I get excited this time of year. The deer season is over but another season that involves deer is just around the corner. It’s the season to hunt antler sheds. If you don’t know, each year bucks shed their antlers and grow new ones. In my area they begin to drop off in February and they begin to grow them back almost immediately. During late February and into April, some of the most sought-after treasures are the antlers which are found lying along paths and in bedding areas. These make great decorations and even have a monetary value. The true pleasure, however, is just getting back out into the woods and finding these hidden jewels before the squirrels and other animals eat them up for their mineral value. In areas where large deer live, the discoveries can be impressive. Not only are these finds exciting for their immediate value, but they tell hunters just what bucks made it through last season’s gauntlet of arrows and bullets. They tell us what deer survived and what to expect the coming year. They tell us who will be emerging as the dominate leaders in the future. These will be the ones all hunters will be watching as the next season emerges.
What goes for dominate deer also goes for dominate humans. There comes a time when the loudest voices and strongest influencers give way to the next generation of leaders. This goes for our political, military, family, and spiritual life. Even now, I can mention the names of some profound leaders to only one generation removed, and there is no immediate recognition. The spiritual patriarchs that once dominated the lives of so many people of faith, have lost their influence with the masses. What to remember however is this. The leaders who are still alive, are not losing their influence, they are just moving it to the next generation of leaders. I think of the retired military generals who are teaching the new military generals. I think of the retired politicians who are offering wisdom to the future leaders of our country. And I think of the spiritual giants who are spending their time with the emerging spiritual giants. While these influencers may have retired from being hands-on, they have not retired from imparting their knowledge, wisdom, and experience, to those who are now on the front lines. And when it comes to these things, they are only gained by time. And that’s something no present leader will ever be able to overtake from the past leaders whose shoes they are filling.
Gary has written the Outdoor Truths article for 20 years. He has also written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations