Hi Spirit: Texas Fallow Deer

Here’s some cool, off-season fun!

By: Ted Nugent



            The intense, nonstop grunting of rutting fallow deer can best be described as the continuous, deep guttural growling of a hyperventilating leopard.  Hell, if I had to wait all year to breed, I’d probably make obnoxious noises too!  It’s wildly eerie and foreboding, especially if you may be unfamiliar with these big, handsome European deer.  Their breeding grunts are much louder than that of a whitetail, more intense and seemingly around the clock. 

            The good news is that some real smart Texan hunters began importing these beautiful, delicious beasts into the wilds of the Lone Star State back in the late 1800s.  Now, for the simple reason that they are valued as game animals, there are far more fallow deer in Texas today than can be found on the entire European continent.  That’s how ya do that if ya truly care about wildlife, one of the many reasons I’m so proud to be a hunter.  No animal rights fleeb has ever done jack squat for any animals or habitat.  The idea of animal rights is one big lie. 

            But my ears don’t lie, and the surround sound of intense growls stabbin in and out of the thick Texas Hill Country  caderbreaks had me vibrating with joyful anticipation.  Bookend bull elk screamed their rutting glory from both sides nearby on the north and south ridgelines, lifting the hair on the back of my neck up a notch or two.  I believe the whole damn ponytail was nearly skybound at this point, the audio stimuli neck and neck with the brilliant visual allure of golden sunrays glistening off the white-gray caleechi gravel around the cedars and live oaks.  Even my nostrils were pumping with a delicious cocktail of pine, earth tones and mad bull musk wafting about my face. 

            Good God, I love this hunting game!  A pair of cottontail rabbits hopped in unison below my NorthStar ladder stand, and I just leaned forward and sighed a huge sigh of happiness.  Say YOWZA and pass the Great Spirit in megawads of hallelujah! 

            Directly behind me in the glow of the morning sunrise came an abrupt and loud grunt.  I dared not move to take a peek; it was that close.  In my hard left peripheral vision a white form emerged from the dark green cedar clump as an all white fallow doe poked her nose into the grass break.  To my immediate right, ace videographer Ronnie Bradford zoomed the camera onto the pretty white deer and we had live action video liftoff.  More blaring grunts and growls came from every direction and the Spirit of the Wild jam session was kicked up a beat by two ravens raising cacophinic hell right over our heads.  It was wonderful.  I thought I was loud.  Every hunt is very inspirational stuff for this old guitar player. 

            Without hesitation I slowly lifted my bow into semi-shooting position, expecting a buck to follow the doe into the clearing.  I waited as more wonderful creature sounds bumped and grinded the cold, still, morning air.  My Mossy Oak camo did its job perfectly when the deer appeared to stare a hole clean through me, never identifying me as human.  (Of course some folks have suspected this about me all along.) 

            The gentle breeze was blowing away from her to us, but now my gaze brought to my attention movement to our right, directly downwind to the trail behind Ronnie.  A light-colored form could be seen amongst the thick buckerbrush and I immediately recognized it as antlers.  Big antlers!  Fallow buck antlers, and they are spinning to and fro, radaring the danger zone before him.  I worried about our scent getting to the buck and blowing our ambush.  But another advantageous product was doing its job too.  Fortunately, we had sprayed ourselves down with Nature’s Essence. 

            “Essence of Fall” cover scent, and the big, bad hombre stuck his nose out and ambled into view.  Wow! A gorgeous gray-white, spotted fallow buck entering the Nuge Zone!  The wary old monarch kept the overhanging cedar limbs around him, taking one ultra cautious step at a time, his eyes riveted on the pretty little thang feeding to my left.  At one point he was nearly in shooting position when he spang back into the thicket with a leap.  I took advantage of this disrupting move to slowly swing my bow up into shoot-ready position, and as he cautiously stepped forth, I burned my vision into the pocket of his chest directly behind his shoulder.  Now he looked away, and my bowstring came back into the corner of my mouth, the WhackMaster arrow and Nugent Blade back to full draw.  I kissed my dinner arrow goodbye, and in an instant it was gone and vanishing into his foreleg crease with nary a sound, the Sims silencing products eliminating any bow twang whatsoever. 

            The buck exploded 180 degrees and the doe jerked her head erect.  Ronnie stood up in his stand to film the beast dash away to his last resting place in the beautiful green prickly pear cactus patch only 50 yards away.  He was stone dead in an instant.  My cherry-red arrow lay in the grass where he had stood but a moment ago, and all returned to normal once again in the peaceful Texas Hill Country.  I leaned back against the tree bark and smiled broadly for the camera.  I love to share my happiness with my fellow wildlife enthusiasts.  The Spirit of the Wild was soaring high on the wings of an American eagle again. 

            I made my statement on camera about the special feelings I was experiencing, trying hard to put into words the awesome dynamics of such powerful sensations.  We tracked the big buck on a very educational bloodtrail, recovered the handsome beast and exposed a roll of film to document the memorable occasion.  With echoes of bugling elk, cawing crows and grunting deer still reverberating throughout the land, we tied a Glenn’s DeerHandle onto the stunning horns and pulled him back to the road.


            Back to camp, mu buck would hang next to five other magnificent fallow bucks, all much larger than mine.  Steve, Gary, Steven, Tom and Michael had all taken trophy stag in the last few days here.  Outdoor Edge knives made skinning and boning of  the meat an easy and enjoyable task.  Fat, juicy backstraps would be grilled to perfection tonight, and grand celebration would ensue.  As the fiery Texas sun descends on another great day of hunting, the bucks would be still grunting and carrying on, and the tribe of happy hunters at the Young Ranch would sing along in the great Spirit of the Wild fallow deer event.