Kill It and Grill It
By Peggy Whitcomb
"Some folks might remember that George Bernard Shaw -- a sandal-wearing socialist vegetarian -- tried to reform the spelling of the English language. Big deal. Big musty flop. This book -- by the hard-drivin', hard-lovin', full-throbbin', high-octane, deerslayin', allthings-scarin', ballistic guitarboy -- Nugetizes it. Get ready to rock, doc." (Ted Nugent)
Ted Nugent writes lyrically of his intense enjoyment of the hunt, whether for deer, bears, ducks and geese, fish, ferocious boars, or scampering rabbits and squirrels. He writes about the environment during the hunt, and of his stealthy movements through it, with such immediacy and vividness that one can almost feel the sting of icy mountain air, or smell the rotting vegetation of a Florida swamp, or hear the crows and hawks fighting overhead.
But undergirding this soaring poetry (and sometimes earthy language) is a bed-rock practicality and a devotion to conservation. He says that "wildlife is thriving in North America like nowhere else in the world" as a result of habitat management and harvesting. The hunter conservationists are "incredibly disciplined, ultra-selective", and his book, Kill It and Grill It, has an index listing twenty-four hunter conservationist organizations across the country, including the "Foundation for Blacktail Deer" in Springfield, Oregon. Ted notes that wildlife habitat is where air, soil and water quality for us all come from, and that if we are intellectually honest and truly concerned about our environment we will support these organizations.
The Nugents, Ted, Shemane and their two sons, fill their freezers with wild game for their own enjoyment as well as for donating to charity organizations (and they help cook and serve those meals, as well). "Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians," says Ted. They consider that their quality of life is determined by the number of spiritual BBQ orgies they share with family and friends. They "don't waste hunger on junk food." Health is a gift of God and the Nugents "demand the best for the beast within."
"That's why we dine exclusively on fresh dead-stuff in the first place. Birth, hunt, sex, food, rock 'n' roll, death. Itsa damn party. Don't *** around." Fresh is the key and in his rules for the hunt are 'Clean, Cold, and Fresh': clean the carcass properly in the field; keep it as cold as possible before aging, cooking or freezing; serve in a timely manner and don't overcook!.
Tribe Nugent hasn't bought domestic flesh since 1969. Ted grows his own vegetables, plays his own music, plants his own trees, cuts his own wood, and "breeds his own wife." He says "apathy and room service are for sheep and wimps."
The joys of the hunt are recalled at mealtime: "With each stroke of the basting brush and with every turn of each piece of food, exciting flashes of the hunt and ever-stimulating animal encounters come flooding forth. Each wind is relived. Every wild birdsong re-echoes. The pulse quickens as if the shot were about to take place again. When one responsibly procures his family's dinner by hand, each meal becomes a sacred rite, and the reality of life and death is undeniable. It is good, and so is the feast."
While reading the book, an image forms of a young boy intensely alive to the world, discovering it afresh each long day of summer, with his home-made bow and arrows, stalking a squirrel, imagining himself on an African Safari, creeping slowly through underbrush, furious with the birds overhead warning the creatures of the forest of his presence. But Ted Nugent is no small boy and his bows and arrows are not home-made. He and Shemane are serious hunters, and seriously in love with all of God's creation. Hunting is a family affair and includes their sons.
There are chapters on different wildlife hunting and among them are "Sacred Venison", Bushytail Bushwhackin'," ("Kill tree-dwelling vermin, remove PJs, take to flame, chow down"), "Sexfried Fishslab", and "I like My Pork Pissed Off." (Ted named one 300 lb dead pig that he killed in Florida "Janet", after Janet Reno. "The resemblance was frightening", but he said the flesh of that pig produced a very, very fine sausage.) Every one of the twenty-two chapters includes recipes for the game described, and there's a handy index of the recipes as well.
Here is Ted's Essence of Life Recipe:
1-Go hunting, breathe deep, feel the air, take the Spirit inside, and kill a critter.
2-Remove the hair, take out the guts. Immediately clean and cool the carcass. Butcher flesh into family-sized portions.
3-Start fire. Heat good fresh vegetable oil to boiling point in an iron skillet.
4-Fill zipbag with flour, salt and pepper, and good seasoning mixture. Add small, manageable chunks of meat; shake and slide coated pieces into hot oil to sizzle.
5-As brown crust forms on the edges, remove onto paper towel. Salivate. Surround yourself with family and friends. Put on plates next to smashed potatoes with skins on. Cut, eat, grin, sip Vernor's Ginger Ale, burp, enjoy."
The Nugents advocate clean living: "I have avoided the sense-dulling and taste-destroying bullshit of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, like the imbicilic plague they are." And they have no use for animal rights organizations: "If I hear one more citykid call wildlife "defenseless" I think I'm gonna puke! All the defenseless critters are dead and gone and found on your grocer's shelves." True wildlife require hours of stealthy hunting of very wary, alert and sometimes dangerous game as well as a profficiency at butchering. Eating your kill is just one of the payoffs.
The Nugents are also strong defenders of the Second Amendment: "The right to life must mean not dying, not starving, and not being the victim of a bad guy....Hunting is not a privilege. Surviving an encounter with a paroled murderer is no privilege." Ted and Shemane believe in the God-given right to bear arms, including guns and bows and arrows, for protecting yourself and your family as well as for hunting.
In one of her chapters, Shemane describes how she and Ted met, and the first time he took her hunting. She says that in their world, "there's no room for whiners, or underachievers." She and Ted write, edit, produce and videotape their weekly television show "Spirit of the Wild". They have a website at tednugent.com, and a bi-monthly magazine, "Ted Nugent Adventure Outdoors." She credits their ability to keep up with their hectic schedule with the good, fresh, wild food they eat, and the quality family time they cherish. "We always say, 'If you take your kids hunting, you won't have to hunt for your kids.' Amen, and pass the smiles..."
The book includes many photos of the Nugent Tribe, as well as the lyrics to Ted's new song "Crave" to be recorded for a new SpitFire CD in 2002: "A simple life, I will not have. It doesn't satisfy me....". There's nothing simple about Ted and Shemane's life! Whether or not you are a hunter, Kill It and Grill It is a summertime treat. Or at any other time of the year.
Source: Oregon Magazine