Robert Jackson, a physician, author, speaker and avid outdoor sportsman, has written a new book for the turkey-hunting enthusiast in anyone’s life.
“Turkey Tales & Bible Truths” combines Jackson’s trademark homespun wit and wisdom with a lifetime of immersive Bible study and application.
The result is a collection of “real-life experiences from the field that uniquely illustrate how God expects us to live,” writes Rob Keck, past CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation, in his foreword to the book. The following is excerpted from Jackson’s chapter titled “Integrity”:
Some years ago, two little piebald does showed up on my farm. They looked like little goats because they had so much white coloration. I enjoyed standing on my upstairs porch at night and shining spotlights on them during the off season. Their white colors made them stand out like a beacon. I caught a good picture of them on a game camera that I still keep in my wallet. I grew fond of them over a three-year period of time.
However, after those three years I decided I would harvest them the next deer season before someone else did, to collect their hides, which would make unique rugs or wall hangings. I calculated that if I let them live much longer they would die by another hunter or by a vehicle collision. We watched them all summer. My friends kept saying to me, “You better go ahead and take those deer or somebody else will.” I would respond, “It’s not deer season. I’ll just have to wait.” Even some of my family members warned me, “If you wait too long, you’re going to lose those piebalds.” Again I said, “No, it’s not deer season. I’ll just have to wait.”
Well, you guessed it. They disappeared before the season opened. We never saw them again. I don’t know if a coyote or a poacher got them, or if they died from a vehicle collision. Nevertheless, I didn’t get them! I still miss those pretty little deer, and I still wish I had those hides. I’ll show you the picture sometime.
This wasn’t the only time I’ve been tempted to fudge on the game laws. I was showing a friend around my property one time, and I showed him where we planted food plots and put out corn for the deer. He commented, “I don’t see any corn.” I responded, “It’s turkey season next week. The DNR doesn’t allow any corn on the ground two weeks before turkey season.” He looked at me incredulously. “How long have you lived here?” “Twenty-two years,” I said. “Has a DNR agent ever visited your farm?” he asked. “No, sir.” “Well, then, what does it matter? Feed those turkeys. They’ll never know.” “You may be right, but I’ll know. My sons and sons-in-law will know, and God will know. I don’t break the DNR rules, even when no one knows.” He looked at me in surprise and shrugged his shoulders. Our conversation revealed a lot about him, for, you see, the real test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is looking. Hunters are often all alone in the woods far away from prying eyes — just them and God. Integrity counts with hunters.
Jesus said, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10 NASB). If we can’t be trusted to abide by DNR rules out in the middle of nowhere, we can’t be trusted anywhere.
“Turkey Tales & Bible Truths” is available at major online booksellers, including Amazon and Barnes&Noble, and through JacksonFamilyMinistry.com. The author is also available to speak at Baptist men’s groups, wildlife banquets and other events.