Ethics…When No One is Watching

T he glorious Michigan bowseason had been blazing along ferociously for just 20 days. Well, maybe not actually blazing everyday, and I guess not really all that ferocious most of the time either. But with maximum appreciation I take every day and every weather condition as it comes and do my best to improvise, adapt and overcome my deerhunting ambush strategies.

I’m certainly not the best bowhunter in the world, but there is no shortage of thrills, spills, kills, chills, emotional roller-coaster rides and hard earned sacred backstraps for this old Michigan born all American Texan bowhunter I assure you.

I hunt hard every day, and have a nice collection of precious venison, some handsome headbone and more than another season’s lifetime of precious memories and experiences to show for my never ending Herculean reasoning predator efforts. And I do mean never ending and Herculean when I say never ending and Herculean.

Shouldn’t I be very tired by now?

Mrs. Nugent and my family and friends don’t think I’m addicted to bowhunting, they know I’m addicted to bowhunting!  The jury is not still out!

I gleefully plead guilty as charged, and rather proud of it!

Most of my arrows fly true. I attentively practice with my bow before every outing every day, and constantly hone my deadly-Tedly shot sequence in order to kill cleanly. As glorious as a good clean kill is, there are few things in life more depressing than making a bad shot on a critter. It hurts deeply and inspires us to maximize our human predator dedication to eliminate such pain and anguish. Not just the pain and anguish inflicted on a bad hit animal, but the tortuous pain and suffering we go through when things go wrong.   

There are two inevitable conditions when and why things can go wrong. The first and ever challenging complication is that doggone human error thing. Murphy is not our friend! Human error is not totally inescapable, but with genuine effort, serious concentration and intelligent due diligence, the best of us can reduce this goofy malady to a manageable level and enjoy some pretty gratifying long runs of sheer happiness and fulfillment.

When such heartfelt effort is put forth to be the best that we can be, and the old nasty Grinch Murphy tosses a toxic wrench into the mix in spite of our best efforts and things do go bad and ugly, we can still hold our head up high with pride knowing we didn’t drop the ball.

To the contrary, to my way of thinking, the other problem some hunters experience is inexcusable and downright criminal.

I’m sure you have noticed that in our otherwise wonderful human species, it is more than painfully apparent that some people simply don’t care, and when a hunter suffers this human soullessness, things will go bad.

You know the kind; they pick up their bow or gun just before the season and barely practice if at all. When such uncaring lack of preparation results in a bad hit or lost animal, the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the foolhardy who failed to responsibly prepare for this most important job of killing cleanly.

Making a mistake after genuine effort and blowing it through carelessness are two very different things.

When we encounter one of these dufuses in our midst, it is up to those of us who know better to call them out and refuse to stand for such irresponsible behavior.

We may not be our brothers’ keepers, but we hunters do have to share the woods and campfires with all sorts of people, and we should all work very hard to rid our ranks of uncaring slobs. The battle cry for hunters everywhere should be; “Upgrade or get lost!”

This is it! Now is the time! As fall fades into winter and the huntseason rages on, this is indeed the most mystical magical time of the deerhunting year as the bucks continue to get all Wand Dang Sweet Doe Tang on us! Hunt hard, hunt smart, hunt caringly and by all means, hunt FUN!





Email Ted Nugent at tnugent@fishgame.com


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