Today is Thursday, December 17, 2015, and is my dad’s birthday. I will climb a Texas treestand again today, like I do everyday throughout the fall and winter huntseason, but on my dad’s birthday, this hunting day is very, very special.
By Ted Nugent
Warren Henry Nugent was born in Detroit, Michigan, on December 17, 1920. Those were wild, wild times in America, and especially in Detroit. The industrial revolution was in full swing, and America was showing the world what freedom, independence and rugged individualism could do for the ultimate life.
We call it The American Dream.
Michigan was an incredible hunting paradise back in those days, and dad, like pretty much every American during those formative years, enjoyed his hunting.
Pheasant was king and there were no deer in the southern part of the state. Michigan deerhunting in those days was strictly an Up North thing, and he looked forward to each November for the ritual camplife in the big timber North country.
When dad went off to war in the 1940s, bowhunting was a rarity. With center-fire rifle ballistic development, it seemed weird to abandon the extended longrange possibilities to go backward to bows and arrows.
But when he returned home to Detroit from WWII in 1945, this Michiganiac Fred Bear dude was gaining a lot of attention with his trusty yew wood longbow and Port Orford cedar arrows all fletched up handsome-like with those killer, cool high profile natural turkey feathers.
Returning GIs were desperate for some soul cleansing escape from the horrors of that bloody, nasty war, and pronto dad got him a beautiful laminated wood/glass longbow and a back-quiver of good looking arrows down at Miller’s Feed Store on Grand River Avenue, and the Spirit fire was lit!
By the time I came rompin’ and stompin’ and rockin’ and rollin’ into the world in 1948, the bowhunting bug was all ablaze in pockets across America. With Fred in Michigan, Roy Case in Wisconsin, Howard Hill out in California and Ben Pearson down in Arkansas, the bowhunting bug had us surrounded, and those of us inclined to get down and dirty, up close and personal with the beasts, we simply couldn’t help ourselves.
The mystical flight of the arrow called our name, and it called it hauntingly.
After a few years whackin’ and stackin’ stuffed critters in the living-room wilderness with my suction-cup arrows from my little glass kid’s bow, I graduated around my 4th year on earth to my very own Osage orange longbow, and as they say, the rest is history!
Squirrels, coons, possums, skunks, river rats, chipmunks, sparrows, doves, pigeons, blue-jays and blackbirds were in big trouble!
Lord have mercy!
Dad passed away in 1993, and my memory bank bursts with phenomenal memories and visions of our annual jaunts into the deerwoods of Michigan and beyond.
Nobody gets out alive, and with my craving obsession for hunting, I make it a point to take the best damn care of myself possible. I wish dad would have taken better care of himself so that we could have made more wonderful hunting memories together.
Alas, he chose his path and I chose mine. Now I get to hunt with my sons as often as possible, and I must admit I get a little pushy prodding them to make time for more.
The lyrics to my Fred Bear song include the stanza; “In the wind, he’s still alive!”
In the wind, he’s still alive.
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.
Stay Safe and Hunt Longer This Season!
Are you familiar with the safety precautions that need to be put in place in order to ensure proper tree stand placement and usage? If the answer is “no,” or you feel like you need to brush up on your tree stand safety skills, then the Tree Stand Safety Resource Kit is for you. Containing three prime resources regarding tree stand safety, this collection will ensure you’re well on your way to avoiding as much danger as possible while installing, climbing or descending from, or using a tree stand. Begin with Treestand Safety and Placement, and learn the proper method for hanging a stand. You’ll also get placement advice for the best hunting.