The Culprit Behind Weeds, Thistles and Thorns
Wildlife managers spend countless hours in the dirt every year chasing a Garden-like state.
I was recently reminded about the need for wildlife management while spending the first weekend of January involved with some pretty heavy-duty doe management on a 4,300-acre farm in Lee County.
When I rolled up to Rock House Farm north of Leesburg, it was like no place I’d ever been. Upon arrival, I met Clay Martin, a young man who handles the hunting and habitat management on the sizeable farm. His employer and property owner Keith Kelly showed up a few minutes later, and I enjoyed several days listening to them share numerous stories about the property and all the wildlife critters that roam the south Georgia farm.
A youth 30-30 Ministries Doe Camp was the center piece for our weekend together, and those youngsters ended up killing 11 does, which put a fair dent in the property’s goal of 80 does thinned from the herd for the season.
Keith and his buddies like to hunt wild quail at the Rock House, and I was told that it’s not uncommon to flush 20 coveys in a day! I didn’t know a place like that in Georgia even existed anymore.
At some point during the year, Keith hires a trapper to come down for weeks at a time just to take care of all the stuff that likes to eat quail and fawns.
Clay spends a number of nights a year with hog dogs doing his part to control the pigs that do so much damage to the property’s many agricultural fields.
There’s an aggressive burning program and who knows how many acres of food plots and tons of supplemental feed go into the place. However, the end result was a manicured piece of property that was a real blessing for others to enjoy.
In my eyes, Keith’s goal of glorifying God and entertaining others was certainly met during our weekend together.
Riding home on Sunday afternoon, I thought about Keith and his hunting property. I thought about how Clay looked worn out when he stood beside the gate and we said our good-byes. He had spent the entire weekend catering to the hunting needs of our group. Clay’s hard work that weekend was just a small part of what one person does to make Rock House such a special place with an abundance of game for all to enjoy.
Many landowners enjoy the hard work that accompanies the end goals of big deer or wild covey flushes, but how is it that we find ourselves in a situation where blood, sweat and tears are essential in order to produce the kind of results we desire?
The answer is found in Genesis 3:17-18 (NKJV): Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.”
Weeds, thistles and briars weren’t a part of God’s plan when He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden into a perfect atmosphere where they had full eye-to-eye fellowship with God. Then, they disobeyed God and sin entered the world. The Earth’s landscape was changed. Man would be forced to spend his remaining days in a struggle to bring just a hint of harmony back to the landscape.
The next time you’re cutting and spraying nuisance sweet gum trees, dumping lime into a future food plot to get your soil pH right or thinning does to find the right balance, think back to the Garden of Eden. Be reminded how it was man’s sin that put us in this situation in the first place.
Then be reminded that the blood of Jesus covers that sin. His blood covers all sins, and there is coming a day when born again believers in Jesus Christ will be back in a Garden-like state where there is no sin, just perfect harmony with the One who created you to live in such a perfect place.