By: Ted Nugent
My beloved son Theodore Tobias Nugent was born November 7, 1976, and like all my kids, he brought great joy and happiness into our lives and immediately made the world a better place.
To say he was born into a full-on Gonzo whirlwind high-energy environment as the son of The MotorCity MadMan WhackMaster would be a gross understatement.
But within that swirling dervish Nugent world, far beyond the fiery glare of over the top flamethrowing rock-n-roll mayhem, was a beautiful, loving, down to earth all-American quality of life family dream based on love, individual accountability, being the absolute best that you can be discipline and all the positive elements that go into a serious bowhunting family lifestyle.
As Toby grew up, he showed all the youthful fascination with bows and arrows and BB guns and slingshots and always enjoyed our regular fun walks in the woods with dad. He would join me on a little hunting here and there, but never really showed a real passion for the outdoor sports. Instead he dedicated himself to basketball and became a serious athletic force to reckon with on the court.
I never pushed him to be a hunter or a guitar player, always hoping that his overall disciplined life would inspire and drive him towards his own personal passions and dreams.
It wasn’t until he was in his late teens that he began to show increased interest in deerhunting and I made it a point to encourage him and push a little harder to fan those flames that brought me such immense, deeply spiritual happiness and fulfillment.
As a very thoughtful, clever, intelligent and focused young man, it didn’t surprise me that after only a few outings, young Toby lucked into a monster Michigan swampbuck of a lifetime, killing a 168” mature beast with his Remington 12-gauge slug gun.
It was a moment in time for this die-hard deerhunting dad and his own deerhunting bug exploded in him from then on.
He rifle-killed a real nice 8 point a few years later with his Browning .243 semi-auto in the vast Northern Michigan cedar swamps, and it was there and then that he made the decision to pursue only big, mature, trophy bucks henceforth.
With old dad killing plenty of does each season on our management tags, there was never any shortage of the sacred venison that sustains our family and friends.
Over the years, with the increased awareness of quality deer management and the learned identification of deer age based on body indicators and passing on younger bucks, we were seeing more and more mature bucks on our Bushnell trailcams and even the occasional daylight sighting on stand.
Communicating with our contiguous neighbors, all of whom are dedicated deerhunters, we turned the age old “if its brown its down” typical Midwest deergrounds into a genuine big buck trophy region in only a few short years.
With the confidence building incentive of knowing the big boys were out there, our already thrilling deerhunting lifestyle kicked up a substantial notch, and we began to kill some real beasts over the years.
Year after year Toby would pass on some real dandy bucks waiting patiently with hope beyond hope to rendezvous with one of the older stags, and year after year, he was able to pull that off, usually at the 11th hour after months, days, weeks and many tortuous hours of perseverance and persistence.
Again this season in 2017, Toby stuck it out to the last days and finally figured out how, where and when to ambush the biggest, baddest beast of the swamp on December 30, 2017 right at dusk.
In below zero bone chilling temperatures and a gorgeous winter, water, wonderland cover of snow deep in the Nugent swamp, with his Mathews Halon bow and GoldTip arrows, my son pulled off what every bowhunter dreams of and sent his mystical flight of the arrow where it needed to go at that magical mystical moment of truth to bring home another very hard-earned trophy whitetail of a lifetime.
As we all know all too well, there are no guarantees in our challenging deerhunting world, and quite honestly, I don’t think there is a more challenging, difficult deer to kill in America than a wise, old, escape artist mature whitetail buck in southern Michigan. The sheer, relentless hunting pressure is probably the most intense there is in North America, and on our whitetail heaven Nugent farmland swamp habitat, these cagey beasts are the ghosts of whitetail legend.
A huge Nuge thanks goes out to our farmers for leaving up some corn and soybeans for the critters in late season and to Greg Pace and all our buddies at Plot1seed.com for their incredible late fall kill-plots to keep the deer coming.
Bowhunting is not for everybody, but I thank the good Lord upstairs for making my son Toby a serious deerhunter, for the only person more excited and happy than Toby when he pulls off this bowhunting miracle is his old man.
Congratulations son. You sir, are a world-class big buck killing bowhunter of the highest order. I love you son.