By: Ted Nugent
My sister just got eight more inches of snow in her beautiful Up North Michigan Winter Water Wonderland home forest, but I’m in short sleeves and 80 degrees here at home on our SpiritWild Ranch in central Texas!
Crazy as it seems, this old rock-n-roll bowhunting Michiganiac misses the snow real bad, but I will always take what I can get and celebrate it like I mean it.
No matter where you live in this great country, it’s March and springtime in one shape or form is right around the corner. And just like all our serious preparations for the fall hunting season, there are some wonderful and demanding springtime rituals that are just as important as the actual hunting itself.
It would have only been natural for me to plunge into deep, dark post-season depression last week as the Texas whitetail season came to a sad end on March 1, but man does not live by whitetail season alone, and I didn’t even have time to blink as I transitioned into a very exciting spring-like month of March.
With non-stop exotic critter hunting flourishing all year long in Texas, SpiritWild Ranch manager Kris Helms was busy guiding a couple of Wyoming BloodBrothers after Scimitar Horn Oryx, Blackbuck antelope, African Aoudad sheep, Sika deer, fallow deer and axis deer.
Will and Bob had a great four days of rifle hunting and with Kris’s expertise and a truckload of luck three fine trophies were brought to bag for some very happy hunters.
Ranch chores and my never ending rip-roaring American Dream tsunami lifestyle keeps me crazy busy all the time, but I make it a point to shoot my bow every day and my firearms almost as regularly.
To make certain I never lose touch with my home hunting grounds, the dogs and I cruise the property daily checking our year round varmint trapline, killing fire ants by the trillions and keeping tabs on our wildlife and home turf.
We keep hearing how hunting is a fulltime lifestyle and so much more than sport, recreation and food gathering for so many of us, and thankfully, more and more of us all the time.
This is good! Celebrate it every day you possibly can like you mean it.
We keep our Bushnell trailcams running here and there all year long to keep track of our wildlife and to keep the excitement level up.
Our various Buck Forage Oats foodplots are still looking good from last fall’s planting, but we fire up the big Challenger tractor and implements to get ready for spring plantings any day now.
Up North on our sacred family Michigan hunting grounds, son Toby and Greg Pace of plot1seed.com are already gearing up for a foodplot orgy at both our southern swamplands and northern forest grounds.
The incredible beneficial wildlife upgrades so many of us have made with the widespread increase in planting foodplots on private lands across the country is huge and tangible in a quality of life upgrade for not just the unlimited wildlife that utilize the plots, but just as importantly in the great increase of joys and happiness we derive from the increase in wildlife health, sightings and encounters.
Even though many hunting land owners plant huge even vast crops and plots for wildlife, one does not have to be a major land baron to accomplish the same rewards on smaller acreage.
Some of the best foodplots are less than an acre in size and can be easily created with just hand tools and some very gratifying sweat equity. I know, I’ve done it forever, even on public land way back in the roaring 1960s!
Springtime tree planting has always been a big deal in the Nugent family for more than 45 years. I cannot adequately convey the sense of environmental accomplishment and happiness one senses when creating forests and groves over a lifetime.
Every spring we plant various deciduous, coniferous and fruit trees along with various habitat enhancing cover like low lying vetch, arborvitae and even autumn olive bushes by the thousands to create sanctuary, feed and needed thermal and escape cover.
There is no doubt at all that such resource stewardship conservation rituals are good for the environment and critters, but also for our mind, body, heart, soul and spirit. There may be no better lesson in life for a youngster than to join the family each spring putting more back into nature than that which we consume.
More importantly, I am surely convinced that the more I plunge my greasy Motown soul-fingers into the Good Mother Earth that such perfectly down to earth, grounded activity makes my guitar just that much more sexy than everyone else.
So go for it! Swandive into springtime with all the gusto we do in the fall. Everybody needs a re-awakening, a re-birth, a rejuvenation, and nothing says Happy New Year like springtime celebrations in the Great Outdoors. Get out there and get dirty!