The Last Backstrapper

March 11, 2020 | « back

By: Ted Nugent

Well, the sun isn’t exactly setting on my hunting season overall, but when so much focus and celebration circles around the mighty whitetail deer of North America, for all practical purposes, my 2019/2020 deerseason is finally over, and it ended with a lovely, audible, POW-THUMP!

With the absolute best deerhunting regulations on planet earth, (not perfect, but the best there is) our Texas deerseason erupts the closest Saturday to October 1st and doesn’t end till sunset on the last day of February.

And with the amazing Managed Land Deer Permit program, we landowners now determine our own bag limit based on that beautiful sound science reality to keep our herds and habit thriving and healthy.

Altogether now-Glory Glory HALLELUJAH!

Well it was on that glorious last day of February 2020 that the old gimpy guitarplayer strode afield with a burning desire in my heart to fill the last doe tag on my sacred Texas home hunting grounds.

With my trusty GA Precision .308 sniper rifle and a pocketful of deadly 165 grain deathpills, I was, as they say, cocked, locked and oh so ready to rock doc!

Family Nuge had indeed celebrated what I can only refer to as THE greatest huntseason of my life, with many a stunning backstrappers brought to bag, sharing the sacred hard earned venison protein with family, friends, neighbors, bandmates, veterans, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and an array of deserving charities that literally crave the ultimate gift of natural meat.

There were even more than a few bona fide trophy beasts that ended up on the ever over-worked buckpole.

Needless to say, spirit campfires burned big and hot throughout the entire season, and if I had any more fun, I might not have made it all the way to the end.

But to the end I indeed did make it, and on this last hope afternoon, after nearly two weeks of painful skunking torture, I settled into my warm, cozy Tankblind for the end game vigil.

The afternoon started like all others, slow and borderline boring, but being the eternal optimist, I kept my predator radar in full-on killmode and remained diligently tuned in to my surroundings.

Regular skeins of overhead waterfowl and the constant much appreciated chorus of birdlife always keeps me upbeat, and even the raucous crow clamor made me happy to be out there again.

But as usual of late, where the heck were all the deer that I knew were still around?

Time was ticking away and I kept glancing from my smartphone communication orgy to the wildgrounds all around me, when finally, that favorite, beautiful shape of deer in the cedars yonder caught my killer eye.

As if a gift from the Great Spirit, this big old mature she-deer was just what the Doctor ordered, and I silently slipped the fore end of my rifle to the padded windowsill for the shot.

This late in the season I am convinced that there exists no spookier, crazy alert creature on planet earth than the deer on my property, and this old gal was having fits trying to decide to take that last dangerous step out of the protective deciduous cover into the emerald green Buck Forage oat foodplot, 200 yards distant.

My Bushnell sniper scope was all dialed in on 10 power for 200 yards when my trophy backstrapper made the fatal move.

With a gentle inhale and gentle halfway exhale, my triggerfinger finished its well memorized 3 pound pressure when the suppressed rifle barely barked a muted bark.

Good Lord how I love crosshairs and ballistic co-efficiency, as the 165 grain slammer disconnected all the goodstuff high in the shoulder for an instant kill, and an instant finish to a glorious deerseason 2019/2020.

I walked briskly across the expanse to my prize like a pre-teen kid in Northern Michigan 1958, and in the fading dusk I knelt at her side and smiled the smile of a family provider, knowing that I was continuing the perfection of hands-on conservation and definitive wildlife resource stewardship.

I sat there admiring my stunning girl and the perfect world around me till the setting sun was almost gone, then proceeded to complete some of the most enjoyable chores in my life.

I took a little bit more time than usual at a much slower pace with the loading, transporting, gutting, hosing and hanging in the cooler, doing all I could to prolong my beloved deerseason even if just for a few minutes more.

I took the gutpile out to the river’s edge where the vultures party every day, cleaned up the bloody dogs who always enjoy helping me and shutdown the skinning shed with a noticeably increased kick in my step.

Afterall, this wasn’t the end of the season, but rather, the beginning of my deerseason 2020/2021.

How could a guy not be happy about that!