Probably as a campaign contributor to our governor Rick Snyder he was able to meet with him on March 31 and reported by the news media on April 1. The following are quotes from the article: “The Motor City Madman has talked turkey with One Tough Nerd. The governor met with rocker and outspoken celebrity hunter Ted Nugent in the governor’s office.” Nugent told reporters at the meeting that he seeks to loosen hunting regulations. Among his pet peeves is the need for  a license to hunt wild turkeys which he says are as plentiful as mosquitoes. He also criticized the requirement to keep a hunting bow in a zipped case during transport. A Snyder spokeswoman said the governor called it a great conversation and a lot of fun to meet with Nugent. She said that the governor appreciated that Nugent is a champion of Michigan and its outdoors.

WHAT? Outspoken, outrageous Ted must have sipped too much coffee. That turkey license he doesn’t want to buy produces $1,500,000 for turkey conservation each year at a time when conservation funding is very tight. PLENTIFUL AS MOSQUITOES? We have watched as our turkeys have declined each year throughout northern Michigan, including the upper peninsula.

Nugent is just like so many that reap financial benefits from our wildlife, including our Wild Turkeys. He owns property in spring hunting Area K. During the past 28 years of raising the funds necessary to bring thousands of turkeys through severe winters Nugent has contributed nothing to our efforts.

Ted Nugent has a huge credibility problem. An August 19, 2010 press release reported that he paid a fine of $1,750 in California after game wardens saw Nugent kill an immature buck on a February episode of his outdoor show “Spirit of the Wild”. The deer was killed over bait which is illegal in California. In addition he did not have a properly signed hunting tag. Last November the news media reported that Nugent was in trouble in South Dakota by shooting pheasants after some of his hunting privileges were revoked in California. South Dakota has reciprocity with California and Ted was not eligible to obtain a license there.

After the meeting with the governor was reported we were contacted by a representative of the Michigan Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) who expressed a great deal of concern. Our feelings on the article and Ted Nugent were the same. A joint press release was issued with a title that targets Ted Nugent. Although it contained a lot of information on Wild Turkeys in contrast to Nugent’s outrageous statements it apparently was not newsworthy as there were no inquiries from the media nor was it published.

Sometime in the future hunting will be the decision of the non hunters. If game is taken by ethical fair chase and the meat is utilized as food and hunters remain as conservationists then hunting will probably survive. If we present ourselves as wild eyed wack ‘em and stack ‘em, kill them at any cost then hunting will become a thing of the past, along with the conservation that hunters provide. So who presents the image of hunters?

 

"Revitalizing" northern Michigan turkey flocks
Pere Marquette Chapter Notes - September 2011