The air was wet, dank, dark and intoxicatingly delicious and wondrous. To nonhunters it would have just been another boring, uninspiring, dull October day, but for us deerhunters — the most important day of our lives.
My buckpole was already sagging in protein overdose hangage, but with a pocketful of much-appreciated she-deer tags, my work was cut out for me.
Killer SpiritWild VidCamDude Ethan Whisker and I were perched in a towering, ancient white oak tree overlooking a vast marsh, eternal swamp and muck-heaven deer paradise, and duty called to reduce the agriculture-devastating and highway-bloodying cervid infestation. And I had the arrows!
I hadn’t hunted this old stand in years, but the location had a history of backstrap-producing delight, and we were, as we love to say; cocked, locked and ready to rock doc!
The rutted trails in the black muck were as defined as ever, and if there was ever a perfect place and day for bowhunting, we were in the lap of God celebrating it like we meant it.
We were blessed with the always craved and appreciated wildlife glory. The ratchety call of sandhill cranes along with hammering woodpeckers, quacking mallards and honking geese kept up their nonstop stimulating wildsongs. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, a sneaky muskrat and crowing pheasants blessed us constantly with the incredible Spirit of the Wild eye-candy and soothing soundtrack that we all love.
Then there she was! An old matriarch swamp donkey momma and a pair of yearlings slinking in and out of the distant marshgrass and reedgrass forest yonder.
It is times like this that brings me life like no other. Talk about plunging soul-first into The Zone!
Isn’t it wonderful how such a simple, natural occurrence can take us completely away from everything!
As Fred Bear always said, bowhunting nature participation will indeed cleanse the soul!
As with all uppity, ultra-wary Michigan whitetails, this trio took their good old, super-cautious, nerve-wracking time browsing and scanning their way from the marsh up the ridge to our position.
I don’t know about you, but it sure doesn’t have to be a big, old, majestic antlered stag to get this old guitar player’s adrenalin a pumpin!
In my law enforcement and military training we call it tachia psychia, where we must block out everything except for the total focus on our target and or perpetrator when the engagement moment of truth unfolds.
Proper bowhunting is exactly the same and a profound disciplined tunnel-vision straight to the target’s vitals is critically necessary to remain in control of nerves, heartbeat and subconscious shot sequence.
You know the motus operendi! Can’t move, breathe easy, calm down, pick a spot, commit to the shot.
And that I did when the big doe finally dropped her head at 20-some yards, my Mathews Triax came to fulldraw and my entire being was one with her crease. PHOOONK!
Thar she blows! Prettiest arrow you ever did see and she barely made it 75 yards to the swamp edge, dead in mere seconds.
Miraculously on this fine, memorable October celebration, that awe-inspiring series of events unfolded twice more that afternoon, and by the time the sun disappeared into the western woodline, I had a threesome of hard earned she-deer before me as I looked to the heavens thanking the Great Spirit for her gifts of definitive Fun, Sport, Meat, Trophy memories.
No matter what I am up to in life, even in the hyper whirlwind outrage of a high-velocity rock-n-roll mayhem tour across America like right now this summer, I have these mind-dazzling memories of hunts past to take me far, far away any old time I want to relive those stirring wildlife encounters and hunts.
Aren’t we crazy lucky to live this hunting life that truly qualifies as out-of-body, stream of consciousness deep, deep into the spirit world.
In between seasons it is always a good idea to harken back to those exciting moments that are so powerfully imprinted on our deep instinctual psyche to keep our predator spirit alive, in preparation for what should be anticipated as the best hunting season of our lives coming up soon.
Take that walk on the wild side every chance you can. It’s good for the soul, mind, body, spirit and backstrap dreams!
With more than 40 million albums sold, rock legend Ted Nugent is equally well known as the nation’s most outspoken proponent of our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, conducting thousands of pro-gun, pro-freedom, pro-American interviews in major media worldwide. Nugent is a New York Times best-selling author whose works include Ted, White & Blue —The Nugent Manifesto; God, Guns & Rock ‘n’ Roll and Kill It & Grill It.This year, his award-winning Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild TV show celebrates its 500th episode! For all things Nuge, visit www.tednugent.com