I slowly cruised the family sedan down old Grand River Avenue approaching Lahser Drive on the outskirts of Detroit, my head spinning with a flurry of dynamic images and memories of my bow and arrow youth in the old neighborhood.
By Ted Nugent
“There!” I pointed excitedly! “Right there! That’s where Millers Feed Store used to be!”
Though the entire street was an embarrassing ghetto of burned out, dilapidated, ramshackled remnants, I could still see the old feed store where my brothers and dad and I would shop for new, stunning Port Orford cedar arrows, gaze upon the recurved art of incredible Bear bows on the wall, and snort the delicious aroma of fresh hay and straw at old Millers.
It was all gone now, all these fifty plus years later, but I didn’t let it bring me down. I shared vibrant, uppity stories of the perfect post WWII life in these once wonderful streets with my son Rocco and wife Shemane, but the scene we drove past this day was heartbreaking to say the least.
My old grade-school and high-school were destroyed, looking like some bombed out hellhole in Beruit.
The once proud, manicured yards of Redford were now littered with wrecked sofas and old appliances, every house a pathetic, ugly joke of what happens when people do not earn their own way, tossing aside pride for the scam of entitlement.
We stopped at the house I grew up in, and once again the powerful, positive, happy stories outweighed the heartbreak of destruction all around.
But it was when we crossed Hazelton Street and slowed down above the banks of the mighty Rouge River when the clouds opened up, and I could see a young Ted, yew longbow in hand, stalking the thick forested slopes of my original sacred hunting grounds.
I swear to God I got all teary-eyed telling Rocco and Shemane story after story of my earliest Mystical Flight of the Arrow dreams.
I stopped the vehicle and shut it down for a while, pointing to the exact trees where I arrowed my first squirrel, the river curve where I arrowed my first river rat, and the jamble of giant oak blowdowns where my cousin Mark and I tag-teamed on a monster raccoon!
If such glowing memories can obliterate the sheer horror of my beloved neighborhood turned hellhole, then we must take note as to the healing powers of our hunting memories.
As I spend my summers in Michigan where I grew up and experienced my lifetime of nature as healer lessons, it reinforces my understanding of how lucky we are to be hunters in this wild, roller-coaster adventure called life.
Each day the dogs and I machete our way into chunks of magical wildlife habitat where my first whitetail buck died, where a million hunts drove my spirit wild. Walking slowly through the fen, up the timbered ridgeline, down through the reed and cattail choked marsh, I stop literally every few yards and examine a spot where I shot a deer, tracked a deer, gutted a deer, dragged a deer and loaded a deer.
As mesmerizing as each memory remains, such sensations are actually eclipsed by the excitement I feel as I identify a new stand location, a killer new spot for a foodplot, a ladderstand or a groundblind.
I can best describe such activities as out of body. This is how I get high. The ultimate high. The healthiest high. The most environmentally beneficial high. The conservation high. The most organic high. The aim small miss small predator high.
It will cleanse the soul.
When Jimi Hendrix offered me dope, I laughed and turned him down. As if I could possibly indulge in any activity that would reduce my predator level of awareness or my aim small miss small mystical flight of the arrow natural high.
Do not fail to re-live past hunts my BloodBrothers. The past does indeed fortify the future. Live it, breathe it, walk it, snort it, wallow in it, for this hunting lifestyle is the smartest thing a human being can do.
Jimi got high and Jimi’s dead. I went hunting, and I’m still Ted.
I think I’ll put up a stand right there in between the ravine and the hogback. It’s out of body.
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 here for more news on his latest music, thoughts and upcoming shows in 2015, and also at World News Daily, Newsmax and Daily Caller for more insights.
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From Deer & Deer Hunting magazine, the 2015 Whitetails Wall Calendar features the work of deer researchers Wayne Laroche and Charlie Alsheimer, who reveal the 2015 whitetail rut prediction, based on years of lunar cycle research. Utilize this deer moon phase calendar to find out which days the deer will be seeking and chasing, so you can time the rut for the best time to hunt.
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