Thump! Thud! Pung! Phump! Clunk! Ping! Pang! Pung!
I tried counting between the sounds of each acorn hitting the ground all around me but couldn’t get past the number three!
With the increasing gusts of wind, it was literally raining acorns!
Big, fat, juicy white oak acorns, black oak acorns, red oak acorns, burr oak acorns, you name it, and it was mast hysteria in the deerwoods!
Deerlovers everywhere just gotta love that!
The airborne flood of prime, preferred sustenance for my beloved whitetail deer was much appreciated, but this wonderful up-side had an unfortunate down-side to go with it.
In our never-ending quest to pattern our targets in this very special bowhunting dream-month of October, the tradition of ambushing our venison on the hoof between bedding and feeding habitat was out the window. The ultimate deer-feed and attractant on God’s good green earth carpeted the ground here, there and everywhere as far as my beady eyes could see.
My old standby shellcorn was worthless for luring in the deer for a bowshot, and even my tried and proven Primos Swamp Donkey attractant was no match for Acornucopia!
My shag-carpet foodplots of wheat, rye, oats, clover, alfalfa, radishes, turnips, brassica, rape, trefoil and every imaginable deer-goodie was no competition for Acornucopia!
But as an old, very old die-hard, dyed in the wool veteran of this wonderful bow and arrow predator-prey game, I knew, as always, it inevitably comes down to the US Marine Corp rules of engagement; improvise, adapt and overcome.
Acorns can be a bowhunters best friend when select trees are producing this ultimate bait, thereby allowing us to zero in on easily identifiable ambush destinations.
But when this kind of acorn glut occurs, all bets are off.
Or are they?
Typically I don’t get a load of sweet Michigan sugar-beets until the season is well under way, as their palatability increases as the weather gets colder.
But I’ve learned over a lifetime of bowhunting that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, so when in doubt, I whip it out, or something like that.
So after a series of patience testing skunkings watching deer wander in the eternal distant Acornucopia, the sweet, dirty, bulging legumes arrived and I immediately went to whipping them out into the acorn woods where regular deer activity was witnessed.
Now you will never hear me claim that I conclusively know exactly what motivates deer on any given day, but I swear to God, the beets had not been on the ground for a full hour in front of us when a trio of young, handsome bucks ate their way ever so slowly up the acorn covered ridge and made a beeline straight to the beets.
I couldn’t believe it, but I will take it!
This trio was too young to shoot, but all three were year and a half old eight points that were prime candidates for genuine trophy bruisers in four years, so we enjoyed the show.
These guys nibbled on the beets for a short while but then wandered off continuing their acorn party.
Apparently the sugar-beets were desirable enough to get their attention beyond the mast orgy.
Two hours later a few does were coming our way up the oak ridge, but didn’t like something, (probably me) and nervously fidgeted just out of range.
Then BINGO! Antler tips emerged like a rising sun from below the ridgeline! This mature buck was eating acorns and glancing at the nervous does, but he kept coming.
Long story short, the buck stood statuesque for a long, nerve wracking time as he watched the does move off, but eventually turned and headed down our trail towards the beets.
As he paused to sniff this brand-new food source, my Mathew Halon 7 was already in fulldraw kill-mode, and instantly the DeadRinger tipped glowing Lumenok Gold Tip zebra arrow was slicing home right there where I wanted it, disappearing clean through the hulking ribcage!
God almighty I love that!
The huge buck finished his mad deathrun in mere seconds as he crashed at the edge of the old pinegrove 80 yards away.
SpiritWild VidCamDude Kris Helms filmed me going crazy with joy and together we celebrated our wonderful improvise, adapt, overcome victory over Acornucopia!
It is exciting to know that all these acorns will feed and fortify my deerherd and so much wildlife well into winter, but they will also make hunting a bit more difficult as the season throttles on.
That’s okay, afterall, we love our bowhunting because of the mostly overwhelming challenge it represents. Sugar-beets helped this day, but the season is young and I will continue to put my reasoning predator thinking cap on in my never ending attempt to outwit these phenomenal big game animals that bring us unlimited quality of life.
The beast is dead, long live the mighty beasts!
Ted Nugent is an award-winning musician and writer, with numerous best-seller books including “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto,” “God, Guns and Rock ‘n Roll,” and “Kill It and Grill It: A Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish” with his wife, Shemane, among other books. Be sure to check out his website for more news on his latest music, thoughts and upcoming shows, and also at World News Daily, Newsmax and Daily Caller for more insights.
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