The Sportsman’s Foodplot Phenomenon-Real Conservationists at Work

April 11, 2016 | « back

By: Ted Nugent

Nothing makes for more soulful, greasy, stimulating guitarlicks like adequate terra firma shrapnel twixt one’s ten digits of doom.

Allow me to translate for the adventure challenged linguistics amongst us- The more a guitarplayer works the Good Mother Earth, the more soulful his or her guitarplaying will be.

Let me tell you all about it! I love music, pretty much all music, as long as it has spunk, funk, spirit, shimmy, energy, attitude, passion, groove and believability.

But my favorite music in the world is my music because I write, sing and play killer music of the earth, down and dirty, instinctual, premeditated sonic bombast celebration of life, for God’s miraculous creation, His critters and wild places, The Great Spirit of the Wild, tooth, fang and claw, blood and guts, love and lust, no holds barred gut wrenching, gut piling, gut fondling, backstrap sizzling, snarling, sexy, physics of spirituality animal breeding soundtrack dance music from the depth of creation itself.

Are you still with me here? Can you please bear with me as I call in an airstrike to allthings status quo deerhunting? Now, mind you, nobody loves allthings status quo more than I do. I actually look to all the various, and dare I say brilliant outdoor publications and writings as my daily dose of SpiritWild bible-thump, as I, like most of you, am wonderfully addicted to the deerhunting lifestyle and dearly appreciate all the wisdom, opinions, ideas, thoughts, data, science and joys that glow from such pages and screens.

That being said, I am, afterall, the deerhunting guitar-guy, and I do believe that my channeling of our phenomenal outdoor lifestyle into my creative musical guitar life is not unlike everyone’s channeling their own outdoor joys into each individual’s life, lifestyle and passions overall.

Joy in, joy out.

So as we throttle headlong into another wonderful springtime and summertime with excited peeks into future calendar pages identifying all the thrilling anticipation for our upcoming opening days 2016, nothing says deerhunting springtime like the plunging of our mitts into the Good Mother Earth as we participate in the new year ritual of foodplot partying.

And I do me partying!

To me and all my hunting buddies, for many years now foodplots for wildlife have become as integral to our deerhunting lifestyle as the hunt itself.

I remember way back in the roaring 1960s when I started planting handfuls of autumn olive seedlings in the national forests of northern Michigan where I did all my hunting. It seemed that whenever I had the best grouse, woodcock and rabbit action was when the best puckerbrush habitat was surrounded by red berry heavy autumn olives bushes.

And the deer were always there too.

So I improvised, adapted and upgraded to the best of my ability pursuing my own variation of little Johnny Appleseed of the forests.

Then of course the foodplot craze exploded sometime in the early 1980s when landowners, biologists, botanists and hunters literally went crazy developing and planting custom food sources to enhance habitat and wildlife health.

Not everybody can afford land, tractors, discs, plows, fertilizer, seeds and the substantial time needed to groom expansive and expensive foodplots, but I literally created my original plots for many years with a borrowed 4 wheeler and a chain dragged old bedspring, hand sewing 19-19-19 fertilizer and feed mill bought bags of oats, wheat and rye on ¼ acres of hand cleared openings in the woods.

Those of us that work the ground know how special that aroma and touch are. My nostrils flare as I turn the ground, plowing, discing and broadcasting my various seeds every spring.

When those first emerald green shoots begin to emerge, all that hard work is more than appreciated and celebrated knowing we are being good stewards and critter managers helping our beloved wildlife grow healthy and strong.

No need to go into seed choice detail here as the world is loaded with every imaginable plot mixture best suited for your individual regions.

All I know is that when I wrap up a dirty white boy farmer-Ted day and grab one of my amazing Gibson Byrdland guitars, dirty fingernails, sweaty brow and all, the screaming licks and pulsating, driving rhythms that erupt are a direct result of my down to earth deerhunting lifestyle.

We should all salute and thank all American landowners, conservationists, hunting families, ranchers and farmers for the incredible effort and investment they make, dedicating millions of dollars and millions of acres across America just to benefit wildlife.

God knows we deserve the reward of sacred backstraps for all our hard work and sacrifice.

Happy springtime America! Now get out there and get dirty!