hunting

GOD'S OUTDOORS | Charitable conservation: Trophy buck rewards hunter, feeds the hungry

Tim Phillips, a parishioner at St. Paul in St. Paul, harvested this 31-point buck on the opening of the Missouri firearms season. While he will mount the head, he donated the meat to a state charity that distributes it to food pantries.

When Tim Phillips harvested the deer of a lifetime, he knew two things: The organic, high-protein meat would go to charity; the 31-point antlers would reside on his wall.

Phillips had been hunting this deer for years. It had been documented by remote trail cameras since 2012. He saw it opening day of the 2014 firearms season, but had to vacate his stand because a friend was getting married that day. A buddy had named the deer "Walter." (Hunters commonly name bucks so that they can speak to each other about an individual deer they're watching over seasons.)

Like St. Hubert, conservationists are called to conversion

Centuries ago, a man was stalking a magnificent stag in the woods, skipping out on Good Friday prayer. The stag stopped and looked right at the hunter — the sort of moment that gets our blood pumping and our limbs shaking. Some call it buck fever. For Hubertus, it was a calling.

In the basket of the stag's glorious rack was a glowing crucifix. He heard a voice warning him to turn to God or face eternity in hell.

Stewardship of God's creation is integral to hunting, fishing

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Just before the sun peeked over the horizon, a group of ducks circled overhead. A few greeting calls and a feed chuckle kept them interested for a pass. Then another. Then another.

"Take 'em!"

Eight shots. Five ducks.

This stewardship of wildlife gets in the blood. It's exhilarating, the food is good, and it helps manage wildlife — the whole "dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air" thing (Genesis 1:29).

Stewardship?

Prayers for hunters

Looking for prayers for hunters? Here are some written by Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa:

Blessing from a priest:

By the intercession of St. Hubert, patron saint of hunters, may you always honor God the Creator, who set man in dominion over all the animals.

May the Lord God make you an honorable hunter who respects fellow hunters, the animals, and all creation;

May He keep safe you and all who share the field or the forest;

May He make all hunters proud of their kill, generous with their meat, and thankful in all circumstances.

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