Stagzilla, the Fallow Buck

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More and more lately, we must all admit that the whole world sucks, and though, tragically, we are catching up quickly, America still sucks less. But most importantly, deerhunting in Texas don’t suck at all.

nugent_fallowSure, deer hunting across America is arguably the best it has ever been. Simply amazing whitetail hunting is to be had everywhere this phenomenal species exists, great mule deer hunting, wonderful blacktail, Sitka blacktail, Columbian whitetail, Couse deer, even killer Sika deer in Maryland and abundant Axis deer in Hawaii.

But no place on earth has the amazing backstrap orgy deerhunting we experience in the Great Republic of Texas. Nowhere on earth are there more whitetail, superb desert Muledeer, Carmen Mountain whitetails, and of course the unprecedented plethora of exotic deer from around the world.

A seasonal whitetail deerhunter in Texas never knows just what he may bump into. Axis, fallow, sika, red deer, red stag, Pere David and Barasinga are all found in plentiful, flourishing, year round huntable populations in the Lone Star state, and hunting each of these species is as much a thrill as are all our beloved native deer.

An American deerhunter can literally enjoy more than eight months of native deerhunting if one chooses to kick off the season in California in July, hit South Carolina in August, hunt nonstop through September, October, November, December, January and February. In fact on many private high fence deer ranches in many states, a guy can theoretically hunt whitetails year round. You gotta love that.

But it is the never ending year round exotic deer that light my backstrap fires beyond the whitetail and Muledeer seasons, since I don’t like to travel after I have toured nonstop all summer every summer.

I bet when you add up the number of deerhunters who have bagged the various exotic deer species, we are talking about millions of hunters and millions of exotic deer.

I have been celebrating the supreme joy of hunting Sika, Fallow, Axis and others for more than 40 years, and I am here to tell you that every arrow on every exotic deer has been as thrilling as every arrow on whitetails and Muledeer, I assure you.

Every stalk, every ambush, every sunrise, every encounter, every shot and every gutpile and backstrap is 100% pure, real, wonderful deerhunting, as good as it gets.

In fact the nod goes to Axis deer as the most challenging, ultra alert, smart, spooky, evasive deer species of all. The amazing Axis deer also gets the award for the finest venison of all too.

On our home SpiritWild Ranch in central Texas, we have killer whitetails, Axis, Sika and Fallow. Our herds, at this point, are all native to our grounds and were born there, and like all deer I have hunted for more than 60 years, are sneaky, ultra evasive and real darn good at avoiding guitar players with sharp sticks. I love that.

Rocking myself into oblivion every night on tour is a joy I have celebrated all my life. But like our favorite, most respected philosopher Dirty Harry once said, “It’s a good man who knows his limitations.”

In order to unleash the pure all American animal soulmusic my band and I ferociously perform each night, it is imperative that I cleanse my soul and recharge my batteries on a daily basis. And seeing as how we perform six nights a week or more, the rare day off is cherished more than you can imagine.

Monitoring my Bushnell trailcam photos while on the road, the flurry of activity around the hot summer waterholes provides exciting eye candy with high hopes of a one day off shot at game. My ace wildlife master/ranch manager/VidCamDude Kris Helms is deeply connected to my sacred hunting grounds, so when I have that rare day to hunt, I trust his stand choice.

That being said, hunting is always hunting, and we have had our share of skunked hunts. But on this day, things were about to be much different.

Kris and I had eyeballed a killer clump of heavy mesquite and thick cedars not far from the Swamp Donkey pellet trough, and he cleverly set up a pair of quad-pods midday for an evening ambush.

Pushing close to 100 degrees with a solid southwest breeze, we settled in with my new Mathews Creed bow, and prepared to sweat out a good old, hot Texas vigil.

We were surrounded by every indigenous songbird found in Texas on our beautiful SpiritWild Ranch, and with stunning blackbuck antelope, huge white Oryx and the occasional whitetail appearing in and out of the huge fifty acre coastal hayfield, there was never a dull moment.

Kris was capturing it all on SpiritWild video when we both noticed a substantial blob emerging from the tangled puckerbrush to our right. Joining a few young whitetails in front of us strolled a pair of humongous fallow stags the likes of which I had never seen before.

The giant white buck and stunning spotted tan buck were huge, both in body and massive antler size. A real dandy fallow buck will often go over 200, even 250 pounds, but these hogs both broke the 300 mark for sure. And their beautiful velvet covered palmated antlers looked like they belonged on a moose.

They both nibbled about on the Swamp Donkey pellets, granulated and block I had placed within thirty yards of us, but as usual, they never gave a shootable angle.

Until the huge brown stag decided to nudge a nice whitetail away from the Swamp Donkey, and within a few minutes, that gorgeous foreleg stretched out exposing the mighty pumpstation and the immaculate window to backstrap heaven opened wide.

My 45# Mathews came back like butter, and in an instant my zebra GoldTip arrow drove my Muzzy two blade clean through the monster’s chest with only the glowing Lumenok glistening where a nano second before my predator gaze burned a hole into the beast. He was done in seconds.

Kris caught the deathrun on video and a rejoiceful celebration erupted in the Texas scrub. We called Shemane and videoed the recovery of this amazing animal and couldn’t get over the sheer dimension and beauty of the beast.

Now that’s how a guy spends a night off from rocking to ultimately cleanse the soul. My guitar surely had the spirit of the mighty stag the next night.

Come hunt Texas any ol time you want because our exotic deer season never ends. Year round backstraps are the best backstraps of all.

Visit to book a killer hunting trip with Ted Nugent Sunrize Safaris.

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