Kid Rock called and asked if I would teach him to bowhunt.
He said Jerry Lee Lewis had taught him how to rock the piano, so he would
accept only the masters to light his way. Who's he gonna
call? Tom Petty?
As one of the world's most talented and successful performers, I knew better
than anyone how important it was for my friend to escape the mayhem of rock 'n'
roll and cleanse his soul with the mystical flight of the arrow. Plus we all
know that the more backstraps one personally harvests
and consumes, the more intense and soulful one's music
Uncle Ted, Strap Assassin1 to the rescue!
We were hot and heavy into the October bow season up in Michigan, and as a fellow Motor City Madman,
Bob (Editor's Note: Kid Rock's real name is Robert James (Bob) Ritchie) made the short trip to our
sacred hunting grounds and the lessons began post haste.
Already tuned into the joys and marksmanship disciplines of hunting game
with firearms, Bob wanted to elevate his hunting to the intense challenge of
getting to full draw on elusive critters up close and personal, right in their
face with a sharp stick.
On cue, Bob produced a brand new bow from his vehicle and told me how his
buddy had set him all up with the ultimate gear for his bowhunting
I tried to subdue my predictable fears, but alas, the bowhunting
industries' self-inflicted suicidal curse reared its ugly head again. Bob's nice,
new bow was set at nearly an 80-pound draw weight, and though he could draw it
back with much effort and anti-archery gyrations, I took the matter into my own
hands, drew it back and let go, dry firing the contraption causing it to blow
After much explanation, my archery pro-shop buddies whipped out a bow set up
exactly like mine with a nice, graceful 50-pound draw weight.
Bob drew this bow back effortlessly and smiled broadly at the graceful
upgrade, relieved that it was dramatically better than that other T-Rex killing
machine he wrestled with a moment ago.
I tuned him into the basic archery form, touch and hand-eye coordination
routine to get him on target, and within mere moments, my rock 'n' roll buddy
was zipping arrow after arrow into the vitals of our 3D targets. He liked it a
I just so happened to have Don Williams on hand, a highly respected Olympic
archery coach and all around "physics of spirituality" martial arts guru to
assist Bob with the ultimate fine tuning of becoming the arrow.
I sat back and watched Don coaching Bob with his form, emphasizing precision
mental focus and repetitious muscle memory.
When Don removed the sight pins from Bob's bow, positioned him five feet
from a large bale target with a small black dot in the middle, and had him
repeat his shot procedure over and over again, a blinding bright light went off
in my head as I recalled this exact same procedure being taught to me by my
hero Fred Bear, way back in the 1970s.
With no intention of hitting the black dot, but rather concentrating on
controlled, repetitious shot procedure, I came to realize that my occasional
missing and dreaded target panic hiccups were due to the mistake of focusing on
my sight pins instead of the exact, tiny spot I needed to "will" my arrow into.
Oh glory, glory hallelujah!
I grabbed my bow, removed the pins, and stood side by side with Bob as we
carefully executed killer shot after killer shot.
After a few dozen arrows like that, we re-attached our sight pins back onto
our bows, stood back at the 30-yard line, and allowed our bodies and brains to
celebrate the same exacting archery that we had at five feet, but now our
muscle memory took over, and as we owned the black dots on each target, our
sight pins magically floated onto the dot, we loaded our triggers and the bow went off.
Well, Kid was ecstatic, I was moved, and I went on to have the greatest bowhunting season of my life, making shot after shot, kill
after kill, firing off the prettiest, most consistent arrows of my 60-plus
years of bowhunting.
Throughout the season I continue to practice the "blind bale" routine, and
constantly remind myself that I mustn't look at the sight pin, but always the
tiniest of spot on the crease behind the shoulder of my target animal.
When you watch our "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild" TV show on Outdoor Channel
this season, watch all those pretty arrows disappearing into unsuspecting
herbivores' pumpstations, and know that the procedure
outlined here will dramatically upgrade your archery and bowhunting
accuracy and joys.
Kid Rock is on his way, but sometimes the old dogs have to go back and
remember the old tricks. Backstraps are us.
Ted Nugent is best known for his musical career where the "Motor City Madman" recorded 29 albums between 1967-1997, selling over 30 million copies. Ted has hunted for over 40 years and will share his love of the sport in this column. "The future of the shooting sports in this country is in the hands of tomorrow's outdoorsmen and women," Ted says. "The youth of America must be educated in the wholesome and valued world of hunting and conservation ... because rock 'n roll plays such a pivotal role in a young person's life, I will share my wonderful lifestyle and experience with them." Ted writes two columns a month for sportsmansguide.com.