By: Ted Nugent
FINALLY! After all that practice and dedication, 100s tortuous pre-dawn arousals and late nights getting home, after all those nerve wracking, patience testing hours, days and weeks in the treestand, FINALLY, a shooter deer is in range, broadside and looking the other way!
Nerve endings a-twitter, neck-hairs quivering at attention, muscles tense and pulsating, breath gasping in spurts, eyes watering, all of a sudden we kick into reasoning predator muscle/spirit memory overdrive, settle down, breathe smooth, relax, aim small miss small, draw like a bowhunting ballerina and let ‘er rip!
Dear God in Heaven above, our mystical flight of the arrow is indeed the path of our soul and the beast takes it in the pumpstation and scrambles off helter-skelter in a surefire deathrun.
We slump back against the tree, air whooshes from our overtaxed lungs, eyes roll back into our skulls and a super bad nationwide grin stretches across our face with a fistpumping hallelujah like no other fistpumping HALLELUJAH ever to be had!
It feels so wonderful that sometimes we are at a loss as to just what to do or say.
Even after 1000s and 1000s of arrows and 1000s and 1000s of hunts and 1000s and 1000s of kills, all the above takes place each and every time for me.
With all the hunting TV shows out there these days we all get to witness an unending variety of reactions and emotions from an unlimited assortment of diverse and individual hunters as they live out the hunt for all the world to see.
Some are solemn, some are rather droll, some are maniacally uppity, some hysterical and some are emotionless and seemingly uncaring.
I am here to clarify exactly what it is that we are witnessing, for though I don’t know all the hunters in the world, I very well may know more hunters than anyone as my gregarious nature and 68 years of shared passion for the hunt deeply and constantly connects me with my fellow hunters here, there and everywhere I travel.
Because we are all each individually unique in our own special way, we all express ourselves in our own unique and individual style.
Here it is 2017 for God’s sake, and to think how so many of us continue to hunt for our own food and conservation responsibilities just like this natural, powerful primalscream instinct drove our aboriginal ancestors to do the same many millions of years ago is truly amazing. Though early man’s motivation was a pure survival instinct, our motivation remains just as pure today.
Those hunters who break out in hysterical laughter upon killing an animal are not laughing at the animal or showing any disrespect whatsoever. Their jubilance is the natural human manifestation of rejoicing a hard earned job well done.
Even those hunters who approach the animal with no visible emotion or celebration, they too feel the same sense of accomplishment and respect for the animal. They just don’t show it the same way.
Re-entering the primordial goo of predator/prey origins from the modern world concrete hell can be a long, sometimes confusing journey back to our original design.
And of course there will always be the lunatic fringe goofball that has evil in their hearts, be it known that the vast majority of hunters truly dedicate ourselves to a responsible, humane kill and a genuine and respectful celebration for the gift of life that each kill represents.
All the hunters I know not only have a deep and abiding respect for the game we pursue, but a heartfelt reverence for the miraculous circle of life that we proudly participate in. When we perform to the absolute best of our human ability, much celebration is due and we should never apologize for it.
The beast is dead. Long live the mighty beasts in our belly and in our soul.