ROCKER TED NUGENT SNAPS UP FLORIDA BEAR HUNTING PERMIT
Take cover, Central Florida bears, the Motor City Madman is coming for you.
On the first day bear-hunting licenses became available in Florida, rocker Ted Nugent, known for searing guitar riffs and outspoken advocacy for hunting and gun rights, snapped up one to participate in the state’s first hunt in more than two decades.
He is one of more than 1,100 people who have gotten permits so far, state wildlife authorities said.
Nugent, a Detroit rocker whose hits include “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Stranglehold” and “Wango Tango,” also spoke out recently in support of Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer, who killed a protected lion on a hunting expedition in Zimbabwe.
In a phone interview, Nugent said he has been following Florida’s bear saga.
“Wildlife can only be one of two things: It can only be an asset or a liability,” Nugent said, citing the spike in nuisance bears. “Currently the Central Florida bear population is a liability because it is not valued as the renewable resource that God designed it as…”
“Let me give an Uncle Ted alert to everyone: [All animals] are beloved. We love them all. We want them healthy and balanced, and if you fail to harvest the surplus, they will not be healthy and balanced,” he said.
“The reason there hasn’t been a bear season until now — even after more than 6,000 nuisance complaints — the reason we’ve waited so long is because of the scourge of political correctness dispensed by the idiots who claim the defenseless animals need protecting.”
“Helloooo! It’s a [expletive] bear!”
Nugent, who has sold more than 30 million records and claims more than 33.7 million followers on Facebook, said he plans to hunt bears with friends in Central Florida when the hunt opens Oct. 24. He did not disclose what weapon he would use.
The rock star said he has hunted lions, elephants and other big game in Africa more than 20 times. Nugent’s book “God, Guns, & Rock ‘N’ Roll” features photos of the heavy-metal musician posing with family, fellow rockers, guns and exotic-animal kills.
He was fined $10,000 in 2012 and agreed not to hunt on U.S. Forest Service lands for a year after admitting killing a black bear illegally during a hunt in southeast Alaska. The kill was considered illegal because it was the second bear Nugent had shot with a bow and arrow in a matter of days during the Alaska bear season in 2009.
Alaska limits licensed hunters to one bear per hunting season and, under the law, even a nonlethal hit counts toward the season’s bag limit. The charge was filed after Nugent’s hunt was broadcast on “Spirit of the Wild,” his show on the Outdoor Channel.
Nugent later published an explanation, saying he was unaware of the rule but that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
As an out-of-state resident, Nugent paid $300 for the Florida license. He listed a Texas address on his application.
He roared against claims by the Humane Society of the United States that deride Florida’s upcoming bear season as a “trophy hunt.”
“When we kill a bear in Florida and everywhere, we cherish the meat. It’s the sweetest pork you’ve ever eaten,” he said. “How dare they claim that we don’t utilize every scrap of this precious animal, cherished for the gift that it is. The rugs are magnificent.”
He said he has given bear rugs as gifts to his children, grandchildren and bandmates.