Opening Day Celebration

November 17, 2020 | « back

By: Ted Nugent

I am well aware of and deeply committed to joyously celebrating any and all beginnings of each year’s hunting seasons whenever and wherever they may occur. With early archery seasons kicking off close to summertime and various state’s early gun openers and early doe seasons erupting here, there and everywhere, it is difficult to keep track of all the deerhunting startup dates around the country.

And of course, more opportunities are always better than fewer opportunities!

Being that as it may, I am equally certain that all my fellow deerhunting maniacs across America know very well and good when all such opportunities take place in our home and destination states, and certainly, they are all special and worthy of serious anticipation and gungho celebration.

As a lifelong die-hard bowhunter, I take full advantage of every opportunity to hit the deerwoods with my trusty Mathews bow and GoldTip arrows from the very first day they happen, and genuinely cherish each and everyday afield with mucho gusto.

But when you are born a bowhunter in Michigan back in the so called good old days of the late 1940s and 50s, something very powerful takes a hold of your inner deerhunter spirit, and no other date seems to generate the sheer excitement and fiery anticipation of the classic, traditional Opening Day of the historic firearms deerseason.

It may be due to the huge numbers of gun hunters out here, but decked out in our Stormy Kromer red and black plaid hunting garb and hunter orange vests, one cannot escape the building fury of the magical November 15 opener.

For many years I opened the firearm season with the sniper rifle of my choice out of pure tradition, but for the last number of years, I have stuck with my archery gear just to keep the mystical flight of the arrow challenge alive.

Each opener has remained thrilling beyond description, but when I went into full-on guide and outfitter mode for my wonderful daughter Sasha and her boys, I swear the fun factor has risen exponentially each November 15.

Much to my happiness, Sasha has taken to celebrating the opener with dear old Dad more and more each year, and even though she tagged her very 1st rifle whitetail kill way back in 1982 at the tender age of eight in Texas, she has become quite the aim small miss small sniper woman these days.

Last year she tagged a beautiful mature 8-point swamp stag, and we had high hopes she could beat that this year.

While my bandmates, drummer Jason Hartless and bassist Greg Smith succeeded in killing two very fine bucks, Sasha and I ate some tag-soup after a couple days of hard hunting.

She patiently passed on three young butterball bucks waiting for the big boy to show, but alas, with only two days of hunting she had to take home some of dad’s venison to Connecticut.

I have a feeling she will venture to our home ranch in Texas this winter to give it another try, but even though we didn’t kill a deer together in Michigan, we both agree that this was indeed one fine, enjoyable, very special opening day together that we wouldn’t trade for anything in this world.

The guns are still going off, my hunting buddies across the country are having the times of their lives, son Toby and all our friends are still hard at it with our bows and arrows, and all in all, this was another gun opener to remember.

We already have Monday November 15, 2021 circled on the calendar, and with the grace of God giving us another year of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, we will all be together to sight in the smokepoles, enjoy the grand Nugent family spirit, laugh around the fire and cherish this incredible deerhunting lifestyle that embodies the American Dream like no other.

There is still a lot of great deerhunting to be had and the Nugent family will hunt hard right to the very end. May your deer dreams throttle on and may your family camp time cleanse the soul and fortify the bond.