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Robert Farago clearly hit a hot button with his assessment of Ted Nugent’s mental state. I have little respect for Nugent, beyond his ability to ride a one trick pony musical career for over forty years without baiting and shooting it. He has become the poster boy for pro-gun causes in a loud and proud way. He mixes in patriotism and constitutional rights like a true soldier for the cause, although he managed to avoid service in the military. Maybe he had cat scratch fever as a educational deferment to avoid an all-expense paid trip to Viet Nam in his youth. Maybe he has a secret aversion to targets that shoot back, despite his testosterone-fueled rants about guns, freedom and other issues that real soldiers defend in real combat.

I don’t resent the Motor City Madman simply because every horrible band on the planet plays a cover of his one hit song. I dislike the way he has become a spokesman for recreational hunting.

He is either a severely ethically challenged sportsman when it comes to hunting- or not real bright when it comes to hunting. The only other option is a god complex because nobody baits in Bambi and then shoots him in front of a TV crew– except a guy who looks in the mirror and sees a heavily armed deity in camouflage.

I live in a region where hunters take their hobby very seriously-at least the ethical ones, which is the largest component of the sport. They hunt in season and they don’t bait or jack-light game into target range. That practice is left to the lowlife element in hunter world- you connect the dots.

I realize that the Nuge didn’t jack-light the undersized deer into range, but the unethical part of the equation is exactly the same about either practice (baiting or jack-lighting) for hunters.

The biggest problem faced by the hunting fraternity is new members. We have lost a new generation of future hunters to a smart phone/ wired-in world of stagnation. The next generation is prepared to grow a thick layer of fungus in their parents’ basements while the world passes them by on an electronic screen.

Maybe Teddy should expand his rants to include a segment on a lost e-generation that only fire cartoon weapons in a cartoon world. That may be too big a reach for a guy on a well-armed soap box with nothing new to say except “no contest” through his lawyer.

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  1. Interesting post. I’d love to hear more about this side of hunting, as it’s something I’ve never really been exposed to as a non-hunter. I will say that there is a huge sliding scale of opinion on the ethics of hunting, and for many people just the idea of it as “sport” is offensive and immoral. Most people will understand the farmer who has to protect his herd, and some may understand the need to control population sizes, but many will never empathize with someone who kills animals as a sport.

    Just posting a counterpoint to your feelings about Nugent..


  2. Well said. I don’t care for Nugent’s oversized douchebag persona, nor do I care for his lousy music. The paradox is how so many people will defend his ability to shoot off his wadcutter-loaded mouth, yet at the same time, they assail lefties like Alec Baldwin for “being political.” Gun owners need regular, non-Mossy Oak bedecked, non-paranoid folks to counteract the “gun loon” and “clinger” stereotype. The internet forums don’t help with their endless mental masturbation around the stopping power of calibers and whatnot, when the vast majority will never need to exercise their castle doctrine rights. I live in one of the safest places in the country, and keep a loaded shotgun beneath my bed. However, I am not interested in adding a bayonet. WWI was a long time ago. It gives the non-shooting public the impression that all gun owners possess a paranoia that is disproportionate to reality.

    As for the kids in the basement, they need to get out and experience a practical shooting match. There are tons of kids playing paintbal and airsoft. The shooting sports people should be targeting them and figuring out how to transition them to the real world.

    • The paradox is how so many people will defend his ability to shoot off his wadcutter-loaded mouth, yet at the same time, they assail lefties like Alec Baldwin for “being political.”

      Here’s an Alec Baldwin quote: “Everything that Bush touches turns to manure in public policy.” Sounds political to me. Uncle Ted doesn’t get personal as far as I know.

      • To an audience at a concert: “I was in Chicago last week. I told Obama, ‘You might want to suck on one of these, ya punk.’ Obama, he’s a piece of s**t. Then I said, ‘Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.'”
        To Westword Newspaper about Hillary Clinton: “You probably can’t use the phrase ‘toxic c**t’ in your magazine, but that is what she is.”
        As far as I know, he might get personal.

  3. The *Nuge* has had one too many *Journey(s) to the Center of the Mind* back in the 60s.

  4. Baiting does not make one an unethical hunter. Baiting is legal and accepted in parts of the country. When it comes down to it, most hunting is about baiting. Most folks just use natural bait like the oak tree full of acorns. What about sitting on a trail that leads to a corn field? Do those ethical hunters you know use scents like doe in heat?

    Now, Ted did bait in a jurisdiction that didn’t allow it, so yes he stepped on it by not checking the game laws and following them.

    So, don’t excoriate Ted just because you ascribe to a different brand/style of hunting than he does. Most outdoor activities are suffering due to the current generation being so attached to their electrical umbilical cord. So we all need to work to get young folks in the woods, on the lakes, and at the ranges.

  5. I’m getting the feeling that you don’t care for dear ole Uncle Ted. The original hunters used any method they could to hunt because they had to eat or die. There were no rules, it was catch what you can no matter what or your family starves. I know that this doesn’t apply to today’s world, but the original rules to hunting were anything goes or go hungry!

  6. Every successful movement needs its intellectuals, its activists, its politicians, its philosophers and its a-holes. Nugent is an a-hole, but he’s our a-hole and I’m fine with that.

  7. I just think it is a sign of how culturally out of touch the NRA is that they have embraced him so wholeheartedly. They seem to think he is a pop icon.

  8. people who have access to 10’s of thousands of acres of BLM land to hunt don’t understand why guys in states that have small 10 acre private plots would want to bait. Its because there would never be game on the only land they can hunt if they didn’t. guys who glass the praries for deer never stop to consider that using dog in the dense swamps and thickets of the southeastern US might be challenging . to me this sounds like the same self righous ” We don’t do it around here so its wrong everywhere” and ” If all hunters were as pure as me there would be no anti hunter” yada yada yada. Who cares about nugent, the anti’s will always hate us anyway.

  9. This article reminds me of how the “elite”, reputedly conservative, media and how they feel about Palin, Tea Partiers, and anyone else who did not attend the “right” schools or hang out in the “right” circles in DC, even though they espouse some of the same principles.

    I am surprised to learn they have them in the hunting world too! Using your logic of “ethical” hunting, perhaps ANY hunting is unethical today since it is not generally required to survive when all the grocery stores have all the sustenance you need to survive? To rip on Ted, who arguably has an ego, is fratricide. Perhaps our powder should be kept dry for our true enemies in this war of ideas. Save the ammo to fight the people who wish to take our rights away and leave Wango Tango be. I would argue he has done more good than harm.

    • Sweet. I just came across this site recently,and it’s pretty cool. But as of late,some of the authors have really started to burn my ass with WAAAAAAYYYY to much f*#king political correctness. Uncle Teddy is just Uncle Teddy. Yes he’s somewhat a egomaniacal,over-the-top, madman, but,his outspokeness against that same type of P.C. is what is needed sometimes. Must be the Marine in me that’s attracted to that type of balls to the wall attitude. It seems some of the pantywaist, jackwagon,crybaby,sheeple authors ( this guy makes the 2nd one now ) need a little testicular fortitude injection.

  10. I don’t see how baiting is unethical, if you’re hunting to eat. Didn’t your mamma tell you not to play with your food?

  11. I’m a non-hunter. Would someone please define “jack-light” for me and explain why it’s not ethical?

  12. You can criticize Ted Nugent for his enormous ego and his over-the-top manner of talking in public. Several times, I don’t like the way he says stuff in public.

    You cannot, however, legitimately criticize Ted Nugent for not doing anything about the low number of kids participating in hunting.

    Google “Ted Nugent” and “Camp for kids.”

    Nugent has, for years, spent plenty of his own money to set up camps for kids wherein they are taught archery, hunting skills and hunting ethics.

    And as for the “baiting” part, the rules and regulations vary widely from place to place.

    In Arkansas, for example, it is perfectly legal to bait bears on private land. It is not legal, however, to bait bears on public land.

    While it’s illegal to “bait” doves, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission operates several public dove hunting fields in which they plant, raise, and leave out in the field crops of sunflowers and other seed-bearing plants that doves love to eat.

    With doves, “baiting” in Arkansas is defined as dumping out food stuff that didn’t grow in the field. If you dump out 100 lbs of sunflower seeds in a field, that’s baiting. If you cultivate 30 acres of sunflowers specifically to attract doves, even if you mow down some of the sunflowers to scatter the seeds to attract more dove, that’s not baiting.

    Rules and regs with baiting vary from state to state, even differing on private and public land. Nugent did have the responsibility to know the rules and regs in the hunt he ran into trouble with. That’s absolutely true that he was responsible for knowing what the rules were.

    But baiting is not in and of itself unethical. Every person for miles around me who hunts deer has a deer feeder set up near permanent deer stands. One of the hottest selling things in all the Wal-Marts in Arkansas during the early fall is huge bags of “deer corn” specifically for hunting.

    The unethical part would be baiting where it’s specifically prohibited by rules and regs.

  13. Daniel Zimmerman, here’s jack-lighting.

    I’m going to assume that “jack-lighting” is the Yankee term for “spotlighting.”

    At night, if you shine a really bright light on deer, they tend to freeze and look straight at the light.You know the old saying, “deer in the headlights?” In most areas, it’s illegal to hunt deer at night with lights because all you have to do is shine a really bright light on them, and the they freeze, so you can easily shoot them. The other problem with spotlighting is that it is almost always done from inside a vehicle on a roadway, which increases the danger to people who might be near the road in the dark.

    I think that most spotlighting rules and regs are holdovers from the time at the start of the 20th century when deer were almost extinct in many areas due to overhunting and habitat destruction. In my opinion, some places with really bad deer overpopulation areas could benefit from a little controlled spotlighting.

    I am NOT advocating spotlighting from anywhere near any roads here. But I don’t see why, especially in areas with severe deer overpopulation problems, using a light for deer in the middle of a pasture far away from any roadway shouldn’t be okay.

    In many states, spotlighting for coyotes or feral hogs and other species is perfectly legal.

    • I’ve seen where Wildlife dept.’s are using thermal in some states for the hog explosion. I’m looking to see about night hunting/night vision use for hogs. Here in SC they bait, some use dogs, I use to stalk in the swamp-deer. To me Ted is a character, like my favorite crazy man Gary Busey. You have your good and your bad. Hell, I’ve been told I’m a little wild sometimes, really.

    • I’m pretty much on the same boat w/ all that wonder why baiting is such a bad thing if it’s legal in your state to do so. I don’t do it, but don’t know why either. It’s just not for me. But I won’t cap on another hunter for doing so. Just as long as they’re within the regs.
      As an avid waterfowler, I’ve heard plenty of similar debates within our sport. Get’s old listening to guys argue about what’s ethical when it comes to decoys.

      He should have done his homework though, guide or no guide. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  14. Show me one (arguably) high profile celebrity who has done as much as Ted Nugent to preserve our second amendment rights. Every lobby needs its mascot. As for the “ethical hunting” drivel, perhaps some people don’t necessarily hunt for sport. Maybe some of us hunt for food. As long as I operate within the confines of the law, and attempt to cause the least amount of suffering to the animal, anything goes. I don’t hunt because it’s fun, I hunt to feed myself and my family. I hunt because deer just tastes so damn good.

  15. It seems we wake up in the morning and wonder what the nra/saf/congress/whoever has done to protect our individual rights and liberties.Mr. Nugent obviously doesn’t have this problem.He simply goes and does his thing,perfectly legal and acceptable under the bill of rights.Not only does he promote freedom,he practices it.Nor do I think he loses a wink of sleep worrying about what we think about him.

    What annoys me is those nanny types(fuddites?) that claim the second amendment is all important.Yet they are perfectly willing to ignore the rest of the bill of rights and the freedoms contained therein-like the freedom of expression.They have no qualms telling the rest of us exactly how we should conduct ourselves.Limiting this type of control by out of control control freaks is exactly what the whole bill of rights is about.Someone told me once,let he who is perfect in every way cast the first stone.

    In my humble view,the bill of rights is a whole package deal.I’ll take all of it,even the parts I may not like and do my best to defend the whole thing.

    As for Mr. Nugent,if I don’t like what he has to say or how he says it,then I can exercise another freedom the bill of rights blesses me with-the freedom to turn off the television.

  16. Saw Uncle Ted at in the NRA Convention in Charlotte last May, also met him on the show floor. Learned quite a bit more about his contributions, most at his own expense, to the Wounded Warrior Foundation, and Children’s Hunting Programs, mostly for special needs kids.

    As fanatical and “over the top” the Brady Bunch and Paul Helmke and their ilk is, Uncle Ted is the fanatical “over the top” counter spokesman, who scares the crap out of the “anti’s” in the PC world, and that’s fine with me.

  17. Deer baiting is illegal in some states and legal in others. Opinions on the ethics of deer-baiting vary. One justification for it: increasing the harvest to protect the herd from overpopulation. So the states set the standards on baiting based largely on their animal populations.

    For the individual hunter, baiting is not necessary when you know how and where deer feed. nor is it as effective, in my opinion. Knowing the habits of one’s prey is understood to be part of the skill of hunting. Baiting is more of a time saver or shortcut for a hunter, like when you have a TV crew in tow, I suppose.

    Shooting wolves and pigs from helicopters is permitted in some times and places; again, to control populations. It may be necessary but it’s not hunting in any traditional sense. It’s simply animal control. Hunters don’t consider this sport. But Ted does. Ted is a punk.

    If you listen to Ted’s rants, he constantly confuses the morality of killing animals with the morality of hunting. They’re two different things. He will run on at length about the ethics of killing for food, environmental necessity, etc, but if you actually listen to him, he doesn’t really discuss the ethics of hunting. I don’t think he has any.

    • Magoo:
      As is often the case, we disagree… I think you are confusing your view of sportsmanship with morality.

      The morality of hunting and the morality of killing wildlife are inextricably connected. If my reasons for killing are for food, environmental necessity (including disease prevention), or just plain pest control I will proudly claim the moral high-road. When the state issues me a deer tag, it is with the expectation that I will kill a deer to further state’s desire for population control and disease prevention. In an enlightened state they only care about how safe I am pursing their goals; not how expedient I am in that pursuit . When you start demanding that the game have a sporting chance you are playing directly into the hands of those who would remove the opportunity to kill any wildlife for any reason. You have entered their cartoon world where all the little furry creatures have guns and are shooting back!

      I kill an untold number of mice every year by baiting them with poison! Apparently you think that I am committing am immoral act. Hell no. I am protecting my property (livestock, feed, home…) from a major pest.

      • Terry4Strokes says: “I kill an untold number of mice every year by baiting them with poison! Apparently you think that I am committing am immoral act.”

        Not at all. But I wouldn’t want you to confuse that with hunting. Ted makes this mistake all the time.

  18. When did TTAG start promoting cannibalism? Some of you are failing the “Know thy enemy” rule.

    You may not agree with everything that spews from the Nuge, but he is most certainly on our side! If you think he is an extremist, you are correct (give yourself a gold star!). He is also an entertainer, not any different than other villains of the sheeple (Beck and Linbaugh come to mind).

    In case you didn’t notice, we need extremists and it doesn’t hurt if they are entertainers! How else are we to balance the extremism of our enemies? PETA, HSUS, MAIG, CSGV…. With real enemies pounding on the gates, maybe we should put on our big boy panties and save the baiting Bambi debate.

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