By: Ted Nugent
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Dear Uncle Ted; the daily communications always start off from people all across America and beyond asking the old guitarjamming backstrapdaddy a plethora of questions about my gungho Spirit of the Wild hunting lifestyle and every imaginable activity associated with it.
It’s pretty darn special to have such vast communications about the things I am most passionate about!
Though I’m pretty sure we can all agree I’m no Fred Bear when it comes to masterful hunting, I nonetheless have been blessed to connect with herds of humanity due to my big mouth and extremely contagious celebration of truth, logic, commonsense and my constant lifetime passionate promotion of the powerful healing properties of hands-on nature participation.
Add to that credential the fact that I actually got my hunting education from the absolute best of the best like Fred Bear, and I certainly am qualified to pass on the wisdom and knowledge that I sponged from the masters.
Since hunting has been around since the dawn of man, the tradition and lessons and proven strategies of successful reasoning predatorship have been handed down generation after generation. Though there are many entrenched basics for venison procurement 101, hunting nonetheless will always be hunting, always extremely challenging, and even when all the time proven strategies are implemented along with all the neverending technological advancements, there are still no guarantees when it comes to right place right time critter ambushing.
The vast majority of inquiries I field on a daily basis have to do with bowhunting, mostly from basic newcomers to the sport, expressing a consistent confusion and frustration as to why they just can’t seem to arrow a deer!
More often than not these Natty Bumpo wannabes reference the various hunting TV shows on the various hunting networks and express their dismay at how mind bogglingly consistent so many TV hunters bag giant deer on every damn show.
I have to admit, that even though I may be one of those TV hosts that thump a lot of deer, I remain dazzled myself at the regularity with which some of my fellow TV hosts tag larger than average bucks hunt after hunt, state after state, show after show.
My first explanation is that the deadliest TV killers happen to be some of the best, most experienced and most knowledgeable lifetime hunters that exist, and how they literally go on dedicated deerhunting tours all season long hunting nearly, if not every day of the season.
Add to that the fact that many of us are invited to the best hunting grounds known to man and this dreamy recipe often adds up to larger than life dream opportunities that these guys and gals are best equipped to capitalize on.
I also explain how the TV shows they view are a culmination of many hunts, many days, many weeks and many, many hours of hunting where no kill occurs.
When you get to hunt every day, eventually the planets do align and those are the shows the public gets to see.
In my own experience, hunting every day of the season for 200 days or more, the kills I feature, celebrate and share on my Spirit of the Wild TV shows represents some magic, hard earned moments after many days, weeks and hours where no kills take place.
Once I emphasize the critical importance of never giving up, intimately being one with your weapon through dedicated practice, nurturing the pure predator mindset and spirit, I then begin to list the oftentimes overlooked gory details of just what it takes to figure out that pivotal right place right time kill.
Obviously access to good gamegrounds is of utmost importance, but stand placement and stealthy access to that stand can make or break a backstrap meal.
We must be able to stealthily approach our ambush locations without disturbing the grounds where we expect our deer to emerge from.
I emphasize the importance of absolute stillness, silence and stealth while on stand, the importance of silhouette breaking cover, wind direction religion, full camo concealment, and body positioning in preparation for the shot.
Lots of bowhunters still fail to understand how a right-hand shooter can only shoot off our left shoulder and just the opposite for a lefty.
Complete stand silence is essential. Completely silent clothing is essential. A totally silent arrow draw is essential. Ultra-slow, ultra-cautious shot sequence is always essential.
I know a few bowhunters who still insist on standing up for the shot. Truth be told, more movement is never better than less movement.
Practice sitting down and position your stand so as to be able to take the shot sitting from a comfortable condition with as little movement as possible.
And the craziest doozy of them all is still the self-inflicted insanity of having an unnecessarily heavy draw weight bow, thereby forcing ridiculous unnecessary gymnastics struggling to get to fulldraw, thereby scaring the living bejesus out of every deer that gives it to us.
Bowhunting is stealth and grace, NOT power and velocity.
Killing a deer is not buying sporting goods, a license and going for a walk in the woods. Hunting is a serious, incredibly demanding discipline, demanding the very highest level of situational awareness and when approached with total dedication, is one of the most challenging and rewarding sports and spiritually fulfilling activities available to the human species.
There is nothing wrong with casual, easy-going hunting. But when plunged full-on, heart and soul to a samurai warrior level, it is the rare endeavor that truly qualifies as out of body.
Choose your own level of commitment, and just have the most fun hunting season of your life. It’s all a matter of details, details, details.