Down on the farm with Ted Fucking Nugent

Down on the farm with Ted Fucking Nugent

 What's the essence of life according to The Nuge? Bow-hunting.

California may be where old celebrities go to die, but Texas is where they go when they’re not quite dead yet. From the Hill Country all the way to the Panhandle, there’s a lot of territory occupied by rich and famous folks, who don’t necessarily want to be photographed every time they buy a quart of milk. One of them is conservative mouthpiece and former Motor City Madman Ted Nugent, who spends much of the year prowling his SpiritWild Ranch—which also holds regular “Hunt With Ted” events, like March 18’s “Porkslam” Safari—in China Spring, just outside of Waco. Having been on the road for the better part of 40 years, Mr. “Wango Tango” has become pretty particular about what he eats—and how he gets it: The Nuge is a notoriously outspoken advocate of bow-hunting, and whether he’s at home or on the road, he always prefers to eat something he’s killed himself—or, at the very least, by someone he knows. 
“Being a road warrior, I have hunting buddies across the globe who know we demand better-than-average meals,” Nugent says. “So we’ve established a network of likeminded aficionados who either have us over for meals or who discover restaurants where the food and preparation is special.” He cites rock-star chef Anthony Bourdain as “one example of the kind of gung-ho eating freaks I call friends.” And while the politics of he and his fellow ‘aficionados’ may not be to everyone's liking, he makes sure his hunting buddies share their bounty with the Hunters For The Hungry charity program.
The Motor City Madman gets downright primal when discussing the satisfaction of eating something he kills himself. “Not only is the game we kill the supreme health food on Earth, but—as in aboriginal cultures—pure protein provides us spiritual energy as well as physical energy.” He completes the circle of life by putting that energy toward the joys of bow-hunting, which Nugent says is all about focus. “The overall sensual stimuli factor of the close range demands of bow-hunting is one of life’s most challenging disciplines,” he says. “You must be tuned in, or you will be forced to buy chicken.”
While Nugent certainly isn’t buying any chicken these days, he’s also not some globetrotting colonial b’wanah. “My favorite hunting is at or near home,” he says, referring to SpiritWild. “There are fascinating game animals around the world that I’ve been invited to hunt, from Rocky Mountain goats to big-horned mountain sheep, but after a lifetime of non-stop touring, my travel quota has been beat to death.”
One of his favorite meals was one he actually had just before we spoke to him. Nugent and his wife Shemane cooked venison backstrap steaks wrapped in wild boar bacon over oak coals, then served it with an organic tomato, avocado, apple, and orange spinach salad. But Nugent’s worst meal: “I ate a quickie at McDonald’s once, back in the 1960s. That hurt.”
Nugent shares the following “Essence Of Life Gonzo Recipe” for anyone who wants to emulate his approach to cooking (and living).
1. Go hunting. Breathe deep, feel the air, take the spirit inside, and kill a critter.
2. Remove the hair. Take out the guts. Immediately clean and cool the carcass. Butcher flesh into family-sized portions
3. Start a fire. Heat good, fresh vegetable oil to the boiling point in an iron skillet.
4. Fill a Ziploc bag with flour, salt and pepper, and a good seasoning mixture. Add small, manageable chunks of meat. Shake and slide coated pieces into hot oil to sizzle.
5. As brown crust forms on edges, remove onto a paper towel. Salivate. Surround yourself with family and friends. Put meat on plates next to smashed [sic] potatoes with skins on. Eat. Grin. Sip Vernor’s Ginger Ale. Burp. Enjoy.
 

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