To Kill a Deer By Ted Nugent
Dec 26, 2007 - 11:01:23 AM
The thrill of the hunt is in his blood and will be until the day he joins those who came before him.
Food. Survival. Life. Now that's what I call motivation. I will never forget
the 1st deer I killed. If I remember correctly, it was right around the year
-1000BC, and I recall distinctly that I was naked and really smelled bad.
There was a fire and a sharp stick. There weren't very many of us at the time.
Seems that every time we tried to bring a mastodon or Irish elk to bag with
rocks, most of my fellow hunters ended up trampled and gored to death. It was tough going. We had to get so close to the ornery beasts that we didn't
really have a chance. Rocks and spears didn't quite cut it. Something had to give. What we needed was a longrange projectile to slay the mighty beasts and party on.
I believe it was my buddy Gunga who constantly chipped away at this big rock
claiming he was going to create some wheel thing. Nobody paid him much mind, but old Charlie NoseBone had it goin on, for he had taken some hard earned sinew and stretched it across a bent Triceratops rib from which he could fling a small spear with amazing accuracy. He kept mumbling something about the "mystical flight of the arrow" or somesuch gobblygook, but boy when he shot that contraption, everybody sure got all wild eyed and uppity.
In between all our daily chores like skinning, knapping spearheads,
breeding, gathering firewood and water and guarding our caves, it seemed everybody wanted to shoot this new bow and arrow. We would compete to see who could shoot the farthest and most accurately, and then we would wander down to the tarpits to do a little hunting. Meat, of course, was everything, and of course whoever killed the most meat got all the babes. Not much has changed. We soon realized that even though we could now fling an arrow with some precision out there to 30 or 40 yards, the beasts still had the upperhand. We stunk so badly, the slightest change in wind direction would blow an otherwise well executed stalk. Eventually we learned to wallow about a bit in the dung of our intended prey so we smelled acceptable to them. We learned to use cover and to become silent and stealthy. Only the most patient, disciplined hunters consistently brought home the bacon. Sometimes the arrow would hit midship and we would end up tracking the beast for miles. Soon we all learned that though the procurement of meat was critical, just trying to outwit these amazing prey animals was turning into a challenge unto itself. We dubbed it "sport". I liked to call it "bowhunting".
I had my eye on this gorgeous blond living on the next ridge. Her father and
mother didn't like me much. I think my long hair and angry loincloth spooked
them. (I liked to wear live loincloths. Call me weird) But I knew if I could
just bring them a fresh haunch of venison, I'd have it made. So I tried
everyday to ambush one of those most desirable giant Irish elk critters that
followed the winding river in the valley. It wouldn't be easy, in fact the
sabertoothed tigers and Tyrannosaurus Rex were always about looking for some fresh haunch of their own, and I knew my little bow and arrow wouldn't stop one of those suckers in time to save my life. It got a little hairy a time or two. But you know what they say about love. Fresh haunch is the way to a woman's heart, so there was no stopping me.
Time after time, something went wrong, and I kept coming up empty handed.
Then on a perfect hunter's overcast, cool fall day, it all came together. The
beasts were going crazy this day. It seemed that critters were running helter
skelter all over the place. I had just taken an extra hardcore dungbath, and
I was sneaking into the riverbed when I saw massive sky-hi antlers bobbing
below me in the ravine. The giant Irish elk, the largest species of the deer
family in history, was beating the daylights out of some unsuspecting
vegetation only 50 yards ahead. I was mesmerized to say the least. I hugged the ground and slithered forward as cautiously as I ever had. Arrow on the string, I slugged along with my chin dragging in the muck till I got so close to the monster stag I could smell him. The shrapnel from his antler a
was landing on my head when I bent up to draw my bow, twisting ever so slowly. I guess all that time flinging arrows with the guys paid off, for all I
remember is the beautiful feathered shaft zipping into and clean through his
behemoth chest. The giant exploded out across the river in a pel mel splashing frenzy, and as he emerged on the far bank, he simply stood there majestically
for a second and tipped over stonecold dead. I thought I was gonna implode I
was so happy. I had done it!
Our dreams and the love of the sport has to be passed down. Ted embraces the task with son Rocco years ago.
As I examine this defining excerpt from my distant ancestral heritage, I
hearken back to more recent hunts of less than a year ago in 2005. Though the contraption in my pure hunter's hands today has wheels on each end and state of the art cables and strings and metallurgy breakthroughs, my bowhunting actions, joys and drive are lick for lick exactly the same as the original prehistoric bowhunting Nuge on that fateful day by the tarpits. Natural urge and desire to hunt-check. Protein craving-check. Scent considerations-check. Stealth-check. Practice-check. Scouting-check. Scent cover-check. Wind direction-check. Cover-check. Stalking skills-check. Pick a spot-check. Shot placement-check. The rut-check. Babes-check. Pure hunting needs-check. Meat shopping-check. Challenge-check. Self test for excellence-check. Instinctual drive-double check. Man. Life. Meat. Next.
And so it goes from time immemorial to who knows when, the always enticing
higher level of awareness that causes most of us to exercise the ultimate
independence of rugged individualism and self sufficiency that is bowhunting
throttles on in the soul of man wherever you find it. I crave arrows from my
original Osage and yew longbows, and Fred Bear, Wing and Shakespeare recurves, no doubt. Shooting my state of the art compound bow doesn't compromise the primal scream of archery and bowhunting one spit. When it's all said and done, bowhunting hasn't really changed at
all in actual hands-on functionality from where I stalk the beasts. All the
technology known to man isn't going to bag a deer until the deerhunter demands that wonderful reasoning predator touch from within. Know it. Believe it. Live it. Celebrate it.
Ted indeed got the love of his blonde and how perfect is it, she hunts.
Oh, and by the way, ol' Aboriginal Nuge got the blonde, of course, and as
they say, the rest is history. I try to make history every day of my precious
hunting season. It's inside of me. A better stalk, a more clever stand
decision, finessed moves, a better arrow, a better tracking job, always introducing new people to the spiritual ecstasy that is the hunt. Upgrade comes from what is in the heart, seldom from what's in the hand. Gratification in life comes from intelligent, genuine effort. I love a solid crosshair, a well placed shot from my handgun and blackpowder arms. I will forever thrill at a day afield with family, friends, dogs and scatterguns. It is all good. Bowhunting elevates the physics of spirituality by its sheer closerange demands. Enjoy and celebrate every nerve tingling moment afield that you can. And accentuate the
sensations by passing these passions on to the next generation of sporters by sharing and introducing someone new to the glorious world of the great
outdoors' hands-on conservation lifestyle every chance you get. Our ancestors did it for us and we should make sure we keep it alive. Me, I'm heading out right now to find my spirit somewhere out there. The mystical flight of the arrow is timeless. Perfect.
For more Nugent writings or to book a hunt with Ted, visit tednugent.com or