What Happened to the Deer Herd at Camp Harvest?

Camp Harvest had a deer herd which was maintained and used for hunting. People could pay to hunt at Harvest Bible Chapel’s camp in Michigan. One of the stories that has yet to emerge is what happened to the deer herd at Camp Harvest. This blog knows part of the story as what happened to the deer herd and this post will share what is known. The goal is to let other people run with this information so that this can be revealed.

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” 

Warren Buffet

“Greed is so destructive. It destroys everything.”

Eartha Kit 

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Romans 13:1 NIV 

James MacDonald 

Camp Harvest promotional video. 

There are a lot of scandals that have come out of Harvest Bible Chapel. They have come out through many different sources. This blog believes that there is much more to come out. Harvest is not over and in time people will learn a lot of disturbing information about James MacDonald’s church network out of Chicago. As I have worked the Harvest scandal there have been times that I have heard something and then I sit on it in trying to validate or wait and see if I can confirm it from other sources. There have been so many tweets recently about one such topic that I figured that it is probably the time to share what is known with the hope that this can drag out more of the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal. This scandal is troubling and I have been sitting on this information for almost a year now. Please note I do not have all the facts so I am hoping that in sharing the partial information this will bring out more information through other sources. 


A Deer Herd at Camp Harvest and an Alleged Killing of a Large Number of Deer in Violation of Michigan Law

In Julie Roys article “Hard times at Harvest” one learns that Harvest used “Walk in the Word” funds for an unusual project. That project is the creation of a fenced in whitetail deer herd. People were allowed to hunt the deer at $6,000 to $8,000 with the money going to a Camp Harvest scholarship fund. You can see that deer hunting web page here.  One of the questions that exist about this deer herd is how much did it cost Harvest to establish, maintain and feed the deer. Now we also know that James MacDonald allegedly had anger issues and that he did things spontaneously without thinking things through. James, as an individual was impulsive from what I have heard. One of the other disturbing aspects of this story which will help set the stage for what I will share also deals with James MacDonald. James, allegedly took pleasure in killing animals. He would go up to a domesticated deer and allegedly shoot a gun at the animal at point blank range. We’re not talking about hunting, were talking about coldly calculating and killing an animal for fun. There is a huge difference between the two. You can read more about this in, “Does James MacDonald Take Personal Pleasure in Killing Animals?

So here is what happened from what I learned from a reliable source. The deer herd at Camp Harvest needed to be thinned allegedly. The question became how does one do that? James MacDonald allegedly decided to kill a large number of deer at Camp Harvest. If my memory serves me correctly I want to say that it was at least 30 but could be higher. The deer allegedly were killed in mass. It was done knowing that it was against Michigan law in regards to how many animals can be killed per hunting tags, sport and game rules. With this large number of carcasses at Camp Harvest, Harvest tried to dispose of them. First, from what this blog heard earlier this year they allegedly tried to bury them. That didn’t work too well so then Harvest tried to allegedly burn the deer remains and dispose of the evidence. In burning a large number of deer carcasses it generated a complaint. Someone reported what was happening to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  Michigan was supposedly looking into this situation. That was over a year ago and I have not heard anything about this since last February or March of 2019. 


My Knowledge is Part of the Story  So I Hope this Can Flush this Out Further

My knowledge on this story is limited and I am hoping that others can run with it and fill in the gaps. The story of Harvest is one of waste, greed, money and abuse. James MacDonald let the property and money get to his head. When people asses the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal MacDonald’s downfall should be remembered when Elgin was largely given to Harvest. If more people can flush out the deer herd story and what happened to them that would be good. I decided to go ahead and write about what I knew after seeing hints and other comments on Twitter and social media. 


11 thoughts on “What Happened to the Deer Herd at Camp Harvest?

  1. I’ll fill in your misinformation. Camp Harvest was a high fence hunting camp before Harvest owned it or was even in the picture. To remove the fence, the herd needed to be culled because it was not wild and therefore it was in-bred and could spread disease to Michigan deer. Any DNR officer could explain it to you. Harvest did not violate any law in culling the herd in order to take down the fence. While I won’t defend future decisions by Harvest to try to create a trophy herd for extra revenue, the intent in regards to your post was to remove the fence. Stories about “slaughter” and so forth are all here-say, but as a conservationist and hunter myself I can assure you there is nothing illegal about Harvest needing to destroy all deer on the property if the ultimate intention was to remove the high fence.


  2. This is how fake news and rumors get started. Start off with a false narrative about the illegal killing of animals, and it ends up that the killings were legal to begin with. Seems like the church wanted to take down the fence, and the only way to do that was to rid the animals, so they came up with a LEGAL plan to hunt them for a price, instead of LEGALLY SLAUGHTERING them (Culled). Seems like it was LEGAL for the alleged James MacDonald to kill the animals to begin with, regardless of any alleged anger issues.

    So while Wondering makes a reference to Romans 13, due to him believing that it was an illegal act, I also reference Romans 13, for it was a LEGAL act. Case Closed!

    Ed Chapman


      • Court docs or DNR case notes? Bit of a difference. They may be violating issues of disposal, but to make it sound like they illegally killed deer would be news to me.


  3. I appreciate your waiting before posting this, but you could have just raised the question of the legality of thinning the heard without the hearsay about JM’s behavior. Trust me, I’m no fan of MacDonald or the things he’s orchestrated, but let’s not get to the point of using second or third hand stories. There was no crime as these were not “game” animals, but ‘farmed”. In my state the Dept of Fish & Game would be more concerned, as stated above, about protecting the native game populations.


    • This was not hearsay my source was solid and delivered some good information about HBC. Earlier this year people were speaking about the illegality of it and asking questions. I just sat on it for a while and it seemed like a good time to tell it based off what people were sharing on Twitter.


  4. To make any sense of this you’ll need to know that there are two stories about two deer herds. Scrambling fragments of both together will surely not make any sense.

    Thanks to Im-So-Ronery for jumping right in with the first story about the herd that was already on the land before Harvest acquired it. AFAIK, that was all pretty reasonable and was old, cold & finished before the more lurid second act got started.

    And JSM wrote very plainly in one of his books that he likes killing more than hunting. Bedtime for me so someone else can quote & cite that.


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