The tawny spotted hide was only occasionally visible in the thick Texas cedar puckerbrush. I don’t think any animal can disappear quite like a spotted fallow deer.
Skunked for more than twenty-one hard hunted days, for the life of me I just couldn’t figure these crazy spooky, ultra-elusive deer out, even on my own private Texas home ranch that I knew intimately.
By Ted Nugent
Whitetails seemed to be the 1st critters to showup each morning and afternoon at our chosen stands, but the whitetail season was still weeks away. We saw some sika deer once in a while, a rare distant super skittish axis deer, some beautiful blackbuck antelope here and there, stunning African Scimitar Horn Oryx, even the occasional fleeting glimpse at the ghost like African Aoudad sheep, but the fallow deer seemed to have our number.
So what else is new?
At about the time I was ready to call it quits and head back to the ranch house, the spotted hide reappeared and began to come our way through the impenetrable scrub.
Holy backstraps! What a beast!
This old cagey stag had evaded me for seven years on SpiritWild Ranch, and now he comes.
His velvet covered mega-antlers were enormous, moose-like!
His body was the biggest body I had ever seen on any deer this side of an elk, surely exceeding 300 pounds.
And still he cometh!
I was so cocked, locked and ready to rock that I thought I may explode right out of my quadstand.
I closed my eyes and literally repeated each step of my shot sequence as I did all in my power to calm myself down for the long awaited shot opportunity.
When I opened my eyes, this phenomenal animal was standing perfectly broadside with his head down and slightly turned as it chomped on some Primos Swamp Donkey feed.
With my entire being focused on the single spot leading to his pumpstation, my Mathews had a life of its own and instantly the orange glow of the Lumenok tipped zebra shaft disappeared into his crease as if on a mission from God.
Such moments are truly out of body. Spiritual. Eternal. I was that arrow.
The killshot afterglow is indescribable. Effervescent. Stimulating. Intoxicating. Surreal. Not of this earth.
In the immediate afterglow I watched as the mortally hit stag galloped a short 75 yards, made a circle and fell over dead, all in a matter of a few seconds.
The beast is dead, long live the beast!
Deer and deer hunting in America should be celebrated for all its worth. The mighty whitetail in all its fascinating varied sub-species and the always amazing American Muledeer will always occupy a most prestigious and revered place in our deerhunting hearts. But do not underestimate the equal glory of the sika, fallow, axis, Pere David, Barasinga and European red deer that can be found in Texas and elsewhere.
Deerhunting is deerhunting and backstraps are backstraps the way I look at it, and some of my most thrilling deerhunting moments have come from hard earned encounters with these non-native herbivores.
Like the phenomenal hunting excitement and conservation successes as provided by the importation of the Chinese Ringneck pheasant, Chuckars and Hungarian partridge, these alternative deer species provide real honest to God deerhunting dreams for millions of American deer hunting families each year.
The finely tuned strategies necessary to bring home whitetail and muledeer backstraps are the exact same challenges that are needed and celebrated for exotic species deerhunting.
You may hear the occasionally presumptuous clown squawk ignorantly about so called “canned hunts” for exotic species, but you will never meet anyone who has actually hunted these deer say such baffoonish nonsense.
As we clamor with excitement into the 2016/17 deerseason, do not underestimate the continuing and expanded thrilling opportunities for these other deer. You want more FUN MEAT SPORT TROPHY beyond whitetails and muleys, think about a winter deer safari in Texas.
More deerhunting is always better than less deerhunting!
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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