December 9, 2019 - When I became pastor of the Fletcher Emmanuel Baptist Church in Lumberton, Texas, I found a church full of hunters. And the best hunters of the church were without doubt Junior Stanley and James Cannon. Their favorite hunting spot was on the Indian Reservation near Woodville, Texas and they invited me to deer hunt with them there one day. Junior and James both had Browning Auto Shotguns and I took a 6MM Custom Rifle that I had built.
After eating breakfast at a café near Woodville, we drove to our hunting woods. We agreed that the one of us that bagged the most game would be the “Champion Hunter.” I sat down near a slough that was surrounded with beautiful beech trees in full fall color with squirrels running everywhere. As I sat waiting for a deer to show up, I caught myself admiring the rifle I had built and remembered how many times I had told men that “if you don’t find a deer, you can at least sit and admire your beautiful Custom Fincher Rifle.” As I sat admiring mine, I started hearing shotgun blasts from a hill above me and knew immediately what was happening: Junior and James were using *6 shot shells to hunt squirrels and there I sat with a deer rifle that would blow a squirrel in two.
So I worked out a plan. I turned my scope to 9-power and began doing head shots on squirrels… and my plan worked perfectly. My 100 grain bullets took off their heads clean without damaging any meat. When we met back to see who the “Champion Hunter” was, Junior laid out three limp squirrels riddled with #6 shot and James laid out four in the same shape.
When I emptied out my bag, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Probably for the first time in their lives, they saw FIVE HEADLESS SQUIRRELS --- with no holes and no shot to pick out.
The next Sunday at church I was first to spread the news about “being the greatest hunter.” The fact is that I was not the greatest… I knew it… and the whole church did.
Junior, James and I are old timers now. Junior and his wife Virginia came to visit us one day and I talked to James on the phone a few weeks ago. More important than all, these men were dedicated to the Lord and His Church… and I loved working with them. We made several other hunting trips together, but I never shot the heads off of any more squirrels with a deer rifle after that day. I decided I should just quit…
… while I was ahead.