Deer Belt in the Bible Belt


G. Sam Piatt

PDT Outdoors Columnist

The Deep South is known as the Bible Belt. We here in Northeastern Kentucky and Southeastern Ohio, separated by a beautiful, winding, nearly half-mile-wide river, I suppose can be said to live on the fringe of the Bible Belt.

But it’s another belt that I want to talk about. And it’s not the one that holds up my pants.

It’s the Deer Belt.

But just a minute. While we’re on the subject of the Holy Bible … aren’t you glad we have it? We can carry it, read it, share our favorite passages from its pages with others.

Not everybody feels that way. The latest attack on Christianity in America came recently from the Freedom From Religious Foundation.

Its co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, spending the night in a state-run student center hotel at Northern Illinois University (the school whose basketball team gave the Kentucky Wildcats quite a tussle in a game played at Rupp Arena last week) was shocked to find a Gideon Bible in a drawer in her room. She convinced university officials to have the Bibles removed from every room, claiming her constitutional rights were violated.

But she’ll soon find, if it goes to court, that the Constitution is not on her side in this, no more than common sense is.

In some countries of the Middle East, flaunting a New Testament can get you jailed, perhaps even killed. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, our military men and women – stationed there in part to help defend that country from the “extremist” groups who are engaged in a crusade to conquer the world – are not allowed to circulate the Bible.

On the other hand, people from those countries can emigrate to America and build their houses of worship, pray as often and in any fashion they like, dress as they like, and get respect for their “bible” from the good citizens here, where freedom of religion is defended by the Constitution.

Each household in America has many copies of the Bible, or can have if they wish. My favorite is a big, thick one titled the “Eight Translation New Testament.” It consists of the King James Version, The Living Bible, Phillips Modern English, Revised Standard Version, Today’s English Version, New International Version, Jerusalem Bible and the New English Bible.

The King James is my standard. I start there and then read how the translators of the other versions recorded those passages.

So far I haven’t seen where any of the other seven versions deviate from the King James. They all record how Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, and how he rose back to life on the first day of the week.

THE DEER BELT

Deer hunters looking to gain a trophy for the wall and some venison for the table had the most success in this “belt.”

It runs through the south central portion of Greenup County, with one arm extending south into Lawrence County, another reaching west into Carter County, then moving up into southern Lewis County.

According to figures compiled by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, that’s where the most whitetails were harvested in Northeastern Kentucky during the recently completed 16-day gun season.

The figures showed 1,706 deer killed in Carter, 1,694 in Lawrence, 1,560 in Lewis and 1,379 in Greenup.

By contrast, Boyd County’s kill was 888 and Elliott County’s 571.

Statewide, the gun season recorded 107,851 deer taken.

The harvest for all seasons thus far, beginning with the archery season nearly three months ago, stands at 137,681, with 43 percent of them does.

The figures show 18,253 taken by bow, 8,317 by muzzleloader, and 3,260 by crossbow.

Down in the southeastern part of the state, Pike County recorded a harvest of 1,298 during the gun season, with just 24 percent of them does.

No figures have yet been compiled for Ohio’s seven-day gun season, which closed at half-hour after sundown Sunday.

AMAZING GRACE

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind but now I see.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine,

But God who called me here below,

Will be forever mine.

—John Newton (1725-1807)

(Converted May 10, 1748)

Reach G. SAM PIATT at (606) 932-3619 or [email protected]

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