By: Ted Nugent
Adam was just 15 years old and was fighting the battle of his young life. Like way too many youngsters in the world, stricken with the dreaded disease of cancer, he showed courage beyond measure as he trooped like a warrior through his agonizing chemo and radiation treatments.
Losing his hair, bloated, suffering and weakened to the point where he could barely walk, he knew deep down inside that all the powerful love and positive daily gush of encouragement from family, friends and doctors was a façade and that the inevitable end was near.
Adam was a hunter, a fisherman and a gungho outdoorsman, so before his time was up he wanted one more hunt to take with him to the big spirit campfire in the sky.
In my estimation, there is only one disease worse than cancer, and that would be the self-inflicted curse of political correctness. And if you want to know just how soulless, mindless and heartless those that have chosen this curse can be, I give you the Make A Wish Foundation, which denies dying children’s last wish for legal hunting trips.
Isn’t that special.
To think that the insanity of the animal-rights and anti-hunting freaks have actually tainted this otherwise wonderful charity is an indictment on our society as a whole.
Really stop and think about that for a moment, won’t you. In the depths of your imagination can you fathom a fellow human being telling a dying child that his request for a last hunt will not be honored?
On one hand, Make A Wish does indeed do God’s work in many ways for children, and I continue to participate in their fundraisers with autographed goodies, but to refuse a dying child’s request for a hunt is indescribably rotten and heartless any way you dare try to rationalize it.
Shame on them. Shame on them all.
I have been honored, moved, inspired and humbled to take more than a dozen terminally ill kids on their last hunting wishes over the years, many of whom have contacted me directly or through the wonderful, loving people at Hunt Of A Lifetime charity.
The worse day of hunting is always better than the best day of anything else, but until you share a campfire with a kid facing imminent death, you cannot imagine the special energy and spirit of those flames.
Adam’s family had contacted me during summertime, and since no deer seasons were on, we knew that a Texas exotic hunt was just what Dr. Nuge ordered.
After getting skunked too many days on our high fence SpiritWild Ranch, we were invited by a great friend and BloodBrother, Tom Heartsill, to hunt his ranch nearby.
Hunting in full-moon heat, we were getting frustrated with no game sightings, and Adam was getting weaker by the day.
After a special lunchtime prayer and Bible reading, we gave it one more shot, and lo and behold, a small band of wild aoudad sheep were sighted far off on a hilltop.
Adam valiantly manipulated his aluminum walker and made a perfect sniper shot on a fine sheep.
We drove as close as possible to the ram, but it was then that Adam pushed aside his walker and said, “I can do this on my own,” as he crawled over the harsh rocky slope to his last kill.
No one said a word, not a dry eye to be found.
Celebratory photos and handshakes went on for a while, and we loaded up the ram for skinning and butchering.
Adam died a short while later, and the amazing spirit of this young man and that of all those amazing kids remain alive inside me to this day.
Like life, hunting is pure, and those of us that know and understand the Spirit of the Wild need no explanation for why dying kids want to hunt one last time before they go on.
Give what you can to Hunt Of A Lifetime, and if you are ever so blessed and privileged to be invited on someone’s last hunt, drop everything you are doing and embrace this ultimate of gifts with all your heart and soul.
In the wind, they are still alive.