By: Ted Nugent
South Texas is certainly a deerhunting paradise. My annual whitetail winter safari around the Uvalde, Knippa, Sabinal, Hondo region southwest of San Antonio is beyond any bowhunting dream this old Michigan deerhunter could have ever imagined.
Blessed and beyond fortunate to be invited on to the 8000-acre Mosing family 4M Ranch all these years has brought me so much joy I can hardly stand it. Managed for nearly 50 years for optimal healthy, thriving wildlife habitat through balanced deer numbers has created a deer herd that you would have to see it and hunt it to believe it.
Minimizing hunting pressure while maximizing natural sustaining habitat, augmented with various beneficial agriculture, the sheer number of mature bucks we see on any given weekend is truly unbelievable.
This famous part of the Texas brush country has always been celebrated as nothing short of phenomenal deer country with a history of amazing genetics, ultra-nutritious natural vegetation, that when kept in well managed balance and given a decent annual rainfall, produces big, old mature record book bucks each and every year.
With the creation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife “Managed Land Deer Permit” program, landowners keep close tabs on the deer numbers, predator impact and range conditions and improvements to determine our own science-based harvest limits, and you can well imagine just how many buck and doe tags an 8000-acre deer factory can accommodate!
I genuflect on bended knee at the buckpole!
With the extended deerseason going from around October 1st all the way to March 1st, we are talking deerhunter heaven here folks!
But never, ever forget, that deerhunting, no matter the conditions, no matter the smartest management and clever strategizing, has always been and will forever be based on the inevitable reality of right place right time!
And so it was on my first highly anticipated December afternoon hunt at the mighty 4M, SpiritWild VidCamDude Bob Bohannon and I settled into a double ladderstand that ranch manager Will had cleverly setup for us, and with my zebra GoldTip arrow nocked on my Mathews VXR bowstring, I could already taste the tender backstraps a grillin’!
The wind was perfect, the overcast skies beneficial, and even though the moonfaze was not our friend, after three hours of excited anticipation with nary an animal to be seen, we knew all too well that right place right time ruled the day.
After another deerhunting long wait, by dark thirty a few does and two yearling bucks had moved through, but we called it a day and began planning on the morning strategy.
Returning to the same ladderstands we settled in with high hopes and eager anticipation that this could be it.
Being the eternal gonzo optimist, I tend to still get rather antsy sitting on stand for extended periods, continually dreaming and envisioning in my mind that some big old beasto buck is just around the corner and it is about to happen.
Really crazy deerhunters like me may very well have the patience of Job, for hour after hour, day after day, oftentimes week after week with no action at all, we still persist and sit statuesque, motionless, hoping beyond hope that the moment of truth is imminent.
Entertained by an orgy of birdlife all around us is one of the genuine perks of treestand hunting. As four does browsed through our little honey hole, squadrons of the beautiful Texas greenjays divebombed in and out, here and there, heather and yon, to and fro all morning long, when joy of joys, a big, fat, beautiful emerald featherbomber landed square onto my nocked GoldTip arrow and stared me right in the eyeballs from mere inches away.
As I celebrated another magical spirit of the wild moment for all it is worth, the jay launched off my arrow and a handsome butterball basketrack 8 point buck sauntered into view below us. I immediately went from my James Audubon mindset into Geronimo killmode, and Game On!
As always, my spirit totally escaped the not so pleasant current world and went directly into the all is beautiful spirit world.
Such pure primal moments truly are out of body ascensions. All that existed was me, my arrow and the buck’s pumpstation. That’s it. Nothing more. Pure. Oneness. Spirit of the wild.
When he offered me his foreleg crease, I gave it to him.
The glowing arrow nock lit up my life. The buck turned inside out and vaportrailed into the ether.
A far away train whistle blew. I heard a distant dog barking. Slight breeze kissed my left cheek. Birds flitted back. I exhaled, closed my eyes and released my spiritual prayer for the wildthings in an instant.
My eyes penetrated beyond the SpiritWild camera lens, my mouth moved and words came out articulating the far reaches of my love for creation.
After a surprisingly long and extremely challenging and equally gratifying bloodtrail, we rejoiced at the recovery of my prize, sharing the magic moment with the whole world on Spirit of the Wild TV footage.
Certainly such a powerful experience is all a guy could ever want, but addicted to living life to the fullest, and with a pocket full of surplus buck and doe tags, we fulfilled our daily chores and camp duties and headed out for the afternoon hunt with hopes and dreams of more of the same magic.
There is no such thing as too much fun!
Keep that hunting spirit alive with all you’ve got. Planned and prioritized intelligently, the hunt never ends.