According to my exacting calculations, I hunted 269 days in 2012. Okay; I'm
slipping. But my excuse is so beautiful it defies reason, as I raged through 79
ferocious celebrations of pure animal sonic bombast with the world's most
energetic and tightest rock 'n' roll band on earth. We have the carcass strewn
vapor trail to prove it, and I'm not talking about the hunting part of the year
I hunt every day I can, always have and always will. Hunting defines my
pursuit of happiness and I am in constant pursuit. Now, mind you, this includes
every imaginable small game, big game, vermin, trash critters such as starlings, sparrows,
crows, pigeons and the sort, game fish and rough fish and every other legal
creature I can chase and kill. It doesn't matter if it is a goofy red squirrel,
a carp or a magnificent whitetail stag, I crave it
all, love it all, cherish it all and respect it all. And every encounter yanks
my crank like it is the first time every time.
One of the few things Al Capone ever stated that I agree with
was something like "A man has got to have enthusiasms."
Enthusiasms I got.
The intense challenge of long range rifle marksmanship, the supreme stealth
discipline of the mystical flight of the arrow into the vitals of insanely
evasive creatures, slamming high speed pork from a helicopter, or just the
roustabout fun of .22 handgun bushytail whacking, I
truly love it all, more now than ever in my life. And that is really
With my best sniper rifle, the demanding ballet of sight acquisition,
controlled breathing, trajectory compensation calculations, and precision
trigger squeeze always gets my heart a pumping.
Penetrating the insane close range archery danger zone of deer is one of
life's most enjoyable accomplishments.
Try The Art Of Trapping
But if you are really looking for the highest of highs and the ultimate lessons
of nature's intimate predator/prey working mechanisms, there is no other
predator skill set that comes close to the art of trapping.
Fascinated by the legends of Jim Bridger, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett,
Jeremiah Johnson, the original bad boys of the wilderness, I tried my hand
at trapping way back in my early youth along the Rouge
River running through my birth city of
As a full-time Texas
resident now for more than 10 years, I can confidently state that I believe the
Lone Star state may very well be the ultimate trapper's paradise.
With my rifle, I like to get within a few hundred yards of my quarry. With
my bow, I like 20 yards. But with trapping, we must place our trap in such a
position knowing exactly where the little booger will
actually place his step.
Now that's challenging.
By no stretch would I call myself a professional, master trapper. But I do
some pretty serious fur collecting nonetheless.
When it is all said and done, our beloved outdoor lifestyle is all about
fitting in and participating in God's glorious natural creation as a balancing,
conservation asset to the wild. We develop and improve our natural predator
touch by studying the ways of animals, learning about their mostly
unpredictable habits, but learning over time that intelligent application of
accumulated observations will increase our odds of success if we truly pay
The great Fred Bear said that a season of diligent bowhunting
will teach a hunter more about deer than many seasons of gun hunting, just because
we must maximize our attentiveness and learning curve if we expect to be eating
backstraps any time soon.
Well I'm here to tell you that a season of diligent trapping will teach us
more about critters than many, many years of any hunting at all, because we
have to determine exactly where the animals move.
Join The NTA
For starters, one should join the National Trappers Association (http://www.nationaltrappers.com/)
to get a feel for this new, exciting predator endeavor, then as always, proceed
slowly and read and learn all you can from the masters.
I catch red fox, grey fox, coon, possum, skunk, beaver, muskrat, coyote,
bobcat, ringtail cat, badger, hogs, and other vermin, predators and fur
bearers. By doing so, I save the lives of untold fawns, quail, rabbit,
songbirds, waterfowl, livestock and pets, while at the same time reducing the
danger of rabies, distemper, mange and other wildlife diseases.
If you are looking to upgrade your outdoor fun, while performing a
beneficial service for the environment and wildlife, by all means take up
trapping. By doing so in between the regular hunting season, you will acquire
critical information and knowledge that will greatly assist you come opening
day of deer season, I assure you.
Hunting, fishing and trapping are the ultimate hands-on conservation
activities a true environmentalist engages in. Engage already.
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.