There is only one thing I love more than hunting; and that is hunting with
My incredible wife Shemane and all my amazing
children love and appreciate the great outdoors, value nature as healer, and
passionately embrace the resource stewardship responsibility and conservation
ethic. We all do everything possible to manage our time the best we can in
order to rendezvous during hunting season. And that is never easy.
My whole wonderful tribe has supported me unequivocally in my addiction to
hunting and the great outdoors. They themselves are all deadly marksmen,
natural hunters, and have displayed that higher predator level of awareness and
natural stealth in their own right.
In this wild, wild world of runaway schedule challenges and non-stop family
duties and responsibilities, the most difficult part about hunting as a family
is manipulating the ever evasive time where we can be together to share a
Hunting Quinault Indian Land
As luck would have it, the spring bear season in 2011 came together for Shemane and I with sons Toby and Rocco to all gather in the
Great Northwest lap of God where the Pacific Ocean crashes onto the shores of
the Great Quinault Indian Reservation. This spectacular wilderness is home to
thriving herds of mule deer and elk, with a growing population of black bears
-- big black bears and lots of them!
The beauty of this sovereign Indian land is that the Quinault Indians can
intelligently and properly manage these precious renewable natural resources as
assets based on natural science instead of the brain-dead political correctness
of the Washington
game departments. Nuisance bear problems are at an all-time high throughout the
state except on Indian lands, simply because the proven effective methods of
using bait and hounds are legal on the Quinault reservation and timber company lands. Meanwhile, dedicated hunters are left standing with
money in their hands, forbidden to hunt bears properly due to some clueless,
anti-nature hippie dictating policy instead of honest science being adhered to.
So goes soulless bureaucrat America.
After a killer fresh seafood meal, we settled into the very homey and comfortable
accommodations of our Pacific
Beach house and commenced
to shoot our bows into a 3-D bear target. On this hunt, I would run the vidcam for Shemane, and Toby and
Rocco would take turns switching back and forth on the bow and the camera for a
few days. The baits were being slammed on a regular basis, great bears captured
on trail-cams, and bear dreams were running high.
Ace hunters and bear guides, Phil Martin, John Bryson and Greg Chomick, put their hearts and souls into running ideal bait
sites prior to our arrival, and though daylight bear activity had slowed down
under the intently bright full moon, we sure had a great time everyday
exploring the coastal region and patiently waiting in our stands.
Shemane and I saw two dandy bears the first night
out, but they came late and stayed back in the shadows out of bow range. Shemane made it perfectly clear that hunting and seeing
bears is a whole different ballgame than hunting and seeing deer and other
game. The Spirit of the bear is powerful medicine, and we loved every
hair-raising minute of it.
Toby and Rocco had mostly the same exciting experiences, but we never gave
Nuge Has Special Family Time
Staying in a beautiful home on a family bear hunt made
for a very special time together. The scenery, ocean, mountains, towering
forests, rivers and lakes, wildlife, great food, laughter, and quality time
with our Quinault friends made for a very memorable adventure.
On our last evening hunt, a fine trophy bear skulked into position
momentarily, but only gave Shemane a sliver of an
opening for a shot at 20 yards. Her very first arrow at a fine black bear from
a ground blind was only an inch or two off, but missed cleanly and was a magic
moment she and I will never forget. I bet the bear won't either.
That same evening, Toby passed on another smaller bear for the second night
in a row, and the special time the brothers shared together in the bear woods
was as good as it gets.
I admit we were a bit let down that none of us bagged a bruin, but as the saying
goes, a kill is a bonus to every hunt, and those magic fun times, hunting,
shooting, cooking, eating, exploring, meeting special people, and just being in
such a stunning wilderness environment will provide powerful memories for all
of us forever.
We are already planning our next Washington Quinault bear hunt together,
will try to time it better during a new moon, and will gladly return to
celebrate our annual spring bear camp as a family in the Great Northwest.
Ted Nugent is best known for his musical career where the "Motor City Madman" recorded 29 albums between 1967-1997, selling over 30 million copies. Ted has hunted for over 40 years and will share his love of the sport in this column. "The future of the shooting sports in this country is in the hands of tomorrow's outdoorsmen and women," Ted says. "The youth of America must be educated in the wholesome and valued world of hunting and conservation ... because rock 'n roll plays such a pivotal role in a young person's life, I will share my wonderful lifestyle and experience with them." Ted writes two columns a month for sportsmansguide.com.