Deer & Deer Hunting’s most respected and longest standing contributing field editor provides his thoughts and opinions on Ted Nugent, his latest article in D&DH, and what Nugent’s outspoken presence means for hunting and its future.
By Charles Alsheimer
Thank you for doing an honest assessment of Ted Nugent’s two run ins with the law. It’s too bad other hunting magazines haven’t taken the time to set the record straight and tell what actually took place in California and Alaska.
Before going further let me say that I’m not a fan of rock music — my taste in music leans heavily toward the likes of Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA and Mark Lowry’s Mary Did You Know? I’ve never met Ted Nugent or talked to him on the phone. But what I do share with him is his passionate love for America, the Constitution, our veterans, and his staunch defense of our 2nd Amendment rights. Though at times he comes off as abrasive, I’ve never seen anyone who can defend hunting and the 2nd Amendment as well as he can.
It’s easy for Nugent’s critics to say, “He should have known what the game laws were in California and Alaska ahead of time.” Maybe, maybe not.
As one who has had a career hunting and photographing throughout North America I can sympathize with what Nugent went through in California and Alaska. Every time I’ve traveled to hunt with an outfitter I’ve been concerned about the game laws of a particular state or province I’ve hunted. In every case I’ve tried to find out all the details of their laws ahead of time but I must admit there have been times I felt uneasy because of the way outfitters, and even game wardens, tried to answer my questions.
In too many cases today’s game laws are vague, can vary by township, county, and even which side of the highway you are on. Both of Nugent’s violations are classic examples of this, especially the Alaska incident, where the residents and guides didn’t know of the obscure law that got Nugent in trouble.
For the last 33 years my full-time job has been in the hunting world. And after three-plus decades I know this: No person in the hunting world has defended sportsmen against the radical onslaught of the anti-hunting community as well as Nugent. No one in the hunting world has personally introduced hunting to more youngsters and wanna-be hunters than he has. No one in the hunting world has personally reached out to America’s veterans, through his music and hunting opportunities, as well he has. And to his credit he’s spent thousands of his own dollars to do all this.
What has scarred Nugent is that he has chosen to be in the limelight, and be more than willing to fight against those who want to take away our guns and hunting rights. Over the years he has chosen to pick a big fight with the liberal media. Because they detest anyone who would dare challenge their agenda, they use every trick in the book to come after and destroy their opponents.
In Nugent’s case the media knows that if they can destroy the messenger, they’ll destroy the message. The way the liberal media has spun half-truths into Nugent’s story is a classic example of how they operate and illustrates what all sportsmen are up against. So, I applaud Deer & Deer Hunting for sharing what actually took place.
— Charles Alsheimer has been a Deer & Deer Hunting contributor since 1979.