By: Ted Nugent
I was all snuggled ultra-comfy, deep in the warm, loving bosom of God. I could actually taste the effervescent swampfog that enveloped our little riverine bog, and I don’t know where the slight pre-dawn glow came from, but a subtle shimmer accented all the gold, yellow, red and orange fiery flora and fauna within which we were perched.
My entire life has been dedicated with all the might I can muster to be as alive as I can possibly be.
My indefatigable, nonstop hyper scramble to maximize my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness has consumed my every breath for near on 70 years now, and I push myself to discover new and exciting procedures each and every day to kick it up a notch in everything I do.
God, family, country, music, my sacred we the people politics, hunting, fishing, trapping, dogs, communication with people and a vast assortment of American Dream options throttle my entire being fulltime.
This mesmerizing bowhunting morning in my killer Michigan fen was a perfect example of just how hyper alive I can be.
Our original destination for the morning hunt was a famous old Tamarac tree named after my grandson Jack on the edge of beautiful babbling brook where the mucky beaver canal and forest intersect. But a gut-felt hunch stopped me short where our old bowhunting BloodBrother George Nicholls had built a simple wooden platform many years ago.
The platform was all but gone, but I had erected a double ladder video stand there, and if the spot was good enough for George, it was certainly good enough for me.
Settled in well before sunrise, we were again titillated and stimulated by the wonderful Spirit of the Wild wake-up calls of songbirds, waterfowl, cranes, distant school bus growls and a far-away train whistle.
The slow roll of fog was intoxicating and one of my favorite wild things.
As my constant swinging glance turned east, a ghost of an image appeared within the wet fog, and with the lift of my Bushnells, the ghost took the shape of a large, hulking deer that had substantial antlers showing above the sawgrass and puckerbrush.
“Shooter!” I whispered to SpiritWild VidCamDude Ethan Wiskur, and we instantly launched into hyper Game On predator mode.
The majestic stag took his time covering the 90 yards our way, performing the age old whitetail waterboarding torture that we live for, but when he turned into the tall grasses at 35 yards, my Mathews Halon came to fulldraw unto itself, and like a gazillion practice arrows before, I became the mystical flight of my arrow as my lighted nock arched low into his belly.
As the buck lurched and leapt another 30 yards my second arrow was already cocked, locked and ready to rock doc, and he looked to and froe, clueless as to what had just happened.
My Mathews is so silent that the impact of the arrow was louder than the bow going off.
He stood there further torturing us.
Determined to return to his original trail, the beast actually turned slightly toward us and my rangefinder read 55 yards as my next arrow arched beautifully over the colorful span and smacked hard right behind the old boy’s massive shoulder.
Alive? That moment, in fact the entire morning would qualify as 100% ultra-alive, but when he staggered and tipped over in the reeds and sawgrass, the sensations were as out of body as any experience available to our species.
There were no loud guitars and killer rocksongs. No politics existed. No pain, no suffering, no crime, no dissonance, no terror, no thought, no world, no history, no here, no now, no nothing!
I let out a long, heavy whoosh of air, and my breathing slowly returned to normal, or something thereabouts.
I leaned back against my tree and looked to the heavens. I turned my head to Ethan and my Cheshire grin was mirrored by his as he filmed the happiest, most alive human being in the history of God’s miraculous creation.
There was no whooping or hollering or any loud, exuberant boisterous celebration, but rather a slow, solemn stroll over to the fallen monarch where I held his stunning head in my humble predator hands.
As alive as alive can be.
I emotionally and passionately waxed poetic as to just how powerfully meaningful this bowhunting life is and how important these very special beasts are to me and to so many American hunting families across the land.
It’s October 2018 and we are hunting deer everywhere with the bow and arrow, reliving and continuing the perfect hands-on, environmentally beneficial, independent, self-sufficient lifestyle that the first humans did before history was recorded.
I sat there with my beast in the wet swampgrass for a long, long time, sponging up all the powerful positive energy of nature as healer and the amazing spirit of my beast brothers.
We are so very lucky to be hunters, because as we manage the resources that give us life, we are simply way more alive than those that do not.
Be as alive as you can be in everything you do. Say a prayer for the wildthings and the wildthings will fan the flames of your primal spirit.
The beast is dead, long live the life-giving beast.