By: Ted Nugent
We are on our way! The ritual fall games have indeed begun and the gentlemen have started their spirit engines with much aplomb!
Arrows are flyin and critters are dyin, and the Great Spirit of the Wild throttles on with nonstop vim and vigor into fall 2021 as the backstraps and smiles flow like manna from heaven!
It was kinda dark, another misty dusk, and it came from a tangle down below! No! Really! It really was another misty dusk, and it did come from a tangle down below!
And praise the Lord almighty, I was right there in the lap of God to properly participate in His mystical, miraculous nature function with my trusty bow and arrow in hand!
I had been rotating my choice of favorite ambush setups, not just for wind direction considerations but mostly because I am fascinated and forever intrigued as to just what might be taking place at my various historical huntzones on our phenomenal Michigan marshland, forested swamp.
Having flown over the sacred grounds recently in a helicopter, my bird’s eye view reminded me of the latticework of well-defined meandering trails cutting throughout the reed grasses, cattails and puckerbrush tanglezones of our wildlife paradise.
Each of the 10 mature does I had already arrowed were as challenging, thrilling and exciting as any bowhunting happiness anyone could ever imagine, and as my doe harvest boogie continued, I literally could not wait to see what the northline swamp would produce for me this evening.
After hour number three my patience was waning, but I remained cocked, locked and ready to rock doc, hyper tuned in to my wild surroundings! Deerhunting is ultimately all about optimal situational awareness so that we never allow ourselves to be caught offguard, just in case.
Right after the sandhill cranes cackled overhead and a distant crow cawed, there she was. One fleeting moment ago there was nothing, a turn of the head later the big swampdonkey was right in my lap.
It is truly mystical how deer can do that!
It is also simply amazing how after gazillions of deer encounters in my life, the old heartbeat kicks into Gonzo overdrive at the mere sight of a beautiful whitetail deer, especially when we commit to the decision to kill it!
If I’ve learned anything over a lifetime of bowhunting, it is the critical importance of heartbeat management as the moment of truth approaches. And the moment of truth was surely approaching!
I don’t know about the level of spookiness of the deer where you hunt, but us Michiganiacs have got to have the most edgy, uppity, nervous, spooky, scared of their own shadow deer on planet earth, and this old she-deer was giving the old WhackMaster a run for my money in the nerve control department.
Making certain to not make eye contact, and sitting statue still the whole time she constantly scanned her world, my lifetime lessons of when to move and when not to move were about to pay off as she finally sidestepped the big tangle of multi-flora rose deadheads coming out of the marshgrass sanctuary.
When she slightly turned her head away, I came to a smooth, graceful fulldraw, found the crease of her foreleg in my pinned peepsight, and my 400 grain GoldTip arrow was in and out of her chest before either of us knew what happened.
A short 50-yard tail-wagging deathrun burst put her down fast at the edge of the thicket, and I’m betting my smile and her beautiful white belly could be seen on Jupiter and Mars.
As far as current nomenclature goes, I suppose I certainly don’t qualify as a trophy hunter. But truth be told, I cannot think of anything that could possibly qualify as more of a trophy than when I lifted her big old swampdonkey head with my hands and gazed upon the most beautiful animal in the world.
Not just the whitetail deer being the most beautiful animal in the world, but this specific specimen here in my grasp was without question the most beautiful animal in the world.
I can see every arrow I’ve ever loosed. I see the arc, I see the white and or zebra shaft flying, I see the glowing Lumenok cutting the airspace.
Okay, so some may say it’s just a doe kill. To me, forever, every arrow is the most important arrow. Every kill is the most important kill. Every hunt is the most celebrated hunt.
I’m on my way for the greatest hunting season of my life. Every arrow.