I fondle hardware. I embrace sporting goods. I tinker. I wallow in outdoor gear. I snuggle ammo. I caress firepower. I break stuff. I wear stuff out. I live hard, love hard, hunt hard, rock hard, ride hard, shoot hard, play hard and work hard. Hell, I even think, grill, eat and sleep hard!
At 68 tender years of age in just a couple of months, my piledriving, gungho rock-n-roll hunting life has not slowed down one stinking spit from my pedal to the medal, throttle-down, double live Gonzo teenage years of yesteryear.
By Ted Nugent
I like being a force to reckon with. My dogs love me. What else matters?
Recently my sons and buddies and I attempted to perform a gun and ammo inventory in my Michigan barn.
We gave up; couldn’t count that high.
We peered lovingly at the four walls of my mammoth shop covered in a lifetime collection of bows. The array can best be described as stupid.
Then there are the arrows, broadheads, fletching jigs, targets, skulls, antlers, horns, critters, skins, and a vast scattering of assorted sporting goods debris, new, used, historical and hysterical. The word phobia comes to mind.
A lot of my friends have “man-caves”.
I have a cuckoos’ nest.
I went to a Cabela’s once. Strolled through a Bass Pro Shop once too. Been to a Gander Mountain. Jays. Academy Sports. Schupbachs. Dicks. Big5. Oshmans. Boring. Didn’t see a thing I could use. Already have way too much as it is.
My 68 year sporting goods orgy has a life of its own, and quite honestly, it is so much fun its nuts.
Point being, how can we be the best hunter we can possibly be if we don’t strive to push ourselves, defy allthings status-quo, bust the paradigm, break new ground, experiment and test new gear and the never ending developing technology that just might help us bring home the bacon?
And of course many of us must also admit that we killed our first number of deer and had some of our most enjoyable and memorable hunts without all the various camo clothing available today, none of the glut of scent control products, lures, calls, attractants, baits, supplemental feed, calls, loads of electronic gear, trail cameras, range-finders, wind and weather apps, satellite topo maps, trajectory compensating scopes, phenomenal state of the art 300+fps compound bows, carbon arrows, expandable broadheads, drop-away rests, tack-driving sub-minute ammo off the shelf, ATVs galore that will haul all our gear and take us anywhere, or any of the amazing array of goodies available everywhere these days.
It’s rather mind-boggling out there!
What is still true to this day for the 2016 hunting season is that hunting smart will always trump hunting geared up. All the gear in the world will never compensate for lack of effort, dedication, woods-lore, focus, experience, sacrifice and clever reasoning predator strategizing on our part.
Opening day of bowseason, October 1, 1958. Dad and I hit the big Michigan “Up North” woods up around Fletchers Floodwaters near Hillman-Hawks, Osage longbows in hand and Port Orford cedar arrows in our handmade leather back quivers.
Dad wore an old frayed Pendleton black and red plaid wool shirt and I’m sure I had on some standard “going back to school” earthtone outfit on as we headed to our makeshift groundblind at the little patch of winter wheat at the edge of the giant forest.
The only gear we had between us other than bows and arrows was a belt-knife and some toilet paper.
Natty Bumpo lives!
I admit we never did kill a deer in all those many seasons, but Lord have mercy did we have fun!
Admitting that which I have here, I nonetheless join my gear-nut BloodBrothers in celebrating all the wonderful stuff available today that does indeed in many ways enhance the outdoor experience.
Like most hunters I know, I too carry a daypack full of basic “kill assist” goodies like binoculars, a rangefinder, a small saw, buck-lure, flashlight, rope, 1st aid kit, snake-bite kit, water, calls, de-scent spray, an extra release, a basic emergency shelter and firestarter pack, some zip-ties, a knife sharpener, file, clippers, electrical tape, some orange flagging tape, and of course, ample toilet paper.
And of course my pockets and belt are loaded with essential daily gear as well.
And I do get to most of my treestands and groundblinds via one of these wonderful “can’t live without” UTVs loaded with more gear and goodies.
Within each of our own accountable “live within your means” budget, it’s good to shop and review what is out there and decide based on our own needs and desires just what we should purchase to optimize our individual quality hunting experience.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was talked into putting sights on my bow for the 1st time after a lifetime of bare bow shooting.
My buddy Bryan Schupbach was right, and though it did take some getting used to, my kill percentages skyrocketed and so did the smiles, joy and backstraps!
Talk to your buddies to share ideas on what might upgrade the season this year. Get creative. Give it a shot. Try something new and different.
The goal is to have more fun this season than ever before, and I for one virtually guarantee that that is exactly what I am going to do!
Here she comes? Next week is the grand September Gatway to Fall, and the Great Spirit is about to take us away, back where we belong! Fondle hardware like you mean it!
Ted Nugent is an award-winning musician and writer, with numerous best-seller books including “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto,” “God, Guns and Rock ‘n Roll,” and “Kill It and Grill It: A Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish” with his wife, Shemane, among other books. Be sure to check out his website for more news on his latest music, thoughts and upcoming shows, and also at World News Daily, Newsmax and Daily Caller for more insights.
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