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THE CHRISTIAN

Get your complimentary subscription to The Christian Sportsman magazine at www.christiansportsman.com

Team Adventures for Your Ultimate Quest

Edition 30e

BOB RECCORD

Stands with Our Nation’s Heritage

Join Team CSF Annual Leadership Summit PAGE 3

Loyal Friendships Richard Jordan PAGE 4

First Alaskan Moose Hunt Pastor Milt Michener PAGE 20

All About Trust Gary Miller PAGE 32

Six for Six Dan Cherry PAGE 34

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TABLE OF

The Christian Sportsman

CONTENTS

Mission: The Christian Sportsman magazine encourages and empowers sportsmen to discover and develop a deep passion for Jesus Christ in the context of outdoor adventure.

Letter From The Publisher Richard Jordan

Staff Publisher — Richard Jordan Managing Editor — Jim Smith Art Director — Dwayne Bassett Graphic Design by — Sprocket,, Inc. Marketing Director — Chris Marley Data Management — Terry Sams

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Standing with Our Nation’s Heritage Bob Reccord page 6

International Advisory Board Pastor Johnny Hunt Dr. Bob Reccord Dr. John Morgan Dr. Paige Patterson Evg. James Robison

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Team Advenures Pro Staff National Spokesman — Steve Bartkowski Guiding & Outfitting — Skipper Bettis Alaska Big Game — Jim Brenn Scholastic Shooting Sports — Dr. Bill Christy Dog Training — Joey Hancock Leadership Training — Bruce Witt Ducks Unlimited — Jim Young Bass Fishing — David Swendseid Trophies of Grace — Scott Porter Hunting Devotionals — Tom Naumann Montana Outfitting — Bruce Smetana World Mission Projects — Dave Hall Father/Son Heritage — Brian Molitor God’s Creation — Steve Ponchot Dog Obedience — Hank Hough Outdoors Ministries—Chris Marley African Wilderness Missions—Rowan Lewis

All About Trust Gary Miller page 32

Six for Six Dan Cherry page 34

Photo Gallery

The Christian Sportsman magazine endorses the Christian Sportsmen’s Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable corporation under IRS Code 501(c)3. The Christian Sportsmen’s Foundation promotes the Christian message to the outdoors community by securing and maintaining land and facilities made available to assist ministries in effective outreach.

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Speculative manuscripts and queries may also be sent via e-mail to: rjordan@thechristiansportsman.com. TCS magazine is not responsible for unsolicited materials that are lost, stolen or damaged.

First Alaskan Moose Hunt Pastor Milt Michener

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Business Address: P.O. Box 566547, Atlanta, GA 31156 telephone 770.335.1814

Copyright 2013 by The Christian Sportsman, Inc. All rights reserved. The use of whole or part of any material in this magazine without advance written permission is prohibited. TCS magazine is published quarterly by The Christian Sportsman, Inc., P.O. Box 566547, Atlanta, GA 31156; telephone 770.335.1814. Periodical postage paid at Atlanta, GA and additional mailing offices. The staff and management of TCS and the Christian Sportsmen’s Foundation assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, representations, or any other content or information presented in the magazine, whether provided by advertisers, magazine staff or contributing consultants. Except as expressly noted, neither TCS, Inc., nor the Christian Sportsmen’s Foundation endorses any product advertised or described in the magazine. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the individual writers, and are not necessarily the views of the staff or management of TCS magazine, TCS, Inc., or the Christian Sportsmen’s Foundation.


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friendships 2013

Join with other sportsmen in “Climbing Legacy Mountain” as we build a strong foundation for establishing effective outdoors ministries in local churches across the nation. A fun skeet shoot is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Wolf Creek so bring your shotguns (or rent a loaner) and make sure to practice your aim! Round trip airfare into Atlanta from most cities is very affordable. Seating for the Leadership Summit is limited so make sure to confirm your registration today!

Theme: Building Lifelong Friendships Presentations and break-out sessions for training includes:

Airport Marriot Atlanta, Georgia

• • • • • • •

How to Launch an outdoors ministry in your Home Church How to Start your Centershot father/Son Archery Program How to Plan a Fall Alaska Wilderness Missions Trip How to Host a Multi-Chapter Special Youth Challenge for your State How to Host a Father/Son Shoot-a-thon Friendraiser How to Host Innovative Chapter Workshops & Clinics for Effective Outreach How to Coordinate EQUIPPING Camps for the CSF X-Treme Discipling Series

Early Registration $65

OCTOBER 11TH  8:00 am – 5:00 pm CSF Ministry Presentations

After April 1st $95

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Includes lodging & meals.

                     

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm    Fun Clay Target Shoot

* BBQ Lunch and Special Guest Speaker

Seating is limited so make your reservations early for this premiere event for 2013.

Call 770.772.6749 for more information.

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Letter from Publisher

Loyal Friendships Loyal friendships establish an excellent foundation for launching into life’s adventure.

Definition: Faithfulness or devotion to a person ... the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations toward others; faithful adherence within a unique relationship.

My son, Richie, recently experienced a once-in-a-lifetime event called a Rite-of-Passage Ceremony. Having reached the age of nineteen he had demonstrated over his teenage years that he was indeed ready to enter into authentic manhood. The event was held at Hi-Caliber Firearms located just north of Atlanta, Georgia. A small group of 12 family peers joined together for a Bar-B-Q dinner and to smell some gunpowder (shoot pistols). Afterward each man shared insights and advice with Richie especially pertaining to their own experiences of entering into manhood. And, yes, he did have the opportunity to shoot a fully automatic M-4 weapon! It was astounding to hear stories from a close group of family friends who shared with Richie relevant topics on passion, family, civics, career, mentoring, spiritual growth, mechanical skills, dating, fatherhood, etc. These men had Richie’s “best interest at heart” in being transparent about future opportunities, potential disappointments, interpersonal skills, and other important joys of life as well as basic struggles in keeping a proper perspective on life in general. Some of the men who gathered around Richie gave to him a letter to reinforce their stories along with a keepsake item such as a bullet, book, or other memorabilia so that the stories about authentic manhood could be more easily remembered.

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As each man spoke truths into Richie about the Christ-Life found inside of loyal followers of Jesus Christ, he then knew their commitment was to serve as loyal friends as part of the foundation for his life. In this edition of The Christian Sportsman magazine you will learn of faithful and loyal friendships in the life of Bob Reccord from the cover article along with Gary Miller’s insights about building friendship’s around trust. Pastor Milt Michener from Alaska scores a dandy moose trophy when invited to hunt with a longtime loyal friend. Lastly, you will learn about Montana’s Special Youth Challenge hosted by the Big Sky CSF Chapter. Please send to us your comments after reading these selected articles designed for your reading pleasure. If you are gifted in writing outdoors articles or have some good photographs then contact us about providing your own golden quill stories. Please let us know if you are enjoying our new digital edition of the magazine as we forge into the future. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.


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BOB RECCORD STANDS W

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WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

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Thank you for your friendship to Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship (CSF) since 2002, and the instrumental role of your ministry, Total Life Impact, in serving our outreach to hunters, anglers and target shooters across the United States and abroad. We look forward to documenting your story through this magazine interview. You are to be commended for your role as an outdoorsman, author, business leader, and family man. Our current theme for the magazine “Building Lifelong Friendships” has already resonated between the two of us. We now want to introduce you to our readers as a lifelong friend!

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BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

As a contributing Writer for The Christian Sportsman magazine over several years, you have presented some fascinating articles to our readers ranging from elk hunting to plains game hunting in Africa. What is your greatest passion in the hunting arena and your favorite game animal to pursue? Well Richard, it has been an honor to work with you, the Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship team, and your faithful magazine readers. I thank God for the millions of hunters and fisherman in America and for all those who cherish and value our freedoms, the Second Amendment being key among them.

but think, “It doesn’t get better than this!” And as for my favorite game animal to pursue, I have to say each one has a special place in my memories. But if I had to pick just one, perhaps it would be the bull elk. It is so majestic, large and savvy. And hearing that bellowing bugle burst out in the early morning hours or in the late afternoon, still sends shivers up my spine. I believe it is one of the most regal animals in the world, and I’ll never forget the trip where my son Bryan and I both got great bulls within a day of each other. What an amazing experience for a hunter and a dad!

As the past president of the North America Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the three largest disaster relief agencies in the United States with over 52,000 FEMA certified volunteers, what have you observed about men and their passion for adventure? Men have no desire to be a part of what costs them nothing. As John Eldridge said, every man wants a battle to fight and an adventure to live. We have it in our DNA. As I oversaw the amazing disaster relief efforts nationally in association with Southern Baptist churches through both 9/11 and hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita, I

My greatest passion in hunting is the wonder of experiencing God’s amazing creation, and when possible doing it with my son or a great friend. When hunting together with a friend it is as though the wonder is magnified exponentially. And that’s true with most of the great things in life, isn’t it, they are always better when shared with someone else we know and value. Whether I am bow hunting in the Rockies, fishing in the saltwater or mountain stream, stalking an animal in Africa, or watching the sun burst over the eastern horizon waiting to call in a turkey, I can’t help

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BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

saw men (and women) at their best as they stepped into the adventure of giving themselves away to those who had lost so much. They were often hot and sweaty, staying in less than ideal lodging, working long hours and running on borrowed energy, but they always seemed to have a smile on their face. They were living proof that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive. I don’t believe I have ever been more proud than when I had the privilege and honor of working side by side with disaster relief volunteers. And Richard, I also saw that when men give themselves away they actually get much more out of it than they give. That is an economy of servanthood that God built into men whom He wants to bless. In fact, I’ll be

going to Israel in December and will once again have the joy of visiting both the Sea of Galilee as well as the Dead Sea—two amazing but very different bodies of water. One is teeming with life and the other nothing can live in; the reason being that in the Sea of Galilee water flows in and water flows out, but in the Dead Sea water only flows in. This is a great picture of life. God blesses us not simply for our own good, but so that we in turn may be a blessing to others. Describe your personal experience in committing your life to Jesus Christ. How does God continue to demonstrate Himself in a practical way as your Savior and Lord?

I was brought up in the church and learned all of the answers, but I never experienced the reality first hand of God transforming my life. I simply lived vicariously off of other people’s experiences. But sooner or later that falls flat, and it did for me as a young adult. I was convinced I knew how to run my life better than God could, and set out to prove it. I had my goals, my dreams, and my plans, because after all it was my life. But things didn’t work out well at all and I made poor decision after poor decision. I learned that decisions have consequences and if we make bad decisions we end up with bad consequences. Nothing worked out like I had planned. I had to come face to face with the fact that while I may have had some religion I definitely did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Finally, I had to swallow my pride and surrender my life to Christ by praying, “”Lord Jesus, I need you. I choose to surrender my life to you as my Savior and Lord. As Savior I ask that you forgive all the things of my past that have not been pleasing to you, and as Lord I ask you to direct the steps of my future.” And that prayer changed everything. It launched an adventure that is still in progress and which I wouldn’t have wanted to miss for anything!

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BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

He then directed my steps to meet Cheryl, who later became my wife, and who had just accepted Christ herself. And that has made all the difference in our marriage, our parenting of three children, and now with the joy of being grandparents. And Christ still is directing my steps on my daily adventure, and putting me in places and opportunities that I never expected. Though it may sound simple, one of the important things I find is that the Lord gives me wisdom to make decisions on a daily and weekly basis regarding all that I am involved in. One of my favorite verses

is “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all of your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) When I acknowledge Him and seek His wisdom in my daily decisions of life I am continually dumbfounded in how He directs my steps in the right way. And boy am I glad, because I’m just not smart enough on my own!! What is the most prominent issue facing America’s future and how should Christians pray?

I believe our greatest threat is the increasing loss of our freedoms. There is a constant encroachment on those freedoms in so many arenas…attacks on our Second Amendment rights, government telling us what kind of health insurance we can and cannot have, attacks on our religious freedom, the attempt to muzzle the Christian message, and the pressure to be politically correct rather than morally and Biblically correct. And isn’t it interesting that those who scream the loudest for tolerance are the most intolerant toward our Judeo-Christian values and moral?

Christ still is directing my steps on my daily adventure, and putting me in places and opportunities that I never expected. 11


BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

If I were to ask Christians to pray for one thing, Richard, it would be that believers would have the backbone and resolve to stand up and protect our freedoms and rights. It grieves me that only approximately one-half of those who attend church in America are registered to vote, and approximately one-half of those registered actually vote. Every person in America who loves and values our freedom needs a titanium backbone and the power of prayer to stand up and be counted! As a former businessman and one of our nation’s foremost Christian leaders, do you have a positive or pessimistic view of America’s future and why? That is a great question Richard. If we depend on the news we are bombarded with it would be easy to want to hide in our homes or consider jumping off a bridge. But I believe that the heart and soul of America still beats with the desire to “be that shining city on a hill” which President Reagan is famous for speaking of. But we all need to remember that those words originally came from Gov. Bradford, one of the Christian founders of Jamestown. For generations that heartbeat has

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characterized this great nation that has become the most generous and beneficent nation in history as well as the greatest mission-sending nation. As a result, the life-transforming Christian message has circled to globe from the U.S. And I believe that is still a strong drive deep in the DNA of this nation. And when I am around many of the wonderfully gifted and talented young men of the younger generations I have great hope for the “tomorrows” ahead of us. God is raising up some amazing young leadership, with their head firmly embedded in Biblical principles of leadership and with a deep abiding desire to participate in the adventure of getting our nation back on course. It won’t be easy, but I

am definitely holding out great hope. As a keynote Master Sportsman with Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship, what variety of speaking venues have you had over the years? Tell us about your recent invitation to speak for the National Rifle Association annual Sportsmen’s Prayer Breakfast. I have a passion to speak to men and have been fortunate to speak to over 210,000 of them since 2006. For several years I have served as a keynote speaker for Promise Keepers and have done my own men’s conferences, BECOMING A MAN OF VALOR, in many churches across the nation


BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

and in Germany as well. My wife, Cheryl and I do marriage conferences together called THE ADVENTURE OF MARRIAGE, which we have gotten great response to, and we feel that is so important since so many marriages are coming apart at the seams. Because of my passion for hunting, and having been a speaker for so many years, I have had the opportunity to speak at a lot of Wild Game Dinners where many people have indicated that that they have prayed to accept Christ. I believe that one of my strengths is not simply telling hunting stories and engaging audiences, but I feel God has given me a strong ability to “draw the net” and see many people surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. This year I was honored to be invited to give the keynote address at the NRA’s (National Rifle Association) Sportsmen’s Prayer Breakfast at their national convention in Houston. It turned out to be the largest they have ever had and Bob Miller and his team were great to work with. I asked for the opportunity to give a very clear and strong call to surrender to Christ, and received the support to do so. As a result we saw 123 people sign a commitment card indicating that they had prayed that morning to receive

Christ! We were all ecstatic and thankful. Another 97 indicated that while they were already a Christ follower, they made a significant commitment that morning to follow Jesus Christ more closely. Anyone who would like to know more can go to my website (www.totallifeimpact.com) and learn more. I would love to talk with anyone who wants to know more. Who are some of your mentors and other influential leaders that have inspired you most over the years? Who are some of your lifelong friends? Richard I believe that our lives are significantly shaped by the people we meet, the places we see, and the books we read. There have indeed been some very special people who have touched and shaped my life as mentors. And different people have mentored me in different areas. My dad and mom mentored me in that neither of them were able to finish high school, yet they worked hard and never let that stop them. As a result they helped me to become the first person in my family line to attend college. They taught me integrity, hard work, making the most of what you have, and tenacity.

Leighton Ford, Billy Graham’s brother-in-law and former Associate Evangelist, and Dr. Bill Bright who founded Campus Crusade for Christ both built into my life the concept of taking God at His word and attempting the impossible. They modeled for me a love for God’s word and the value of having a Kingdom mindset in whatever you do, so that the goal is for Christ’s Kingdom to advance rather than personal advancement. My father-in-law modeled for me how to be a great husband and grandfather. He was a man I looked up to greatly as a leader and doer. He cherished his wife and I learned so much about continuing to pursue and court a beautiful woman, even after marriage. Bud McGinnis loved me enough to gently keep prodding me to “just try” hunting with him once to personally experience the great outdoors. When I finally gave in and went, I fell in love with it the first day I sat in a deer blind and watched the world “wake up” at dawn. I knew I wanted to do that the rest of my life. Bud unleashed a passion deep in my soul that has given me some of the most enjoyable adventures of my life. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. And all of them have been lifelong friends. And just

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BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

think, Richard, from the first time you and I met we birthed a friendship which has lasted a lot of years and for which I am very thankful. A few of many others have been Randy Singer with whom I wrote the book MADE TO COUNT and with whom I had the privilege of working together on a leadership team at the North American Mission Board for eight years. Tommy Teague was a great friend and colleague for many years, but tragically died a couple of years ago while traveling overseas. And that has reminded me to savor friends today for there is no guarantee we will have them tomorrow. There are so many other names I could mention but will finish by saying that I have learned that the most important thing about having good friends is purposing to be a good friend. I know that you probably do not like loaded questions but I must ask you, who is the most important person in your life and why? Without question, it is the person who changed my life— Jesus Christ. And Richard, that is NOT Sunday School answer. That is a REAL LIFE answer. When I surrendered my life to Him I found that He taught me through His word what being a real man is, how to live a life of following Him, and

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what it means to be a husband and father. And to come to understand that God loved me personally and completely-loving me right where I was but loving me too much to allow me to stay there— it blew my mind! I have found that He also loved me enough that He gave me an Owner’s Manual. Now Richard, you’re looking like you’re not sure what I mean. Owner’s manuals are written so that the equipment may operate at maximum effectiveness, and avoid major breakdowns. But when do we usually READ the owner’s manual?!? Usually when something breaks down! In the same way, God gave me and every man, woman and young person the Bible as our Owner’s Manual to help us operate at maximum effectiveness and avoid major breakdown. Now that blows my mind. All I have to do is follow it. When speaking before outdoorsmen during a Sportsmen’s Banquet & Wild Game Tasting, what topics do you find resonate most with men? In your opinion do men have a lot of close friends? Men respond to talks of adventure. So many of us do similar things day after day, but as we said earlier, deep in the

heart of every man is a desire for adventure. When word pictures and visuals are used to describe real hunting and fishing adventures, you can literally see the men’s body language leaning into the story. And part of that adventure is the element of risk. The older we get, the more responsible we become for family, income and provision, the more risk adverse we tend to become. Men love to hear about the element of risk. Even if the story ends in a missed shot or a lost opportunity, every man can relate because all of us “miss some shots” as we live out life. They appreciate hearing about the” misses” mixed in with the successes, because all men are looking for authenticity and transparency. And thirdly, most men are amazed that hunting and fishing bring up so many life lessons that are found in the Scripture and they love seeing illustrations of the Biblical principles shaped from experiences in an area for which they have a passion: hunting and fishing.


BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

When I surrendered my life to Him I found that He taught me through His word what being a real man is, how to live a life of following Him, and what it means to be a husband and father.

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BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

What is your current role with the Council for National Policy headquartered in Washington, D.C. and what impact is the organization having on our nation? I am privileged to be the Executive Director of this great 30 year old organization. It was launched by Dr. Tim LaHaye (author of the Left Behind book series) and a number of other conservative leaders. For the length of its history it has been pulling together top influential conservative leaders in the areas of faith, business, higher education, values, and media. The purpose is to work together to draw our nation back to its constitutional moorings and protect our liberties. The organization has served as a forum to bring together some of the greatest minds and activists in the nation and facilitated them working together to get the job done. It is an amazing group of leaders, and every time I hear the things they are involved in pertaining to the arenas of national security, free market enterprise, and traditional moral values, I thank God for the opportunity to work alongside of many of today’s heroes. Why are true sportsmen considered Conservation Managers? That is such a great question,

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Richard, because hunters too often take a bum rap. The facts are that every time hunters buy guns and ammunition, money is generated to the Wildlife Restoration Fund under the Pitman-Robertson legislation. That is in effect an excise tax which hunters support which is apportioned to states’ natural resource agencies for conservation and education. That is now over $500 million annually. Conservation efforts in states, working in conjunction with hunters, have made a huge positive increase in both the health and magnitude of wildlife. Just as a couple of examples Richard, in 1900 there were only approximately 40,000 elk in America, but today with the help and support of hunters there are 1.2 million. In 1900, there were approximately 500,000 whitetail, but today that has exploded to over 32 million. And in 1900 ducks were almost gone, but today they are a whopping 44 million…which makes the Duck Commander very happy!! Add to that the impact on the economy of hunters putting in over $66 Billion (that is with a B) with $25 billion going to retail stores for guns, equipment and ammunition which supports over 600,000 jobs nationwide. So I would say that hunters are doing their part!

Describe the Dream Hunt of your lifetime if time and money were no object. Richard I think I would be torn between two. One, amazingly, I’m going to get to do this year. An unbelievable opportunity has come my way to hunt lion, and possibly cape buffalo, in Africa this fall. I am so pumped!!! The good Lord gave me an opportunity that I could never have afforded under normal circumstances and I can’t wait…I just hope and pray the hunter doesn’t become the hunted!! Why is the 2nd Amendment support of firearm ownership so vital to the future of the United States and how is it closely related to the 1st Amendment which guarantees free speech? The Second Amendment, as well as the rest of the Bill of Rights, place specific limits on government. They were established as a result of some states feeling the limits of the Constitution itself were not specific enough. So, to delineate specific areas which would protect individuals from government intrusion, James Madison penned what we now refer to as the Bill of Rights. Each one is integrally tied to the other amendments. And Richard, while most people quickly say that the right to bear


BOB RECCORD STANDS WITH OUR NATION’S HERITAGE

arms gave citizens the right to protect themselves and their property, as well as provide food for their family and friends, it also gave the guarantee of citizens to stand against tyranny of government if ever needed. And most are reluctant to acknowledge that fact. Liberty and freedom serve as the centerpiece of America’s history. Do Americans continue to enjoy the same level of freedom that our nation’s founders experienced? Why?

Fathers to stand up and warn us, “These are the very things we fought to establish and protect. Stand firm!” And beyond those areas, Richard, I am alarmed at the attacks that are raging in our land on our freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and privacy. The recent IRS scandals pressuring conservative non-profit organizations, the NSA scandal of overreach of government into our privacy, and the Mt. Soledad and Mojave Desert monument attacks

(displaying the Christian cross) are a strong indication of just how fragile our freedoms are, and a reminder that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. Do you believe that a great movement of God’s Spirit is coming to our nation in the area of effective men’s ministry within the local church? Why or why not? I believe that a foundational principle of the church is that women bring energy to the

Well, frankly we need to understand that our Founders didn’t experience the freedom we have experienced in America for over 235 years, Richard. They stepped into what we refer to as the American Revolution because they were experiencing what they felt was excessive taxation (what they referred to as “taxation without representation”) and the king’s embargoing of arms and ammunition to America. In fact, the king had instructed the Redcoats to begin confiscating the arms of the colonists. Sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it? The recent high pressured efforts of some in Congress to curtail our Second Amendment rights would cause our Founding

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church, but it is men who bring its strength. Promise Keepers burst upon the scene and did a marvelous contribution to the church in America…it woke up the church to the deep-seated need men had for adventure, to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to express faith in a manly way, and to step up to the plate as a godly leader. While PK has lost its impact in recent years, innumerable churches have picked up the mantel and incorporated ministry toward men within its own arena locally. Personally, I believe that it is much healthier with men’s ministry grounded in the local church, but I am very thankful that ministries like Promise Keepers served as a catalyst to get men…and churches…moving. So, in answer to your question, I see some trends for which I am very thankful, but I am not sure I would term in yet as “movement.” BUT, I would love to see a full blown men’s movement sweep across this land. Tell us about your recent elk hunt with one of your best friends, your son. That hunt was one of the highlight experiences of my life. My son, Bryan, was preparing to head to Afghanistan and we had the opportunity to hunt

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elk together. Everything came together like a storybook. We had a great trip together filled with laughter, sharing man-toman, and just enjoying each other’s company.

afterburners is one of the most amazing experiences a hunter can have. And of course, it doesn’t hurt any when they actually fall after you pull the trigger!!

When we got there no other hunters seemed to be in the area and the weather was pristine for elk hunting. The first morning we were surrounded by bugling bulls. What an awesome memory that is! And within three days each of us had a great bull elk on the ground. I have to say though, Richard, as excited as I was about the big boy I got, even more exciting to me was watching Bryan track his elk through his scope…take a deep breath…and pull the trigger. I celebrated like I was at a football game when I saw my son have one of the great moments of his life. And I was there to see it!

I remember well sharing one of those amazing experiences with you Richard. What a great experience it was to share that opportunity as friends. I recall we were as excited when the other person got a bird as we were when we got one ourselves. Now that is REAL friendship!

I know from personal experience that you are an avid pheasant hunter. Describe your fascination with upland game bird hunting. To me, they are the most beautiful game bird in North America. I love walking through the fields, especially in South Dakota, watching the dogs do their amazing work, and suddenly hear the yell, “Rooster!!” Seeing those birds burst from cover, rise like a harrier jet, and hit the

Who are some of your heroes over the span of your life and career? Biblical heroes? Some of me historical heroes have been Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, David Livingstone, Helen Keller, William Wilburforce, William Booth and Billy Graham. From the Scripture: Joshua as a leader God amazingly blessed; David as a man who overcame his weak points and wanted God’s heart; Peter who could put his foot in his mouth up to his knee (which I can identify with) yet became a powerhouse spokesman for Christ, and Paul who was unashamed of the gospel and bold beyond belief.


If you could leave our readers with some level of encouragement for the future of America, what remains great about this nation and why? The greatness of America has always been found in its people. As I travel the nation I find so many great people… and that makes me have great hope in America’s future. It is still the greatest experiment in government, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, in the history of the world. I would also add, Richard, that history shows that America has been the greatest benevolent nation ever as well as the greatest mission-sending nation. As those two qualities are protected and continued God’s hand will remain involved in this land, of that I am firmly convinced. And lastly, the Scripture says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” As long as this nation has enough who recall the roots from which it came, the future will be as bright as the promises of God. Could you sign off in this interview with a short and succinct prayer for men and their families, sportsmen who love and respect our great heritage, and citizens of the greatest and most

God blessed country on the face of the earth? I would be honored. Heavenly Father, thank you for men throughout this land. You created them to lead and bring strength to all in which they are involved. Draw them to yourself and change their life. Transform them and allow them to become transformers to all they influence. Grant them the faith of Abraham, the persistence of Noah, the courage of David, the power of Elijah, the adventurous spirit of Peter, the boldness of Paul, and the fullness of Christ. Help those who are married to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Help those who are single to maximize the days when responsibilities toward others are fewer. For those who are fathers help them to model the heart of God to their kids and grow them up to be unashamed Christ-followers. For those who are grandfathers, allow them to leave a legacy that focuses on what is really important and not just urgent.

interview. We ask that you periodically keep us informed with more insightful views about the future of America, especially as it relates to our constitutional rights and our stewardship of God’s great resources found in the outdoors. Thank you for sharing personal insights into your life and career and all that God has called you to especially while serving with the Council for National Policy headquartered in Washington, D.C. Your clear and forthright responses in this interview help us see into the heart of a man that greatly loves our Lord and these United States of America! Bob Reccord is available to speak for church men’s groups and Sportsmen’s Banquets and can be reached at: www.totallifeimpact.com

And above all else, let them guard their heart, for out of it will come the issues of their life as you state in Proverbs 4:23. I ask this in the name above every other name, Jesus Christ. Amen We certainly appreciate the time together with you in this

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Pastor’s First Alaskan Moose Hunt

By Pastor Milt Michener

Growing up in Texas I had hunted White Tail deer, quail, and lots of dove, but I never dreamed I would have the hunt of a lifetime in the wilderness of Alaska. I had moved my family to Kodiak Island to work with troubled teens at Kodiak Baptist Mission (http://www. kodiakbaptistmission.org). The Lord had made it very clear that He wanted us to move to the Great Land and minister to the people there. We had lived there for a year and a half, when a friend asked me if I would like to go on a moose hunt. My heart began to leap inside of me at the thought of hunting the largest member of the deer family. We could sure use the meat to fill up the empty freezer, and I knew it would be a great adventure. We had six teenage girls in the mission house along with our three kids, so a freezer full of moose meat would be a tremendous blessing. I had been told that moose meat was even better than venison, and

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I could not wait to taste it for myself. The opportunity to hunt for a moose was an answer to my prayers. I called my father in Texas and asked him to come with me for this once in a lifetime hunting trip. There is something special about hunting and creating memories with your family. To this day, Dad and I still reminisce about the wonderful adventure we had together. Our hunt began with a long flight that made several short stops before we finally landed in Kotzebue. The plane only held 15 passengers but thankfully we were able to take all of our hunting gear. The journey to the hunt would take us another ninety miles up the Noatak River. The scenery was beautiful and I was very thankful that the Lord had called me to minister in this land that was so vast and filled with His majesty. The trip up the river in the flat bottom skiff was a little cool but around

every turn was another wonder to see. The trees had started to turn a bright gold and were mixed in with dark evergreens. When we finally arrived at the camp, there were two bunk houses, a cook house and meat poles; ready for the fresh meat that would be hung after the hunt. There were several other hunters from down south already hunting. They were members of the Safari Club, and they had all the right hunting gear; everything was new, the best money could buy. I prayed silently, “Lord, I need your help! I have never hunted moose and I don’t know if I have the right gear.” The next day, the guide sent my father and me up the river to hunt out of a very small log cabin. It was so short that we had to get down on our knees to enter the front door. The floor was dirt but it was a welcome sight as we had seen fresh grizzly tracks walking up the nearby


river bank. About an hour later, after we had gotten everything situated and cut some wood for the fire, Dad looked over my shoulder behind me and said, “Is that a bear?” I turned and saw a very large grizzly. I got down on my knees and crawled over to the edge of the riverbank. I had a nice shot of about a hundred yards, but decided to wait on a kill. I just sat and watched him walk down the edge of the river. He was a beautiful brown bear with blonde highlights on his back. I thanked the Lord for the opportunity to see such a magnificent creature. After hunting for two days we had only seen one cow moose, so

they picked us up and brought us back to the main camp. By now I was beginning to get a little frustrated, you could shoot any bull moose but I still had not even seen a spike. The next day I asked the head guide, Louie, if he could point me toward a meat bull. We had been invited to hunt out of the camp but we were not paying the big bucks for a guided hunt. The head guide told me that he had been seeing a nice meat bull almost every day not far from the camp. The bull was only about 48 inches across and his clients were looking for something larger. Louie told me to follow the river east until I crossed

over a creek that flowed into the Noatak River. From there I was to follow the trail until I came to a small meadow, and that was where they had seen him several times. So I woke up early the next morning and started out of camp following Louie’s instructions. I followed the trail, crossed over the creek and continued to the small meadow. It was all torn up from the moose tracks and I began to get excited. I watched the meadow for some time but nothing ever stepped out into the meadow. I continued to walk the trail and came upon another huge meadow. I glassed the meadow and saw several cows

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with calves, but no bulls. I began to get a little discouraged and headed back toward the trail and the small meadow when I came upon another trail that headed through the woods toward the creek. This trail looked like a highway; it had been traveled by so many moose that it was about three feet wide and beaten down. I followed it for a while and came upon two more cow moose. By now I was getting tired and discouraged. I had hunted for several days and still had yet to even see one bull. I kept walking down the trail toward the two cows thinking that they would be spooked away and I could keep going deeper into the woods following

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the trail. Suddenly, a huge bull moose stood up between the two cows. I was startled and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I dropped to one knee and took aim. The Bull was only about 75 yards away and began to snort. I looked through my scope, put the cross hairs on his vitals, breathed out, and pulled the trigger. He didn’t even move. I had shot him right behind his front shoulder and was pretty sure that I hit him, but I began to wonder if moose fever had gotten the best of me. Finally, he went down and I walked over to the Bull Moose. I said a big thank you to the Lord, for I knew this giant moose was a blessing from Him. He was much larger

than I expected; I didn’t think that this was the meat bull they had told me about. I thanked the Lord again for this great blessing and started the walk back to camp for help. When I arrived, the skinners were still in camp and told me that no one else had gotten a bull that day. They told me they would follow me on their four-wheeler, and help bring the meat back to camp. When we arrived back at my moose the skinner pulled up to the nose of the large bull with his four-wheeler. He had the strangest look on his face and said, “This ain’t the meat bull! This bull is about 64” wide and must weigh at least 1700 pounds.” Then he looked


at me and said, “What’s your lucky number?” I said, “I don’t have a lucky number but my favorite number in the number 7, God’s number of perfection and completion.” He shook his head and said, “My four-wheeler just turned over to 777.7 miles.” I quickly said, “That is God verifying that He blessed me with this moose. The skinner just shook his head and said, “A

standing there alone he looked around the camp and then leaned over to me and quietly said, “Would you pray for me before I go out today?” I said sure and prayed for him right then. Later that day he came back with a nice 58” moose… God answers prayer! When I think back on my first moose hunt, I am still awed by God’s goodness. That moose was not

preacher that has never hunted moose just walks out of camp and shoots the biggest moose taken this year.” I replied with a smile, “It is just the blessing of God.”

supposed to be in that area. The guides had looked over that area for weeks before any hunters had arrived. They knew where every trophy bull was at, and that one had not been seen. I am convinced that the Lord had saved that one just for me.

We cut up the moose and made several trips through the night to get all the meat back to camp and hung up. The next morning after breakfast everyone was looking at the moose and one of the guys from the Safari Club down south came over to me and commented on how nice my moose was. While we were

and being obedient to Him. In Deuteronomy 28:1-8, we are taught that diligent obedience to the Lord brings His blessings into our lives. Verse 2 says that even in our fast-paced lives we can’t outrun the blessings of God. He will catch up to us, overtake us, and bless us. You can’t get away from the blessings of God if you are obedient to Him! Verse 3 teaches us that

God’s desire is to bless us! James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” We can only come into the circle of God’s blessing through a relationship with Jesus Christ

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God will bless us wherever we are; in the city or in the country. In verse 4, God promises to bless our children and our vocation. In verse 5, the Lord promises to bless our daily supply and promises there will always be enough. In verse 6, God promises to bless our daily duties. We leave the house knowing we are blessed all day long. In verse 7, we are warned that even in God’s blessing we will have conflict from the enemy, but the Lord will bring us to a perfect victory! Finally, in verse 8, the Lord promises to bless our enterprises. There are seven promises given to us in this passage and seven being God’s number of perfection shows God’s desire to bless us perfectly! Open your heart to Christ, live for Him in obedience, and you will experience blessings that you never expected!

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Leaving a Legacy Through Estate Planning Christian Sportsmen’s Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. The foundation is supported by the prayers and generosity of Christian sportsmen and corporate sponsors. One way that you can ensure that outreach to sportsmen continues is to consider including the foundation in your estate plan.

If you are interested in establishing a charitable gift annuity for the Christian Sportsmen’s Foundation, please contact Richard Jordan at 770.335.1814 or speak with your estate planning attorney. Your financial support has helped launch over 350 church based chapters across the nation since 1994 to impact thousands of sportsmen for eternity, along their sons and daughters.

CSF Camouflaged

SPORTSMEN’S BIBLE Some sportsmen have used the CSF Camouflaged Sportsmen’s Bible while in the tree stand deer hunting and believe that this edition of God’s Word is an invaluable tool for a successful season. Whether the action seems slow or you just want to take a moment to reflect in seeking inspiration from a favorite scripture reference, this small pocket bible is just right for the active Christian sportsman who takes his deer hunting seriously. The CSF Camouflaged Sportsmen’s Bible makes a great gift for family members and friends. Stock up today so that you will be, “Ready in season and out of season” to give an account for the hope that you have within you!

770.772.6749 or www.christiansportsman.com 25


Is Your Name in God’s Record Book of Life?

“I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) Did you know that you can have your name permanently recorded in God’s book of life today?

HERE’S HOW: A) Admit that you need him - Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23a: “For the wages of sin is death...”, B) Believe that Jesus died to save you - Romans 6:23b “...but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” C) Confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord by turning from your sin and calling on his name - Romans 10:9-10: “That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:13: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 3:19: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out...” Our response is to receive Jesus Christ.

Does this prayer say what you want to say to God? Dear God, I believe that your son died for my sins and ask your forgiveness. I receive Jesus Christ now as my personal Savior and invite him to be the Lord of my life from this day forward. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. Please contact us about your eternal decision: csf@christiansportsman.com CSF, P.O. Box 566547, Atlanta, GA 31156

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Have you thought about joining Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship or have you been putting off renewing your exisiting membership? Please consider responding today! Your support and involvement helps us continue to promote the ideals and goals of CSF. Bonus!

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Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship

Needs Your Help in Casting the Net!

Social Media Integration IN LIFE THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF PEOPLE: Those that “make things happen”, “watch what happens”, and those that wonder, “what just happened”. And no one wants to get caught in this last category! “Sometimes it’s very challenging to adapt to change, especially when it comes to the unfamiliar technology accelerators that are now driving our outdoor communities. Over the past few months several cutting edge applications have been developed for web surfers using computers, smart phones, Ipods, etc. Efficiency helps in finding success when living in an over-communicated culture”, — Richard Jordan, CSF President Each strand of the “web” leads to another line of communication. The World-Wide-Web (www) connects us all together. But within the web there are great ways to inform and entertain like Flikr for sharing photographs or Youtube for sharing video experiences. Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship’s (CSF) goal is to keep you inform so that lifelong friendships can be built with other like-minded sportsmen!

Consider “the web” as more of a net, a fisherman’s net. Jesus stated: “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt. 4:19) Call CSF headquarters with your questions, to obtain links, or for technical assistance at 770.772.6749 31


As I hunt deer I am always aware of how much trust I put in those who I don’t even know. I think about this as I follow lighted tracks down a path I’ve never been, and as I ascend a 20 foot high ladder-stand I trust that my guide has adequately secured it to the tree. As I throw a strap around the same tree that is hooked to my safety harness, I trust that if I should fall it would catch me and keep me from injury or death. I also trust that my guide has done his due diligence and placed me in an area that has the potential for a good harvest. If any of these are shrouded with doubt, the process slows, the cost increases, and more importantly, relationships are compromised. When we think about some of the

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most vital relationships that most of us have, the list is rather short: husband and wife, employer and employee, parent and child, friend and friend, God and us. What we need to notice about each one of these relationships is that without trust, the relationship is unhealthy. If a husband cannot trust his wife or a wife cannot trust her husband, the relationship is unhealthy. If an employee cannot trust her employer or vice versa, the relationship is unhealthy. The same is true for the parent/child relationship, and especially for our relationship with God. Can I trust God and can God trust me? Now where does this all fit into building life-long friendships? I

hope you already see the answer: in order for us to build life-long friendships, we must understand that trust is not only vital, but without it these friendships are impossible. We know that trust doesn’t just happen overnight, right? Well, sort of. Trust is a choice, and most choices do happen at one specific time. Sure, trust is built on consistent data, but real trust is not given in increments, it is actually given in full, by a conscience decision to trust. Let me explain… On the day I got married, I made a conscience decision to trust my wife, fully and completely. We had dated for some time and I had built up knowledge of her and her of me, and we fell in love. But on that one day when I said “I do,” I did not say to her, “I will begin to give you small


increments of my trust.” No, I chose to trust her completely. Without that trust our relationship would have been unhealthy. What about my relationship with God? Yes, I had heard about His love, and about Him giving His Son for my sins, but when I chose to become a follower of Jesus Christ I made a conscience decision to trust Him. After all, if I trust God with my own soul and eternity, shouldn’t I also trust Him with things of less importance, like my protection and provision? Now I know at times we all struggle with these and we want to take back that trust, but isn’t this when the relationship becomes unhealthy? Just as Joshua put a choice before the children of Israel: “Choose, this day, whom you will serve,” we must also decide today if we will choose to trust God. There is no in-between for the relationship to be healthy. You have a lot of data, but there comes a time when you must make a simple but hard choice. There comes a time when you need to go all in; no increments, no withholdings, no trepidation. If two guys have become life-long friends, it’s because at some point both have gone “all in” when it comes to trust.

As a Christian, I am called to invest in the lives of other men, and some of these investments have led to lifelong friendships. But in order for this to happen I had to model trust, in fact, I had to make myself vulnerable as I offered my trust. I had to leave myself open to be taken advantage of, I had to risk physical loss, and I had to be willing to trust without knowing if it would be reciprocated. If I am to be the mature Christian man that God wants me to be, this is what I must do. I must be willing to bring someone into my life and by my actions say, “you can trust me.” I know of no better way to begin this process than through the activities and hobbies that I enjoy, namely hunting and fishing. Since men learn better through activity, I have found this the perfect way, and these the perfect places, to say to them in a way they may not even recognize: I am offering you trust. This means that sometimes friendship and the trust that accompanies it is one-sided. I think this is pictured perfectly in Jesus. He was known as a friend of sinners but not necessarily as the sinner’s friend. He willingly offered Himself as someone who could be trusted

and who would accept them as they were. But in order for a mutual, life-long friendship to be realized, the sinner must also say to Jesus: “You can trust me as well and I will be your friend.” This is why after a period of time with His disciples Jesus could say to them, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:1114) It was as if Jesus said, “I told you that I am your friend because you can trust me, but since you are now doing what I commanded you to do I can trust you too. So now, not only will I be your friend, you will be mine as well.” No relationship between two friends can be healthy if trust is not there. All it takes is one guy, preferably a mature Christian, who will invite a friend to the hunting lodge and be the one to make sure the path is well marked and the stand is safe and well placed; and by doing so convey a message that he can be a trusted friend.

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Submitted by Dan Cherry, Great Falls, Montana

Six for Six: A Clean Sweep Big Sky Chapter CSF 2012 Special Youth Challenge Hunt

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The words would have torn at the heart of most any man: “I’m sorry I failed so miserably.” After flinching as he shot his dad’s .25-06, a very worthy opencountry deer rifle, our lightly built 12-year-old hunter, Aaron, was a bit shaken. He stepped quietly over my way and meekly uttered those words. In reality the rifle had just been too much for him. We were at the shooting range on the first afternoon of our 2012 hunt set aside for youth hunters dealing with disabilities. As the first one to the firing line, and his first time firing a rifle, Aaron was nervous. I quietly reassured him that failure is not in making mistakes, but only in neglecting to confront them or learn from them. A visible change came over the young man as I spoke those words. He realized he was not expected to prove his abilities, and that we were there to help him improve, not to criticize. Roy Dormady, our Central Montana CSF Chapter Director, had brought the .243 rifle that he and his kids use on deer, and he soon had Aaron set up with it. Now able to relax as he realized he did not have to prove himself, Aaron changed visibly. He realized he was surrounded by people who simply wanted to help him succeed. One of the greatest rewards of being involved in the Youth Challenge Hunt is watching the kids’ confidence grow as they realize their success is one of our main priorities.

The hunt had begun months prior, first with the process of application and selection of candidates. Word of the hunt is disseminated through various individuals who deal on a regular basis with kids facing challenges, whether physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or debilitating diseases such as cancer. Over the years the selected hunters have included kids dealing with issues such as deafness, leukemia, autism, seizure disorders, ADD, ADHD, and even cerebral palsy and missing limbs. Each prospective hunter submits an essay stating why he desires to participate in the hunt. Each hunter’s essay is reviewed by a selection panel that trusts God to lead the right hunters and their families to the CSF hunt. While the hunt itself is designed to be a blessing to each hunter as well as an enjoyable experience, its ultimate goal is to honor God and share Jesus Christ with everyone involved. Candidates are selected with these goals in mind. Once hunters are selected, a meet-and-greet-session is held about a month before the season so that the candidates and their families can meet the guides and camp staff. The term “staff” refers to volunteers, as the local chapter’s camp is strictly a tent camp set up for this one hunt each year. Many individuals from a variety of local churches give of their time and services as they are able. This session allows everyone to

get acquainted and also gives the camp chefs a chance to learn any dietary restrictions or special preferences the guests may have. A range session is also planned three weeks before the season opener so that the staff can make sure the hunters are familiar with the rifles they will be using. This is also an extra chance to ensure the rifles are properly sighted and give the hunters some pre-hunt practice. This year the session was rained out, resulting in the first day challenge mentioned above. That challenge was hardly a deterrent, however, and when Aaron got a second turn to step back up to the firing line, he lay down prone and shot well enough to hit a deer’s vital zone at reasonable range. So our hunters this year included Aaron Polaske, 12 years old, and his brother Austin, 15, both suffer from a hearing impairment. Each brother must use hearing aids and take special precautions, including the use of ear protection while shooting at game in order to avoid accelerated hearing loss. This added an extra challenge to our hunt in terms of communication, particularly while we were stalking game. Colton Monroe, our third hunter, dealt with Dyslexia as well as Attention Deficit Disorder. Like his brother Jordan, who deals with autism and was successful on a CSF hunt three years earlier, Colton had high hopes of getting a big

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mule deer. In addition to dealing with reading and attention deficits in his classrooms, Colton was missing his dad, who had been deployed with the U.S. Air Force in Iraq for the past six months. Colton’s mother, Kim Monroe, bravely stepped outside her comfort zone to stay in a tent camp in Montana’s late-fall hunting season to come with Colton. Back at camp, as part of the first-day welcoming process, each hunter was presented with a large duffle bag full of hunting gear which included gloves, ammunition, backpacks, a full set of camouflage clothing, and boots. All of this was donated by local sporting good dealers including Big Bear Sporting Goods, Big R, Scheels Sports, and even Cabela’s. Each hunter was made to feel particularly special and assured that each person in camp wanted this hunt to be a huge success for him. Our first day of camp was capped with a top-notch dinner of steak, salad and all the extra trimmings, prepared by our very capable camp chefs, Kim and Jerry Tucker. This couple has served as our camp chefs for several years now. As any outfitter knows, the quality of food is one of the few variables that can be controlled in a hunting camp, as weather, game patterns and hunter ability are all out of our hands. Kim and Jerry have served up incredible, professional-quality meals three times a day for

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several CSF youth hunts, setting the tone for a positive camp experience. Good-quality wall tents and wood stoves add to the camp atmosphere as well, giving the hunters and their caregivers a comfortable place to warm up, dry out if needed, and sleep soundly at night after a rigorous day’s hunt. An area rancher and his family have graciously set their ranch aside for the hunt for several years now. Not only do they offer a beautiful camp location near the banks of a prime fishing stream, but they also do not allow any other hunting on their huge ranch during the first week of Montana’s general biggame season, which gives our youth hunters the best possible opportunity to hunt undisturbed game and a great chance at good-sized bucks. After a fullcourse dinner, Pastor Rollie Strutz offered a devotional, which focused everyone’s attention toward the Creator of what we enjoyed. Sharing a common bond in Christ, guest hunters, their family members, our rancher hosts and volunteers all shared in gratitude for a great camp experience that had already begun. We closed with a prayer for safety and success, then hit our tents with anticipation of an early start and a great hunt the next day. The next morning I headed out with Roy and Aaron, as well as Aaron’s mother, Chris. I soon witnessed what could have been the day’s first filled tag. Heading

out toward one of the highest points on the ranch, we were soon into large numbers of mule deer. A unique 4X3 buck with a high, narrow rack soon caught our eye and would have made a great trophy for Aaron’s first hunt, but we knew we could likely do better so we continued on toward one of Roy’s favorite areas. Our group spotted several other respectable bucks as well, and took note of where we might come back to check on them. Finally Roy spotted a wide-racked 4X4 skylined on a distant ridge, and we knew we were in the right spot. We made a wide, looping circle and spotted a handful of other deer, but nothing as good as the buck we were after. We worked slowly around the leeward side of a huge, bald knob and we carefully checked in low, brushy pockets for deer. As we cautiously made our way over a very low rise, a set of antlers became visible in a swale below us. They belonged to the buck we were after. We all hunkered down and then crawled forward. By staying low we managed to get Aaron set up on a very gradual, open rise that allowed his rifle to clear any grass that might deflect his bullet. The range was at full 200 yards, but a complete lack of cover prevented any chance of our stalking closer. Setting the rifle up on a bipod, Aaron checked through the scope and stated he was comfortable with taking the shot opportunity available to him. We agreed


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to let him try. Aaron took the shot and the buck hunched, stumbled, and then took off further down the ridge. We could tell it had been hit hard. The buck paused, almost allowing for a follow-up shot, then gave a final lunge and went down. With our first tag filled, we had a happy hunter (and mom). Our work at the range had paid off. In a nearby portion of the ranch, Aaron’s brother Austin had gone out with Jim Delaney, a local business man, and Simon, who works on the ranch. Simon is a deadly long-range shooter and great at spotting game. Protecting the ranch’s sheep and cattle from various predators, he often takes coyotes at ranges of 500 to 900 or even 1000 yards. He also knows the ranch and its wildlife intimately. They slowly worked their way around the leeward side of another huge, open ridge, and checked into several brushy swales and draws. Eventually they spotted a pair of big bucks, and they were initially unable to get a shot off. Simon led the group in a quick circle that let them catch the bucks coming over a ridge, but Austin’s shot at 330 yards did not connect. One of the advantages of hunting with a ranch worker is that he knows the land and how the wildlife travels it. Simon told the group, “Come on, I know where they’re heading,” and off they went in hot pursuit. Sure enough, Simon’s sharp eyes for game

eventually spotted the bucks, and Austin was able to connect at 211 yards on a gnarly, heavyantlered buck that any seasoned hunter would be proud to take home. By late afternoon the group was back in camp with the second big buck of the hunt, and the celebration increased. Austin’s dad had been with him to share in his success while Aaron’s mom had been with him on his first hunt. Now both boys had “B” tags left to fill, allowing them to take whitetail does. Close to dark, Colton’s group, including local cabinet specialist Robert Stone and veteran guide Dwane Culver, came in looking for assistance from the crews in camp as they had spotted good-sized bucks but only at extreme distances. Toward mid-afternoon they had gotten a chance at a big buck, but a lack of stalking cover allowed for only a long shot, which is one of the challenges of hunting Montana’s wide-open spaces. At first the group thought Colton had hit the buck, but after six of us had scoured the area we found no buck and no blood or other sign of a hit. As we searched for sign of a hit on Colton’s buck, temperatures dropped and a cold north wind brought a heavy snow across the region…Colton’s hunt would continue the next day. The next morning Aaron and Austin switched places, Aaron hunted with his dad for a whitetail doe and Austin was accompanied by his mom.

Working along a hay field and onto a high ridge, Aaron’s group found no shot opportunities within acceptable range during their morning hunt, and Austin’s group started the same way. An early stalk toward a group of does at the edge of a hayfield produced only spooked deer and empty tracks, while a second stalk along a creek bottom yielded the same results. On our way back toward camp with Austin and his mom, however, we spotted two whitetail does coming off the river bottom. Austin shot at a steep downhill angle over the back of one doe, but we were blessed because the deer uncharacteristically ran only about 25 yards before stopping and looking back our way. This time Austin left no doubt, and dropped the closer of the two does in her tracks. After lunch back at camp, I was able to take Austin out to try his hand at fishing. Oddly, perhaps due to the change in the weather, no fish seemed to be biting that afternoon. Cold and windblown, we headed back to take Aaron out after a whitetail doe. We followed the river that cuts through the ranch and drove toward a prime hayfield but never made it. While on our way there we spotted a handful of whitetail does and fawns coming out to feed across a drainage. Again cover was sparse but we were able to get out as Roy and Aaron’s dad kept driving by. We stalked as close as we could get in the

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open country. With no way of sneaking closer, I ranged the deer at just over 200 yards, I hated to let the young hunter risk missing but I left the option up to Aaron. Lying prone and using a bipod, he was confident he could connect at that range. I gave him the OK and he did. With a clean hit through the lungs, his doe ran 20 yards and collapsed. We now had two hunters who had each filled two tags, capping off a wonderful

40

hunt for them. We retrieved the doe and headed back into camp where we hung the day’s deer from a cottonwood limb with the others and then waited anxiously for Colton’s return. Not only were we all hoping and praying for his success, we knew a fantastic surprise awaited him: Colton’s dad had been able to return from his deployment during Colton’s hunt with CSF. Unknown to Colton, his dad had arrived in camp and was with us

awaiting his son’s return. It was well past dark when Colton, his guides, and his mother, pulled into camp. Lashed to a 4-wheeler in the back of Dwane’s pickup was a big, heavy-antlered buck Colton had anchored that afternoon. As congratulations were being offered and celebration began, Colton’s dad Todd stepped out from the shadows. It was soon evident that a big change had come over the boy. Colton had been quiet and almost withdrawn up to then, but he quickly transformed into a happy, outgoing kid. His hunting success had no doubt played a part, but the change his father brought was unmistakable. During the celebration in camp that night, Colton’s mom related how the group had stalked a large, 5-point (Western Count) whitetail buck, and how they had crawled in order to get within range. From time to time the guides had conferred with Colton, and explained to him how they were keeping the wind in their faces and using limited cover in as they stalked. Although the group didn’t get that particular buck, Kim told us that Colton later commented, “I may not have gotten the buck, but I’m learning hunting skills.” With all three hunters having scored on big bucks, the hunt was nearly complete. steak Some of these giantAtrees dinner prepared by the Tuckers were just seedlings when capped the hunt off just right, Christ walked the earth. and a final devotional by Pastor Rollie finished us out with a


focus again on our common bond in Christ. On Wednesday, the final day of the hunt, Colton and his dad headed out at daylight with Dwane and Simon one last time. Just as icing on the cake, they would see if Colton could connect on a whitetail doe. Within twenty minutes, as the rest of the volunteers began taking camp down, we heard a single shot. It wasn’t long before the last of our hunters were back in camp with the last of the tags filled. Our challenged youth had gone six for six, with each hunter getting both a big mule deer buck and a

whitetail doe: a clean sweep. Not bad for some of the kids’ first hunt! As we prepared to part ways at the end of the hunt, Colton’s mom Kim mentioned the buck taken by Colton’s brother Jordan on the CSF hunt a few years earlier. Another service that our hunters are blessed with is that their deer heads are mounted free of charge by local taxidermist Mark Smart or by Dwane Culver, an accomplished taxidermist. Kim told us how Jordan keeps his mounted head in a prominent place and refers to it jokingly as “coach.”

Kim explained that Jordan’s reference is to a character in the classic kids’ Christmas movie “Rudolph.” Jordan’s nickname for his buck refers to those who imply that kids with challenges can’t succeed. After succeeding on his own CSF hunt, Jordan told his parents he felt that he, like Rudolph in the movie, could fly. He had confidence to try new endeavors. That nickname also refers to a great hunt where a few volunteers have shown that with a little coaching these amazing kids can succeed.

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PHOTO GALLERY

Dr. Chris Beal and Terry Ackerson land a dandy sockeye salmon on the Talkeetna River in Alaska

Nicole Leman is a vital part of her father’s (Lt. Gov. Loren Leman) commercial fishing camp in Ninilchik, Alaska� (Salmon was seal bitten but Nicole did a great job filleting)

Alaska Native Students from Alaska Christian College in Soldotna, Alaska

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Renee Duncan of Soldotna Alaska on Hawaiian Fishing Tournament with 22 pound Mahi Mahi.


Jim Green while Sockeye Salmon fishing on the Talkeetna River in Alaska.

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The answer … Wild Gourmet Alaskan Smoked Salmon! That’s right! Delivered directly to your church address securely packaged and preserved to require minimum handling with excellent potential in funding your entire mission project. Who do we send to Alaska? Imagine … A dad and his son sharing this mission trip opportunity with friends, neighbors and extended family members who would like to support their vision by purchasing a packaged quantity of the absolute best smoked salmon on the face of the earth.

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Edition #30e  

Well traveled Big Game Hunter with Great Stories with Impact and Passion!

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