Theodore Anthony “Ted” Nugent – born 1948 the son of a strict Army’s staff sergeant, long-time rock-n-roller, staunch conservative, father to eight children (three out of wedlock), partner in two marriages, portion to October 2000 Spin magazine’s “100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock” following a 1978 affair with a 17 year old Hawaii native in which documents were drafted between Nugent and the girl’s parents making him her legal guardian (as she was too young to marry), anti-drug and alcohol crusader, staunch gun-rights advocate and unquestionable patriot, NRA spokesman, professed regular churchgoer, frequent television talk-show guest and bowhunting celebrity — can perhaps be best described as an enigma of the times we live in.
I guess it’s only fair to establish, right up front, I’m not a fervent Ted Nugent fan. His music, somehow, doesn’t quite do it for me, though I must qualify that by also saying I find country western and rap music (most ‘80s and ‘90s pop) grating. Cat-Scratch Fever, Stranglehold and Dog Eat Dog, Nugent’s biggest hits (I think), somehow blend into a blur of ‘70s monotony; “Fred Bear,” his tribute to an archery icon, as forced as a prepubescent love letter. But that’s just me. This only partly explains why I’ve always found Nugent’s bowhunting celebrity status a bit mystifying. His propensity for high-fence arenas (maybe most especially), a lack of standout trophies (relative to other bowhunting notables) doesn’t mark him as a man I’d seek for bowhunting advice. Nothing personal, I just don’t get it is all. I feel similarly about a good many modern archery luminaries, observing from inside the artfully-orchestrated Oz curtain, wondering just what my awe is supposed to hang on – other than a high acuity for marketing and grandiloquence I’ve long envied as something lacking in my own efforts.
In addition to his music, Ted Nugent occupy’s an additional “Public Stage”.
Perhaps he’s simply a symptom of our current societal funk, lacking as we do real heroes such as Fred Bear, Howard Hill or Ben Pearson, men who managed to slickly promote themselves, and more importantly bowhunting, without the appearance of blatant whoring to the highest bidder.
Then, of course, there are Nugent’s recent troubles with game and fish authorities in two states. I generally view sanctimonious letters and e-mail posts to magazines and on-line forums regarding such matters with bored sighs, invectives owning the predictable redundancy of sentimental drunks. In the August 2012 issue of Deer & Deer Hunting magazine, Nugent, explaining his recent troubles in California and Alaska, calls the violations unjust, furthermore saying he has been politically targeted because of his standing in the hunting industry. From the outside looking in this could easily be attributed as another aspect of Nugent’s notorious megalomania.
But sadly, in these highly-polarized times, Nugent just might be speaking the truth. Unlike eastern-tier states (where insanely generous bag limits and give-away tags, multi-month season dates and two-species venues mean you’d have to resort to the most obvious forms of malfeasances to warrant citation), western game laws are chockablock with vague gray areas, ill-formed legal parameters and overlapping, multi-species season dates. And while it’s not considered PC to utter aloud, game and fish departments as an instrument of torture – witnessed through guilty-until-proven-innocent outlooks, jealousy-inspired witch hunts, blatant abuses of power via rubber-stamped search warrants and absolute disregard for legal procedures – is a common theme in the Wild West. More pointedly, garner the smallest sliver of outdoor limelight and violations normally indicating a warning – if not total disregard – when applied to the general population are pursued with rabid intensity. Our court system being what it is, nolo contendere quickly gains appeal contrasted against legal fees well in excess of the misdemeanor fine(s) in question, and altogether avoiding the annoyance of our sham legal system, seemingly evolved merely to fund our superfluous lawyers, prosecutors routinely disposed to piling on 28 flimsy charges to any core violation so each must be examined in turn at minimum $300 an hour…
Are high profile hunters subject to more scrutiny than the rest of the hunting population?
Just the suspicion of guilt is very costly in 21st Century America, and being part of the hook-and-bullet apparatus seems the only provocation a certain type of conservation officer needs to warrant a brand of scorn normally reserved only for outfitters and their non-resident clients.
So without reservations I absolutely emphasize with Nugent in these matters.
More recently Nugent had the Mainstream Liberal Media (MLM) frothing at the mouth following comments made during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, in late May. Almost too predictably the MLM translated an impassioned rocker-speak rant into direct threats to their newest messiah. An obviously intelligent man, Nugent nonetheless exhibits talents for incoherent, curse-filled diatribes, making him a popular interview subject – if not for the reasons he likely believes.
These outbursts are easily attributed to Nugent’s aforementioned ego and perhaps the need to maintain a “Motor City Madman” rock-star image. Love him or hate him – as so many lines begin when Nugent is under discussion – there are some inescapable truths here. It was a foregone conclusion Nugent would receive a free pass — from the hunting industry at least — regarding the incident, because the industry (and NRA executives, apparently) believe we need him. Perhaps this is true. Rock-star status, minor appearances in cinema and popular television programming, does grant him access to mainstream outlets (“Larry King Live,” “The Howard Stern Show” and “Politically Incorrect” a partial list of recent venues) any other spokesman of the hunting industry would be automatically denied – because, as liberals who don’t believe in God, MLM worship celebrities and politicians instead.
The trouble with Nugent – not a unique or recent revelation – is his propensity to say things aloud, and in such a way, that the MLM is able to run with in shrieking, knee-jerk hysteria as proof those he proposes to represent en todo – the American hunter and gun owner – are all bumptious, foul-mouthed, gun-happy crazies. Now don’t get me wrong, a B. Hassan Obama fan I’m certainly not. The thought of another term of BHO and his gang of Marxists czars sends a real shiver down my spine. And it’s not gun ownership that worries me most, in the face of the largest attack on Constitutional rights and most open advancement of wealth redistribution yet attempted, but it’s right up there. Any thinking hunter and/or gun owner doesn’t have to dig too deeply to understand Democrats – very rarely “moderate Republicans” (a MLM term by the way, which translated by sentient humans means “Democrat”) have been responsible for every anti-gun law ever proposed or enacted in the history of this nation. To believe otherwise is a real exercise in denial.
In your face……that is the popular image that follows Ted Nugent. Is it good or bad for bowhunting?
Mitt Romney voted for the Brady Bill, and “Romneycare” (and pro-abortion laws, which he later reversed his views on), but did so as a Republican occupying the governor’s seat of arguably the most socialist state in the Union (Taxachusetts) – where he also managed to balance a budget resembling our current national crisis but on a state-sized scale (also created by liberal Democrats). At best Romney’s a middle-of-the-road Republican, at worst a “moderate”; like Bush I and II. In other words, compared to a far-left (dangerous lame-duck) socialist bent on destroying everything our country stands for, Romney’s the easy choice.
So, quite unsurprisingly, when Nugent claimed he’d “be dead or in jail by this time next year” and used language such as “chop their heads off,” of course the MLM used it to make normal, garden-variety hunters appear as kooks. The Secret Service was dispatched for a friendly chat, at God only knows what cost to American taxpayers, leaving a good many outdoorsmen pleading, “For the love of God Uncle Ted, could you maybe tone it down a tad?”
For all of the bad things you can dig up concerning Ted Nugent, there are purhaps just as many good things too. Especially when it comes to the message he preaches (and lives by) to the youth.
But I gladly give credit where credit’s due. Nugent’s steadfast stance against drug and alcohol abuse is highly commendable, perhaps even “brave,” considering his primary occupation. It’s perhaps his most important talking point, more potent coming from a guitar hero living inside the world of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. Nugent’s also a long-time ambassador of Big Brother Big Sisters, operates the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids — a venue annually introducing gaggles of youngsters to outdoor activities such as archery, shooting (air guns), fishing, trapping, survival and first aid. Nugent, a staunch supporter of our US troops, is a regular on USO tours traveling around the globe to entertain our fighting men and women; his wife, Shemane, founder of the non-profit charitable foundation Freedom’s Angels, working to enhance the lives of America’s military personnel and their families. These are only highlights.
I remain neutral in my views of Nugent. I certainly respect the man, what he is able to do for us as hunters and gun owners, and agree with him wholeheartedly on most political points. But… I find myself cringing all too often, as I did while viewing his NRA speech, am a bit put off by his siphoning money off the industry via product endorsements (does a successful rocker – or other millionaire bowhunters — really need free gear?). But again – that’s just me. Love him or hate him…well, you know…