By: Ted Nugent
It is more than glaringly obvious that I am hopelessly addicted to the mystical flight of the arrow and the hard-earned rewards of precious backstraps thereby procured! Bowhunting has been my life literally from birth, and, I don’t know how, but it gets more intense and thrilling for me every year.
Ain’t I the lucky dog!
But make no mistake about it; I thrill at the hunting lifestyle thoroughly enjoying each and every methodology that there is out here, and I am just as passionate for my firearm triggertime as I am my archery life.
I don’t do much spear or blowgun hunting, but not a day goes by that I don’t send a few arrows downrange and zero in on my intimate, ultimate aim small miss small firearm discipline mantra!
And while we are on it, let me state emphatically that the jury is not still out when it comes to the parallel benefits of firearms discipline and archery discipline. Ultimately, the two go hand in hand about as perfectly as anything in life.
Intimately and instinctively knowing that nearly immeasurable magical moment of ignition when our mind, eyes, body, lungs, spirit triggerfinger drops the hammer to send a bullet or arrow to the target determines shot placement downrange every time.
I train daily with my Glock 10mm and with my Mathews bow, and psychologically speaking, the Zen of sight picture coinciding with projectile unleashing is exactly the same for both.
I call it the physics of spirituality, for like the Samurai masters, the alignment of our body and spirit is essential for definitive control of our entire being, hence, the goal of tractor-beaming our arrow and bullet to the smallest of desired point of impact.
I remember as a young tad of a tot as early as five or six years of age, heading downriver from Detroit to Uncle John’s and Aunt Alice’s in Wyandotte where we would eagerly await our turn to fire the .22 pistol at distant tin cans and assorted plinking targets.
At that tender young age, dad and John would hold onto us and guide us very carefully through each shot sequence, where such safety and controlled discipline powerfully and eternally imprinted on us.
Already addicted to archery at that very young age, I didn’t realize it at the time, but that safety/control mantra would surface and stay with me and guide me every time I took a shot with my BB gun or my homemade slingshot or bow and arrow.
I kid you not, every one of my buddies and the extensive army of hunters I have been privileged to share a lifetime of campfires with have experienced near instant and very gratifying marksmanship and archery upgrade when they combine the two activities with the same shot sequence focus.
Many military and law enforcement buddies who took up archery immediately experienced dramatic accuracy improvements in their handgun and overall firearms training and competition.
So now that I have laid out the benefits of archery and firearm trigger magic, let us talk about the exciting sport of hunting big game with handguns, shall we!
I started killing game with handguns back around 1969 when I bought my first .357 magnum Smith and Wesson model 19 revolver. Loaded with light .38special loads, I was terror on squirrels, rabbits, woodchucks, coons, porcupines, skunks, river rats and assorted vermin.
I upgraded to killing whitetails shortly thereafter with fullhouse .357 magnum loads, and consistently killed deer dead out to 100 yards, but mostly within average bowrange.
Purchasing my first 6.5-inch blue Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 magnum, I practiced like a madman and could consistently kill deer out to 100 yards with stock open sights.
I killed many deer, caribou, bear, elk, hogs, pronghorn, javelina, buffalo and all sorts of African game with off the shelf Remington 240 grain soft points and hollow points.
I was only able to do so because I shot all the time and practiced diligently at varying ranges, including some far-off Elmer Keith crazy long ranges out to 300 and 400 yards.
Though I would never take a shot at game under normal circumstances at such ranges, I could consistently kick up dust darn close to clods of dirt in open fields at those ranges which taught me a lot about bullet drop and the critical nature of sight picture at the moment of hammerdrop.
Over the years, having fallen in love with the mighty 10mm round, I go to my daily carry Glock model 20 in that killer caliber for all my handgun hunting. That I train with it daily brings me a level of connection, comfort and confidence that is imperative for handgun hunting success.
We all love our rifles, shotguns, black powder, crossbows and bows and arrows, but if you haven’t given handgun hunting a whack, think about it, as it is just different enough from the other methods to upkick the enjoyment factor of our beloved deerhunting sport.
And come on! Who doesn’t fantasize about drawing down with a handgun and blowing something away! Go ahead, be a cowboy in the old west! Be Dirty Harry! There’s a raging, dreaming pistolero inside all of us. Let him out! Have some handgun fun!