W hen you’re out in the deerwoods everyday like I am, you become extremely tuned in to God’s miraculous creation, the pulsations of nature and her majestic, soul-stirring critters. There really is a wonderful, stimulating Call of the wild, but I prefer to call it the Spirit of the wild, for there is a tangible yet beyond the physical heartbeat to the ways of wild things, and us hardcore reasoning predators dedicated to be one with the beasts will eventually zero in and become a distinct part of that heartbeat.
And Lord have mercy does it ever feel Goooooood!
For this old rock-n-roll bowhunting fool, I am convinced that this hunting lifestyle represents the highest of highs, and like that old curse buck fever, it can and often does take some serious self-control and psyche management to maintain focus and keep the nerves and chest slamming heartbeat contained.
Tonight on our sacred family swampland hunting grounds, like most ambush vigils, I had deer within sight off and on most of the time, but was delighted to be surrounded by 15 different whitetails a good hour before dark.
Under the glowing canopy of slightly moving bright fall leaves at their most colorful effervescence, the streams of intermittent setting sunlight provided one of God’s most exciting firestorms of dynamic imagery. Again, self-control is the name of the game to keep from becoming entranced by the beauty of it all.
To complete the creation artwork, enter a huge old doe and her brace of large fawns of the year, both healthy, fat young’uns nearing 100 pounds each.
They were joined by a huge old lone matriarch SwampDonkey gal that had to weigh more than 150 pounds with a horse like head and an enormous brisket that protruded forth.
These cagey, ultra-alert old Michigan she-deer will test the stealth of the most experienced bowhunter, for they never let their guard down, as they constantly scan every which way. They live to discover intruders, especially uppity old backstrap addicted guitar players toting sharp sticks and antlerless tags.
SpiritWild VidCamDude Big Jim has learned over the years that zero movement is essential, and he did a great job of remaining undetected with me high up in the towering, leafy oak tree.
Soon a trio of yearling bucks sauntered in; a slick spike, a small forky and a larger, well-defined forky.
More does and fawns snuck in from the surrounding sawgrass marsh, ultra-cautiously, refusing to give us a break, forcing us to remain motionless, peering only with our peripheral vision, not even daring to turn our heads.
The small bucks took turns sniffing and stiff legging the does and fawns, acting like the juveniles they were, inspired to harass the does, but looking rather comical in their feeble attempt to be the big bad breeding buckaroos they would eventually become.
I was so tempted to arrow the biggest fawn-less, lone doe, but the pitter-patter of dry leaves behind us made me wait, anticipating the arrival of a mature buck to take over the party of forest dwellers.
Darkness soon enveloped my sacred hunting grounds, and we wrapped up another phenomenal day in the deerwoods, relishing every spine tingling moment of the greatest period of the year.
Typically I hunt the 1st and last three hours of daylight, but starting in late October, knowing that buck movement increases as that magical rut builds steam, I increase my hunting hours till I often hunt all day long come that amazing first half of November.
With some early season backstrappers in the freezer, and with the decision for so many years to pass up young bucks, the always exciting rut has become that much more intense for us on the Nugent hunting grounds, just knowing that all those three and four year old bucks we have passed on all those years are now world-class, huge, trophy monarchs, the kind of majestic stags that legends are made of.
The time is now. Get out there and sponge up all this madness and outrageous deerhunting FUN!
Happy, Happy rut to all my fellow deerhunting BloodBrothers across the hinterland. May the beasts of your dreams make that one mistake that gives us that rare and much appreciated, hard earned advantage to get the job done.
Hunt hard, hunt smart, hunt long, hunt fun! This is our time. There will only be this one single 2015-16 rut. Live it to the fullest.
Email Ted Nugent at [email protected]