The disciplines that kept me out of trouble

May 27, 2015 | « back

By: Ted Nugent

The Great Outdoor lifestyle will not only cleanse the soul, it will save your life. Just ask my favorite guitar player (yes, that’s me) – and I assure you that the jury is not still out.

Growing up on the not so mean streets of Detroit back in the roaring ’50s and 60s, then on the fiery global rock ‘n’ roll road beyond, all those so-called “peer pressure” temptations were nonstop and ubiquitous. I swear to God it was the mystical flight of the arrow, critter encounters, the call of the wild and “aim small miss small” discipline that fortified me to defy all such nonsense.

I thank God on a daily basis that my parents were darn good parents, and the determining factor for being a good parent can be described in a single word:


When it is all said and done (which by the way it never is), good old-fashioned discipline equals love and is without question the definition of good parenting.

When I was growing up, my youthful ignorance allowed me to believe that discipline was nothing more than a major pain in the a– getting in the way of my youthful fun and adventure. But now, 66.7 years later, with an honest look at the MotorCity Madman guitarboy, my brothers Jeff and John and my sister, Kathy, and I give you four gungho, ultra-disciplined, ultra-hardworking, ultra-loving, ultra-productive Americans ensconced solidly in the asset column of life.

When my intellect and instincts developed adequately and then kicked in in my teenage years, there was simply no questioning that quality of life, and in many cases life itself, is derived from a conscientious mindset and the accountability that comes with it.

At the tender age of 66.7 years, there is no doubt at all in my mind that the hunting and shooting disciplines I was taught growing up fortified me to defy the lies of peer pressure and standard youthful desire to get involved in less-than-desirable activities that cost so many lives.

I defied the drug and alcohol and tobacco nonsense for the simple reason that my dad forbade them early on, and eventually my trained pragmatism guided me to avoid any and all activities that would get in the way of my marksmanship, predator level of awareness and overall “aim small miss small” regimen in everything that brought joy to my life.

Getting high and poisoning one’s self does not enhance the hunting lifestyle, or anything else. Fewer opening days are not better than more opening days.

Just sayin’.

Which brings me to the bigger picture of how the hunting/shooting disciplines have saved so many young lives over the years.

At the behest of my hero and friend Fred Bear, following our last hunt together in 1987, I created the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids 501C3 charity to bring the outdoor lifestyle to as many young people as I possibly could. And thanks to an army of phenomenal volunteers, we have cleansed the souls of about 15,000 young Americans and their families since 1989.

The purpose of this writing is to encourage as many readers as possible to create their own lifesaving children’s event to counterpunch the embarrassing self-inflicted scourge of political correctness that is on the fast track to further dumb-down more American children with such lies and scams as animal rights, anti-hunting and anti-gun propaganda flooding from the media, our government and academia nationwide.

It’s really very simple; galvanize a few of your hunting friends and find a decent location like a farm, ranch, park or even an existing campground.

Get some Genesis youth bows and feather fletched arrows, a few 3D and bull’s-eye archery targets, some slingshots and airguns and ammo, fishing gear, a taxidermy buddy and a trapping buddy, some hotdogs and grills, earmark a Saturday during the summer, check all local laws and regulations, make certain each volunteer is qualified, trustworthy, good with kids and experienced – then have at it and save some lives.


Ted Nugent and friends.
Ted Nugent and friends.
As we have learned for 25 years, it does indeed take some serious effort and sacrifice, but I can assure you that there is nothing available in the world today that will spike kids’ attention like the discipline of the various shooting sports, the magic of trapping and taxidermy and an organized day afield with family and friends reconnecting with the powerful instinct to be self-sufficient and learn the ways of the wild.

It’s not rocket science, and with some effort, each of us can be a positive force to reckon with to educate, enthuse and recruit many new sporters to the conservation responsibility.

Reaching out to any of the various sporting/conservation organizations, archery clubs, shooting ranges, 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Explorer Scouts and so many others, and I have to believe that a nationwide network of these events could spread far and wide, and like a tsunami of goodwill and love, we the people can make an enormous difference for our children.

I know one over the top, dangerously uppity, slightly obnoxious, wired, somewhat maniacal old guitar player that is living proof.