By: Ted Nugent
Well, its just Texas and Arkansas now, where die hard deerhunters continue our passion for the hunt well into the winter months. Both Texas and Arkansas have deer seasons that go all the way to the end of February, and as a proud Texan, I for one couldn’t be happier.
I don’t deerhunt in Arkansas these days, but my homeground SpiritWild Ranch deer paradise in Texas sure keeps me busy every day in February. Since I kickoff my annual deerhunt on our old sacred family Michigan deergrounds each October 1st, I don’t get home to Texas till just around Thanksgiving, and therefore don’t accomplish my necessary doe harvest requirements in the early season as is the best time to do so.
With the amazing Managed Land Deer Permit (MLDP) program in Texas where landowners determine our own baglimits based on actual boots on the ground, hands-on, owner/steward experience and knowledge, there is no question whatsoever that Texas has the best deerhunting on planet earth, bar none, case closed!
Nobody knows, understands or values wildlife conditions and population dynamics like the person who earned, owns, manages, loves and lives on our own land. Bureaucrats can only pretend to know based on random computer models in their insulated downtown office.
Pretty laughable for them to think otherwise, wouldn’t you say.
So as we actually witness the fawn crop drop and develop, monitor, manage and upgrade the condition of habitat and range, kill varmints and maximize sustainability of habitat carrying capacity, plant foodplots and leave up ag crops for the critters, we landowners and only we landowners know very accurately what the responsible harvest rates should be each season based on this not so mystical clear and present sound science that seems to be so foreign to so many bureaucrats and assorted no-boot desk jockeys.
And all that adds up to the best deerhunting to be found on planet earth, right here in the wonderful last best place of the Republic of Texas.
Though the extended season and harvest premise is sound, the actual hunting is some of the most difficult and challenging deerhunting anywhere, anytime.
Winter months bring on a noticeably, even drastically reduced deer movement and activity as the critter’s metabolism naturally backs down for winter survival.
Sure, bucks will increase feeding following the rut, especially with the wonderful upgrade in landowner supplemental feeding that has erupted in the last number of years, but for the most part, there will be days where you would swear the deer just don’t move and appear to not feed at all.
With the beneficial orgy of increased foodplots and the explosion of the supplemental feed industry, the goal is to provide optimal nutrition throughout the year for maximum health, vitality and physical condition of our herds.
Millions of deerhunting landowners across American invest massive gobs of money on corn feeders, protein feeders, nutritional blocks, mineral and vitamin supplements and a dizzying assortment of good grits for our beloved deer.
We have many acres of Buck Forage oats and Primos custom seedblend plots all over our properties just like so many others, along with all the various blocks and goodies.
But even with this highly desirable available smorgasbord always within easy reach of the deer, I cannot tell you how many days in a row we get skunked with the deer turning into ghosts.
In our Boss Buck feeders and feeder troughs, we provide Record Rack protein, Ani-Logic products, various Primos nutritional supplements, various blocks, trace mineral spots, loads of very digestible peanuts and all kinds of crack corn, shell corn, sunflower seeds, roasted soy beans, alfalfa, you name it.
But alas, skunked again! All those goodies disappear overnight each day due to increased nocturnal feeding, but ambushing deer in the late-late season is a lesson in patience and frustration like no other time of year.
I have gotten lucky occasionally of late and put some real pretty arrows on young and old does and a few management bucks, but the waiting game can really get to a guy after five solid months of nonstop deerhunting.
Suffice it to say, as much as I love/crave my deerhunting, as the long season approaches the final days, it truly is a bittersweet time as we reminisce the wonderment of critter encounters, successful moments as well as the heartbreak of blown opportunities, but all in all, I will take it right to the very end, and as March 1st approaches, there will be a glowing smile on my backstrap inspired face, knowing that there is still a lot of hunting to be had for exotics, varmints and hogs, furbearers and good fishing.
Spring turkey and bear are right around the corner, and of course the ultimate hunt of all, ROCK-N-ROLL SEASON!