Slickheads are Trophies, Too

Trolling rig for crappie (video)
June 6, 2012
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June 11, 2012

I think this was my 205th day of bowhunting for the season, that long, eternal, endless Texas season of bowhunting beyond our wildest dreams, and though I was feeling the pangs of certain hard earned fatigue, I didn’t dislike it, but rather, celebrated it as a gift from God. Sore bones are an indicator that I am living life to the fullest.

Downright beautiful.

I felt tingly, I guess a little like being drunk, rather inebriated on the adventure highs that my beloved hunting lifestyle provides me everytime I head out. You know, the bridsongs, the pungent air, the rustling wind through the leaves and branches, the darting, twittering birds and squirrels and rabbits and stuff. The electric anticipation of the arrival of The Beast! Is there anything more wonderful?

Sunrise has a distinct, intoxicating scent to it as well. Delicious and earthy, wet and dank, tongue jabbingly yummy. Fortifying and stimulating, but with no negative side effects. I close my eyes often and lean back, sucking it all in, sponging it deep into my inner soul. A blanket of natural peace and quiet envelops me. Soul food for the spirit. Spirit food for the soul. Good heroin for the blood.

I had already this season, again, celebrated what can only be described as the ultimate hunts one can hope for in life; sharing very special campfire and backstraps with the heroes of the US Military that have so dearly sacrificed so much for freedom. Along with some very special kids facing painful health trials and tribulations, these hunts and campfires are indescribably inspiring and gratifying on all imaginable levels. Godbless all who give to so many charities for these truly deserving Americans.

But now I was in an old reliable stand-by deerstand, overlooking a stubble foodplot, a Primos Swamp Donkey protein block and some scattered golden kernels in hopes of ambushing an unsuspecting herbivore for yet more venison for the local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. I had recently shipped another bulging pallet of prime venison jerky to the US troops in Afghanistan, so it’s not like I was feeling pressure to kill something, but nonetheless, I hunt to hunt, so every hunt is a spectacle of challenge, intellect, stealth and reasoning predatorship. As always, I was terminally cocked, locked and oh so ready to rock, doc!

A young whitetail forkhorn was the first to careful sneak into my little clearing, and as usual, he was frantic with alertness, looking every which way in between nibbles and bites. Soon a pair of yearling does joined him, and I knew my three little amigo decoys were just what the Dr. Backstrap ordered.

Two obese fox squirrels squared off and fought over some corn, the three deer watching their every move. This distraction is the ultimate diversionary tactic for the bowhunter, and I was hoping a target deer would soon arrive in order to take advantage of my bushytailed smoke and mirrors.

But a moment later, a trio of big, fat, mature cactus donkeys sauntered in with an out of the ordinary confidence, no doubt provided by the relaxed critters before me. My body movements mirrored the pace of the incoming does, and in one fell swoop, the biggest old matriarch of the group turned perfectly broadside at about 25 yards, stretched her front leg out, tilted her head slightly away from my position, and literally asked for it.

From within my dark shadowy perch I was able to come to fulldraw without anybody noticing me whatsoever, and my pretty zebra striped arrowed sliced beautifully into that ever loving pumpstation crease for a guaranteed instant death.

Critters exploded every which way, heather tether, hither and yon, and my big heartshot she-deer flipped white belly over teakettle in a cloud of dust only 40 yards out into the field.

I got the whole shebang on SpiritWild video all by my bad self, and turned the camera on my very happy, broadly grinning face to share my jubilation with all who watch our Spirit of the Wild TV show on Outdoor Channel.

I spoke reverently and intensely about the abject joys of my hunting life, the reverence I have for the beasts and the good mother earth that we share, and how we should all purposely seek out new recruits into this phenomenal hunting lifestyle by constantly promoting this ultimate hands-on conservation, environmentally positive, resource stewardship hunting way of life.

I filmed the bloodtrailing, the beautiful Texas terrain, and laid my hands lovingly on the old she-strapper as I once again articulated the perfection of sustain yield wildlife management and the excitement of every hunt. I gushed how this old bowhunter considers every kill, every good arrow, every venison package to be the ultimate trophy everytime.

In that special glow of a Texas sunset, I loaded up my prize, and went through the enjoyable rituals of photographing, gutting, skinning, hosing, hanging and the after hunt clean up that is my life. And what an incredible life it is.

I let the Labradors chew on some special nutritional viscera, organized my gear for the next morning, then had a wonderful meal of scrumptious venison with my gorgeous wife and called it a day. And what a spectacular day it was.

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