Ted Nugent on Deer & Deer Hunting

Ted Nugent: Never Give Up When the Hunting Gets Tough

Ted Nugent and Deer & Deer Hunting

Deerhunting is never easy. The final rewards, whether successful or not, are ultimately worth every moment of toil and frustration. (photo courtesy of TedNugent.com)

I think I was 8, maybe 9 years old. That would have been way back in the year of our Lord 1956. (YIKES! I’m OLD!!) Young Ted snuggled on the leafy ground in a roughshod makeshift groundblind, barely thrown together with rotted old barn shards and limbs of various coniferous and deciduous origin strewn hither and yon to form my neat little deerblind fort.

Having traipsed the forests of Michigan with my bowhunting dad since birth, there are no words to adequately describe my passion/addiction to walking wildground with bow and arrows in hand. I got it so good I got it bad, and always have.



We were at Fletchers FloodWaters, a neat little cabin rental retreat in the big timber of my beloved “Up North” near Gaylord, Michigan. Dad was 100 yards west of me on this little rye patch deep in the forest, and we both clutched our beautiful Osage longbows and Port Orford cedar arrows tipped with wicked looking 3-blade Bodkin broadheads as hope gushed eternal for a shot at the mighty, elusive whitetail deer.

You see, my dad got the Fred Bear itch upon return home to Michigan from his warrior duties in WWII in 1945, and though he hunted quite a bit each season, he had never arrowed a deer yet.

This day, miracle of miracles, a trio of does nervously entered our little foodplot, and I’m here to tell you I was about to blowup out of my skin with excitement. Talk about buck fever! I was shaking and literally hyperventilating out of control.

The three deer fed schizophrenically in front of me for over an hour, driving me completely bonkers, and I literally didn’t think I was going to make it.

Variations of this torture went on year after year, season after season, critter encounter after increasing critter encounters, and not a backstrap ever made its way onto the Nugent dinnertable. Nary a one.

But we never missed a season. Never missed an opportunity to get after em. My dad’s hunting slowed down quite a bit over time, but my days afield increased substantially each year, even with my exploding rock-n-roll career keeping me crazy busy on the road all year. Fortunately I was smart enough to know how important my sacred hunting time was for soul cleansing essentials, and eventually at the age of 20, I finally arrowed my first doe, and what a moment of infamy it was.

So we’re talking many, many seasons, year after year, day after day, deer-less hunt after deer-less hunt. Getting skunked became my modus operandi, and I didn’t like it one bit.

But I hunted hard, learned as many lessons as I possibly could, tried to improvise, adapt and overcome, and I never gave up.

Watch Ted reveal how he wrote the song about his old friend, Fred Bear. 


Even today after a gungho 65-year lifetime of hardcore deerhunting, I still fumble into the occasional longrun skunkrun, and I still don’t like it. But I still never giveup, no matter how frustrated and discouraged I get, I never lose sight of the fact that I am deerhunting, and it is the hunting itself that I live for.

Deerhunting is not easy. It’s not supposed to be. The reason it is known to be such a killer sport is because it is extremely demanding and challenging. Success is difficult to come by, which is why we get so excited when it all comes together.

Hunt hard, hunt often, hunt smart, and never lose sight of the chase itself. Happy ThanXgiving everyday my backstrap BloodBrothers. Celebrate the sacred flesh of the mighty beasts, and thank God everyday that we are deerhunters. Never giveup! Goodluck, aim small miss small,

Ted & family

For more Ted go to TedNugent.com

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