This last weekend I was hunting Nilgai with my father, brother Chase, and brother-in-law Sam. We were down near Corpus Christi, Texas.
It was a great success. We each got a Nilgai and I got a rattlesnake! If you’re going to leave a comment against hunting, please don’t bother. I’m bringing home over 100 pounds of meat for our family! I’m feeding nine mouths.
On the first day we were kneeling in a thicket and suddenly the log in front of us started to crawl. It was a 5 foot long rattlesnake. Since we were kneeling in the sand, if he had struck, it would have been a bite to the face. Not a good thing.
On the next day we saw a huge rattlesnake in the road. This one was longer. Over six foot long. I jumped out of the jeep and reached for my .300 Weatherby Magnum rifle – which is way too much gun for a rattlesnake.
Our guide John who was driving the jeep said, “No, take this.” He held out his Springfield XD in . 40 cal (my favorite handgun caliber). I walked up to about 8 feet away. I shot the rattlesnake 2 inches behind the head and that just ticked it off! It had a huge rattle. Here’s a photo:
It started to curl and get angry. I got nervous. I started shooting in fear – missing the slithering creature. Then it crawled away under a brush.
I followed it. I was about 3 feet away. I took aim and hit it right in the head. Dead. The photo of the head is awesome, but I’ll spare you.
Of course, the snake continued to move around for hours afterward. Here’s a photo of the rattle snake measuring at 6 foot 4 inches:
My four sons Gabe, Jude, Becket, and Blaise currently think I’m the greatest hero on planet earth – and Joy is pretty darn impressed as well. I’m getting the snake skin tanned and turning it into a runner with the rattler attached. Joy has not yet agreed to have it placed on our dining room table. It might have to go on the wall in the garage…
Here’s another photo. This rattlesnake is long.
What did I learn?
Stay calm. When I got nervous, when I lost my peace, I started to miss my shots. Likewise, when the devil attacks us, and we lose our peace, we start to lose focus on what matters. The key is take a deep breath and aim precisely – in this case – for the head. Specify your problem. Focus in on where the devil is attacking. Aim your prayers precisely in that direction.
Resist the Devil (or Rattlesnake)
“Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
The snake was a little aggressive but at some point he realized he was the loser and he went slithering for cover – just like the devil. When confronted with the evil one, we should have confidence in God. Just as the guide said, “Don’t take that weapon, take this weapon,” so also God has the perfect weapon for you in your particular situation. Just take a deep breath, aim, and have confidence. Aim for the head.
I was told of a story about a Biology grad student at Texas A&M who shot a large rattlesnake in half. He picked up the end of the snake with the head and it whipped around and bit his arm! The man’s arm puffed up and he nearly lost his appendage. Needless to say, I tried to stay away from the head of the snake, even while taking pictures! Don’t underestimate the vitality of your enemy. Be smart.
PS: I’ll talk a bit more about what I learned on this last hunting trip on my podcast this Wednesday.
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