Nugent's New Groove

It seemed like a good time to check in with the Nuge. He has a new reality series, and he's thinking about running for governor of Michigan. So we called his Crawford, Texas, ranch to talk¿¿¿well, listen. PLUS: exlusive interview outtakes.

Field & Stream Online Editors

F&S;: How is this show different from Surviving Nugent?

NUGENT: Surviving Nugent took advantage of the fact that I was in the enemy's foxhole stabbing them. I got in with the hippies and the anti-hunters to get the word on VH1. Now I'm taking advantage of the fact that this is on the Outdoor Life Network. So we can really kill stuff and really gut stuff, and this is paramount if we are to win the culture war about our honest relationship with nature. On networks like the Outdoor Channel, you're still not allowed to gut things-you can kill them but you can't turn them into family-size portions?! Hello! We need to show how we turn these gifts of wildlife into utility-that's respect.

F&S;: So, you taught contestants from the city how to kill their first animal?

NUGENT: I cherish that position. I tell you it is so emotional, because I crave winning this cultural war so intensely that it took all my control to keep from bawling like a baby when these beautiful girls and these nice young men said what I knew needed to be said. I couldn't have written a script better. Many of them did shed tears, because they came to admit that the modern world had lied to them, about critical quality-of-life environmental responsibilities.

F&S;: You might want to run for governor?

NUGENT: My critics will tell you that it's laughable, that I'm too hardcore, too nondiplomatic. But I think America's looking for a Teddy Roosevelt. And I know I've got the answers.

F&S;: What would you do for hunters?

NUGENT: The list of upgrades is just glaring: no minimum age-mom and dad will determine that. Sunday hunting would be legal nationwide. Every state would have an earlier opener for archery. No more shooting hours. And in every state that doesn't have a dove season, if it is determined to be producing enough surplus doves, there would be a dove season. There are so many things that Americans are up in arms about, but apathy is silencing them, and I wouldn't be silenced. As men in a democracy, our duty is to have a whistle in our mouths. I'm a big supporter of President Bush-that's how I support him, by monitoring the job he does.

F&S;: You're his neighbor now¿¿¿

NUGENT: I pass his place on my way to my hunting spot. And I've been told by some of the Secret Service guys that because they have too many deer on his property, I may be able to get in with a bow this year. Wouldn't that be neat?

F&S;: You just finished a tour?

NUGENT: It's always hard to end a tour because the music we make and vent and pulverize is so stimulating, but I can't not go hunting. I don't care if John Lennon and Elvis come back and ask me to play for them, I'm not available from October to February-I have a date with many gut piles. If I sound a little high right now, my wife shot an 8-point buck yesterday with a bow. So I'm a happy son of a gun. -Kimberly Hiss [NEXT "Interview Outtakes"]

The Interview Outtakes

ON HIS NEW TELEVISION SHOW

F&S;: How is Wanted: Ted or Alive different from Surviving Nugent?

NUGENT: The most important thing is that the Outdoor Life Network has made great strides-probably more than any other outdoor network-in depicting the dynamic and the honesty of our hunting heritage. Though not good enough, it's certainly a step in the right direction with the Tred Barta type show, and some of the other shows they have¿¿¿

We should be more honest in the depiction of how resources become, you know, dinner-and clothing and shelter and food and medicine and mostly spiritual protein. I will not compromise or back off or apologize or candy-coat in any way, shape, or form.

And I see great forward progress on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, National Geographic where they're depicting the savagery and the beauty of guts andlood and ripped organs by hyenas and lions and leopards and coyotes and wolves and grizzly bears, and I think this is beautiful. The vicious attack by a pack of wolves on a moose calf is not ugly to me that's a ballet, in fact.

And I was able to get across the importance of how life should be a ballet and that a higher level of awareness will guide all intelligent people to not just understand the essentiality of hunting, fishing and trapping, but to join us and to celebrate that it must be done, and the most responsible among us are doing it.

But on OLN, since it was already pro hunting and pro outdoors, I was able to depict more of the bold honesty of nature's wildness and I couldn't be more pleased-as long as it's maintained throughout the editing process, which I will have executive veto over.

There's no reason you can't have fun with a gut pile, honesty should be fun, shouldn't it? When doctors talk about a liver transplant, nobody ever mentions "the b word," they go blood, nobody ever mentions "the g word," they say guts, nobody says "the p word," they say pancreas. I'm sick and tired of our hunting industry continuing to be so stupid as to somehow hopefully placate the middle ground by being dishonest, and using letters for a word or avoiding the reference all together.

So Wanted: Ted or Alive follows in the great Nugent tradition of here's reality, not only am I gonna offer it to you, but I might slap you upside the head with it. And that's not only overdue in our society but it's also very entertaining. I give you my rock and roll career as proof¿¿¿

Wanted: Ted or Alive is a television version of what I've proven to promoters and very conservative booking agents: where as long as I'm warned to keep it PG-13, it's probably-not probably-it is the most important message families in America can get today, and that's that apathy is a symptom of denial and that all the problems we face in America today are the direct result of the denial that can be traced right back to the political correctness about hunting, fishing, and trapping. And I for one will not stand for it any more. [NEXT ""]

STILL ON HIS NEW TELEVISION SHOW¿¿¿

F&S;: What a great venue for you.

NUGENT: Beautiful, it's custom made¿¿¿This is the kind of absolutism that I've always lived by, and we got it across on Wanted Ted or Alive, and I'm just tickled. It's almost as good as shooting a big buck. In fact I think it's better than shooting a big buck because it will have a life of its own.

The response to Surviving Nugent was just gargantuan-a tsunami of communications about people that didn't like me, and didn't like the NRA, and didn't like Bambi killers, and didn't like, you know, machine gun shooters, and didn't like anything right wing. When they saw that show they finally realized that I was a nice guy and my family was hospitable and we were conscientious and the things that I said sounded so logical¿¿¿

And it just took a guitar player with a cockiness and a sense of humor --I've always said this-I think I said it in Field & Stream a few years ago-that I and all sporters, all conservationists, all hunters, fishermen, trappers, could reverse a hundred years of propaganda white water rapids by the media; we could overturn, we could reverse that in about 2 minutes if we would just engage the dialog and engage our co-workers and our family and our friends and people at church and school.

Because what we do is absolutely pure in its logic. We harvest the surplus and we eat them. It brings balance and biodiversity. And that the hunting industry has not conveyed that yet is just an embarrassment. So I conveyed it but I did it in an entertaining way and I got a huge paycheck. [NEXT "ON THE SHOW'S CONTESTANTS"]

**ON THE SHOW'S CONTESTANTS **

F&S;: These contestants are all city people. How was it watching them kill their first animal?

NUGENT: You know I've been doing this forever-but to actually guide an outfit and nurture and in some ways, without sounding too namby pamby, in many ways it's almost a spiritual hand-holding guidance to discover a higher level of awareness, an environmental honesty and responsibility. And the worst opposite of intelligent, honest guiding into a hunt-particularly a kill-has been the old bubba Hee Haw stupidity of, you know, introducing the little lady to shooting by letting her touch off the magnum goose round in a double barrel 10-gauge and then laughing when they get blown on their ass.

So I teach them about the ballet, that we must have a graceful predator ballet, and, you know, just the fact that I got the terms graceful, predator, ballet to tens of millions of people on a television show, is the first time I think a hunter's ever used the terms_ graceful predator ballet_, and these people had never heard it before.

They'd never heard the term sacred temple, that we should probably feed our sacred temple some proper quality protein, etc, etc. So I got some wonderful, positive, easily understood points across that identify the greatness, the wonderment, the pure positiveness of the hunting, fishing, trapping, and shooting families of this country. Every participant, each man and women, they in their own way admitted and acknowledged that-and in a certain way they celebrated it-that they couldn't believe they hadn't heard these terms before.

They couldn't believe that no one ever told them that there's no more ground, but every year the animals have babies, and where should the babies go? And they never heard what spring is really about, what summer's about, what fall's about, what winter's about-they never heard these things.

And it took a goofy guitar player who wrote Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang to teach them about this, and if that's not embarrassing, I don't know what is. So it was a win, win, win, win, win, win, win. I couldn't be more happy. Plus we got plenty silly, we got plenty sexy, we kept it plenty entertaining. [NEXT "ON HIS POLITICAL INTERESTS"]

ON HIS POLITICAL INTERESTS

F&S;: So we've been reading about some gubernatorial interests.

NUGENT: You know I was ready to just say yes about August first. Over the years I had great conversations with people I really respect-some real solid conservative Republicans. And I'm so embarrassed with what has happened to Michigan.

Not the state of Michigan, but the controlling powers of Michigan. Michigan is still a solid red state, but the pimps and the whores and welfare brats of the hippie and the blood sucking city scapes have taken the great state over, and it's just embarrassing, so I wanted to get in there¿¿¿

I'm very active inow was it watching them kill their first animal?

NUGENT: You know I've been doing this forever-but to actually guide an outfit and nurture and in some ways, without sounding too namby pamby, in many ways it's almost a spiritual hand-holding guidance to discover a higher level of awareness, an environmental honesty and responsibility. And the worst opposite of intelligent, honest guiding into a hunt-particularly a kill-has been the old bubba Hee Haw stupidity of, you know, introducing the little lady to shooting by letting her touch off the magnum goose round in a double barrel 10-gauge and then laughing when they get blown on their ass.

So I teach them about the ballet, that we must have a graceful predator ballet, and, you know, just the fact that I got the terms graceful, predator, ballet to tens of millions of people on a television show, is the first time I think a hunter's ever used the terms_ graceful predator ballet_, and these people had never heard it before.

They'd never heard the term sacred temple, that we should probably feed our sacred temple some proper quality protein, etc, etc. So I got some wonderful, positive, easily understood points across that identify the greatness, the wonderment, the pure positiveness of the hunting, fishing, trapping, and shooting families of this country. Every participant, each man and women, they in their own way admitted and acknowledged that-and in a certain way they celebrated it-that they couldn't believe they hadn't heard these terms before.

They couldn't believe that no one ever told them that there's no more ground, but every year the animals have babies, and where should the babies go? And they never heard what spring is really about, what summer's about, what fall's about, what winter's about-they never heard these things.

And it took a goofy guitar player who wrote Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang to teach them about this, and if that's not embarrassing, I don't know what is. So it was a win, win, win, win, win, win, win. I couldn't be more happy. Plus we got plenty silly, we got plenty sexy, we kept it plenty entertaining. [NEXT "ON HIS POLITICAL INTERESTS"]

ON HIS POLITICAL INTERESTS

F&S;: So we've been reading about some gubernatorial interests.

NUGENT: You know I was ready to just say yes about August first. Over the years I had great conversations with people I really respect-some real solid conservative Republicans. And I'm so embarrassed with what has happened to Michigan.

Not the state of Michigan, but the controlling powers of Michigan. Michigan is still a solid red state, but the pimps and the whores and welfare brats of the hippie and the blood sucking city scapes have taken the great state over, and it's just embarrassing, so I wanted to get in there¿¿¿

I'm very active in