By Ted Nugent
The Northern Michigan forest was aglow with October’s firestorm of colors and blazing sensual stimuli galore. The crisp air was delicious as I breathed in my ultimate ritualistic annual soul cleansing effervescence.
A ruffed grouse drummed, a woodpecker hammered, squirrels scurried heather and yon. Honking geese came and went and a distant train whistle punctuated by the occasional gunshot all created the ultimate symphony of God’s miraculous creation. I was so home.
To take what was already my ultimate fall dream to indescribable heights, was a tall, lanky gentleman strolling at my side, pulling a small oxygen tank on wheels with two clear tubes plugged into his nose. The imprinted image of his classic Borsalino wool hat sat slightly tilted on his head, a warm, kind smile lighting up his strong, weathered face.
It was late October 1987, and I was once again honored beyond words to be the invited guest of my hero, the legendary Fred Bear, at his famous Grouse Haven deercamp near Rose City, Michigan.
Are you kidding me? Fred Bear? Lord have mercy! How lucky can a guy get?
I once played bass guitar for Chuck Berry, was taught how to off-road race by Parnelli Jones, jammed with Stevie Ray Vaughn and married Shemane Nugent. Bowhunting with Fred Bear took the cake, (slightly behind marrying Shemane) and I was living this unbelievable dream for all it was worth.
It was on this, what turned out to be Fred’s last hunt in life that I was blessed with a brief moment of personal time with the great man, and it was one of the most powerful moments in my life.
Fred died that following April, and I decided to take his words to the ultimate level and create a nonprofit children’s charity. Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids was unleashed, and with an amazing army of hardcore volunteers, we set about to bring the outdoor lifestyle to its maximum visibility by holding annual camps where we teach archery, bowhunting, hunter education, firearm’s safety and marksmanship, trapping, fishing, conservation, animal husbandry, slingshot marksmanship, spear chucking, woodsmanship, wood crafting, wilderness survival, flint napping, wildlife education, skinning, gutting, butchering and a strong sense of militant anti-substance abuse and how being the best you can be, clean and sober, is the only way to The American Dream.