Nugent In Area To Shoot Video -- As Well As Deer And Pheasant
By: Nathan Johnson
Nugent and Gonzo came away from the New Year's Day hunt with nearly 10 expired birds -- and an adrenaline rush that might have brought about the expiration of lesser men and dogs.
Footage of Nugent's pheasant and deer-hunting excursions in the Yankton area over a couple of days will likely end up on future episodes of "Ted Nugent: Spirit of the Wild," which airs on the Outdoor Channel.
Nugent has visited the area frequently over the years to hunt and see friends.
"What's very special about this area is not only that God blessed it as a great habitat, but that you've got a great tradition of family conservationists who identify their stewardship responsibilities to the good Mother Earth and production of those renewable goodies," Nugent told the Press & Dakotan during an interview. "I was raised in a hunting family, and I cherish every sacred moment beyond the pavement. This is just loaded with all the things 'Uncle Ted' needs."
Nugent becomes "Uncle Ted" around children, going out of his way to sign autographs and advise them to "get high on life" rather than on drugs and alcohol.
Speaking with the Press & Dakotan, "Uncle Ted" wasted no time launching into a sermon from what he calls the "altar of fact, truth and logic."
He pities the poor souls -- those who want to ban hunting, guns and limit personal freedom, in general -- who don't worship at the same altar.
"Hunting is, by all accounts -- scientifically, socially, environmentally, spiritually -- perfect," Nugent said. "That there are people in this country who would ban perfection is mind-dazzling to this old bowhunter. So we just crush them with our crowbar of truth on an hour-by-hour basis.
"Even though I'm hunting because I love to do it, the fact is, it's good for the environment, good for the ecosystem, good for my soul and my belly, and so good for America," he adds. "If there's anything left in this life of ours that is perfect and pure, it is hunting. Deer have babies every year, but there's no new ground. There's more animals, but there's no new ground. That's why God made a sustained yield, habitat-carrying capacities and population dynamics. Those of us who pay attention truly revere such Creation and the duties that go with it."
It's a duty Nugent takes very seriously. Since Sept. 5, he has only missed three days of hunting -- and that was to perform a concert for American troops stationed at Guantanamo Bay.
Nugent sees himself as a warrior in America's culture war. He believes Americans have lost their toughness and, in the name of avoiding hurt feelings, lives are being lost.
As a case in point, Nugent targets the Texas high school his son, Rocco, attends, where students are not allowed to wash their gym clothes more than once a week.
"There is a sub-'Planet of the Apes' mentality that would say, 'That's the way we do things here, and it works just fine for us,'" he said. "Oh really, and the staph infection deaths are the collateral damage you're willing to accept, you idiot?"
As another example, Nugent points to what he sees as an effort to remove "Christ" from Christmas.
Americans need to reclaim their sense of nationalism, he continues.
"There will be hundreds of Americans raped today by other Americans. There will be thousands of Americans assaulted today by Americans. It breaks my heart," Nugent said.
Banning guns will only make it easier for those with evil intentions to commit violent acts, he adds.
"It's not a 'hardware' issue, it's a 'heartware' issue. What's in our hearts?" Nugent asks. "I'm talking about a lunatic fringe. But even a sliver of our society will still translate as tens of thousands of bad guys. Americans should resolve to never hurt another American. If you want to hurt somebody, join the Army and go over to the Taliban."
He admits that some people may call him an extremist; it's not a label he denies.
"I will go to extremes to be free and independent," Nugent said. "That's certainly how God designed us to be -- rugged individuals who cherish individual rights from God of speech, religion, self-defense, the Second Amendment, privacy. You can find them all in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That's a huge part of the culture war."
Such firmly held beliefs seem to have served Nugent well. He's sold more than 30 million records, had best-selling books and appears on various television shows, in addition to writing for a wide array publications.
"I've got the best band on the planet. I have more offers, at this late hour in my life, to do concerts than I can accept. I get requests to do more writing and television appearances than I can possibly accept," Nugent said. "If the demand exceeds my clock, I must be doing something right."
Nugent makes sure others share in his success. He donates most of the game he kills to charities and founded the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids, among other things.
At 59, the rocker shows no signs of slowing down. He attributes that to his no-drugs, no-alcohol, no-tobacco, no-fast food lifestyle.
"I've got conscientious discipline," he said. "That's why I'm outliving all the rock 'n' rollers, and I had the greatest tour of my life in 2007. I'm not getting stupid, fat, stoned, dumb and dead. If you want to get high, come sit with me up in a tree stand tonight. I'll show you high."
New episodes of Nugent's "Spirit of the Wild" on the Outdoor Channel can currently be seen on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m., with repeats on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at midnight.