, Glen Roux. I had a beagle before I had a bicycle. Hunting was automatic in my family. It was not considered an option. It was a conscious choice of a lifestyle.
I never had to ask if Grandpa Guy was going to pick me up on October Saturday mornings to run the dogs and shoot some bunnies. I never had to ask to get with Dad and Uncle Buster when deer season arrived. For a young kid who loved the outdoors, I had it made.
Spiritual Guidance and Conservation
But more importantly, these men also made being in our seats at the First Baptist Church of Flat River every Sunday morning automatic. I sat with my mom and dad and little sister. All of my grandparents sat right behind us. Once again, I had it made.
Dad was very diligent about my outdoor education. Conservation was stressed at all times. Not only did he teach me the “Hows” of hunting, but he also stressed the “Whys”, covering all points of wildlife conservation and respect for the resource.
In the 24th verse of Genesis God said, “Let the land produce living creatures, livestock and wild animals each according to its kind.” This verse makes it quite evident that He put the animals here. But why?
The answer to that simple question is easy. He put them here for us. In verse 26 God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals.”
This scripture tells me that God did indeed give man dominion over the animals, wild and domestic. There are countless species of wild animals that would have already become extinct if it were not for hunters and other conservation minded people. That is an awesome responsibility. He made wildlife conservation our job. Hunting and the dollars raised through hunting are the most important factors contributing to this effort.
Doxology Through the Outdoors
Every time I follow a blood trail to a dead deer, every time a gobbler flops after my shot and every time I hear a beagle on a hot track, I pause to thank the Good Lord for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this job that He delegated to all mankind.
So, why do I hunt? Because God challenged me with the care of His animals. I do not hunt because I can. I hunt because I was told to by The Creator.