THE CELEBRATION OF DEATH
by Ted Nugent

I know, I know, upon reading my inescapably obvious title, the socially challenged amongst us are spitting coffee or other some such beverage and assorted abused brown lippy substances all over their Texas Fish & Game magazine. In a world gone berserk with the scourge of politically correct denial, I expect nothing less.
The good news is that within this fine coterie of rugged outdoorsmen and women in whose hands this fine publication rests, the vast majority of hunters, fishers, trappers and just good ol all American grillmasters know exactly what I am talking about, and in fact grin with the certainty that though totally unnecessary to state in the world of honest consumers, in America 2010 it is time to state the truth as often as possible, confortable or otherwise.
And though I’ve heard it stated over and over again and again ad nauseum ad infinitum, I dismiss out of hand the lame claim that the kill is anticlimactic to the hunt itself. Yeah, right. I see it all the time where sporters get way more excited and jubilant when they don’t bring home fish and game than when they do. No one cherishes and celebrates the entire hunt and hunting lifestyle more than I do, but give me a break. When the beast is dead at our feet due to the incredible dedication, diligence, patience, sacrifice and good old fashioned good luck, the fun factor explodes exponentially when we kill, and we all know it.
The claim otherwise comes from some elitist, out of touch outdoor industry so called leaders, and certain cowardly outdoor writers that are afraid of their own shadows and recoil in abject trembling fear at the assumption that all people outside our sport hate us, hate dead deer and pretend that their store bought dinner is not dead. Not even close.
Of course, known by those of us who actually pay attention to life and hang out with attentive, intelligent and sophisticated folk, we are well away that our very lives carryon due to that very celebration of death. Numerous times each day throughout humankind history, it is the flesh of dead creatures that provide man life itself.
For those of us that hunt, fish and trap, the term “closer to the earth” wasn’t at all necessary to remind us where our protein and nutrition comes from. As we like to say, you can’t grill it till you kill it. Perfection personified.
As we approach our fallen prize, as we turn the straps on the grill, as we take a good hearty snort of prepared meals’ aromas at the table, and as we join hands in reverent thanks to the Creator for the miracle of sustain yield, all the way through the “mmm.. mmm goods”, “yums”, various questionable guttural noises, burps and other assorted such audible sounds of appreciation and joy, clearly genuine celebration ensues for dead stuff everywhere.
I’ve also heard of the feelings of remorse some consumers claim at the death of an animal. I’m not buying it. If ever there was a perfect act and a perfect moment, it is when we balance the herd and bring food home to our loved ones. Remorse? I think not.
So to quote the great Fred Bear, we all surely know that everyday afield does indeed “cleanse the soul”, but of much more importance, done with a sense of excellence and dedication to be the best that we can be, the results will fill our bellies too!
I share a lot of very special meals with my fellow man in my travels around the world, and I have yet to witness anything other than celebration at the table or campfire. Let it be known, the creatures feed, clothe, shelter and medicate us. Always have, always will. That is the prime cause of celebration in life, of life, via death. The beast is dead, long live the beast.