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PigMan and Ted Nugent To Shoot Hogs From A Helicopter… On TV

August 3, 2012

OK, so everything in me is telling me, “Shut up!  Just shut up now and let it be.  Nothing I can say is going to change this, and I recognize that my opinion here may not be the most popular.”

But here goes…

I got my regular email from The Sportsman Channel on Friday, with the headline, “Sportsman Channel Features Pig Man and Ted Nugent on Epic Hunt!”

So I read on, as I do, and find the following description of the program:

Pig Man and Ted Nugent hook up in Texas for some helicopter hog hunting with Heli Hunter.

Shotguns as well as semi and fully automatic rifles come out of their cases as Pig Man and Uncle Ted attempt to “cleanse our good mother earth”.

Where do I start.

First of all, as I’ve said here several times over, I sincerely enjoy the Pig Man program.  Brian Quaca and his team are a lot of fun to watch.  They’re as real as it gets, and in several instances, he’s taken the time to explain the difference between eradicating a pest species like feral hogs and sport hunting for native game animals.  The rules are different, because the desired outcome is different.  This is the same reason I’ve been largely in favor of Texas’s laws permitting aerial gunning by amateur sportsmen.  To paraphrase Jager Pro’s Rod Pinkston, “you don’t question the exterminator about his tactics for killing termites.  You just want them all dead.”

That said, I recognize the reality that, for a lot of people, the distinction between hunting and pest eradication isn’t a clear line.  Hogs are bigger than termites or cockroaches.  They have fur, and big, dark eyes, and cute little babies that nurse from their mothers.  Pigs are intelligent.  God knows someone will go even further to anthropomorphize these animals.  To kill them with methods that don’t ensure a quick, humane death seems… well… inhumane.

At the same time, you have legions of hunters who still don’t get it, proclaiming loudly that “that’s not hunting!  That’s just slaughter!  No ethical hunter would do that!”

Aerial shooting isn’t “fair chase”, and it’s not egalitarian (you have to be able to afford it if you want to participate), so it’s got a pile of detractors in the hunting community… regardless of the reality that it’s not supposed to be fair or egalitarian.  And these days, especially with social media, chat forums, and “Facebook activism”, these voices can be really, really loud.

And what you end up with is a public relations nightmare for a sport that already suffers from a mediocre image in the eyes of the non-hunting populace.

Nevertheless, I can see an opportunity for an educational (and still fun) experience with Brian Quaca up in the air, killing a whole pile of hogs.  It could be a good program, if it were just the Pig Man.

But two things worry me about what I read here (and I haven’t seen the episode… I don’t kn0w how it really plays out).

First is that they’ve teamed Quaca up with Ted Nugent, the Motor City Big Mouth.  This guy is PR poison to folks who’d like to have a civil discussion about hunting, wildlife management, and other relevant topics.  (Sorry Uncle Ted, I love your music, and I’m glad you’re pro-gun/pro-hunting, but dude… you alienate way too many people for no good reason!  It’s counterproductive.)  Nugent’s credibility as an “ethical hunter” has been shattered by his recent wildlife violations and subsequent behavior that shows no sign of contrition for those acts.  He still draws a crowd, but he draws it for the wrong reasons.  Whatever good Ted Nugent tries to do is going to be overshadowed, for many people (including a good number of hunters and gun advocates), by the wrongs he’s done so far.

The second thing is the use of fully-automatic weapons.  Again, I get it.  This is depredation.  The gloves are off.  By any means necessary.  Hogs are a billion-dollar blight for farmers, and a hazard to wild ecosystems.  Etc. Etc.

But this is also television.  This is viewable not only by a small cadre of afficionados, but by the whole bloody world.  This is also right in the wake of Aurora, Colorado… barely a month has passed.  Does anyone else see the potential for negative spin here?   The glorification of mass slaughter?  The laughter and grins of these two guys, high-fiving as they rack up carcass after carcass… spray and pray and laugh like hell?

It all adds up to a nightmare for those of us who are working hard to help people understand hunting and firearms.  We’re taking the time to address the fears, misunderstandings, and to counter the mythology that hunters are simply bloodthirsty killers.  A sound argument can be made for the possession of ARs, and certainly for the eradication of non-native, invasive wildlife.  But what good does it do if that argument is drowned out by the folks who will point their fingers at Quaca and Nugent as representatives of hunters and gun owners, and say, “look!  Here’s what you hunters do.  You just like to kill and shoot big guns.  You like to watch living creatures die and laugh about it!  You’re not fooling us, this isn’t about wildlife management.  This isn’t about responsible gun ownership, or sporting use of assault rifles.  It’s just about killing innocent animals!”

In the long run, this is probably just another small thing.  But it adds to the litany of “wrongs” one could count against hunting television and video productions.  What’s more, it’s avoidable and unnecessary.  People will tune in to see Brian Quaca run his hounds through the mesquite, and they’ll keep watching as he and his crew sling arrows, crossbow  bolts, and high-powered rifle bullets at hogs and other animals around the world.  The show is popular, and there’s certainly a very loyal fan-base… for good reason.  Why turn this into something else simply for the sake of driving up ratings?

It’s just my thoughts.  What are yours?

 

 

Comments

23 Responses to “PigMan and Ted Nugent To Shoot Hogs From A Helicopter… On TV”

  1. Holly Heyser on August 4th, 2012 07:01

    Well done, Phillip.

    I’ve been watching this nervously and not knowing what to expect, but your Aurora point is spot on. I’m also watching it in the context of the current debate in California over hounding bears and bobcats. Been catching up on my reading and seeing the well-crafted comments from the HSUS lobbyist there, and I see stuff like this strengthening every case she makes against hunters – not because she’ll name the Nuge, but because this feeds into the public image of hunters that HSUS carefully nurtures.

    Maybe it won’t be a disaster. Despite my fondness for pigs, I acknowledge that they are despised by the public (and two major religions). Maybe people won’t care. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. Bruce Cherry on August 4th, 2012 11:12

    Phillip:

    You nailed it in regard to Ted Nugent. Years ago, I wrote quite a few features for Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, Alaska, American Hunter—that sort of magazine—and more than a few people in the sport of hunting knew who I was. I made the huge mistake of visiting Nugent’s website one day and then reading his boasting rant about shooting a duck with a machine gun and using a recurve to shoot a deer that was running full throttle 60 yards out. He had video to prove the shot at the deer. I chimed in and said that shooting a duck with a fully auto weapon would only hurt the sport of hunting. And, I continued, shooting at a deer 60 yards out that was running full tilt was unethical at best. How many misses and how many gut shots would that result in before you make the miracle shot and show it to the world on video and tell them what a great shot you are?

    Well, Ted blasted me. His comments to me were ” It’s a goddam duck!! And it’s a goddam deer, fer chrisakes!!!”

    I responded to him that they are still living things and a hunter’s ethical mandate is to produce a quick, clean, humane kill.

    Then the poop hit the fan. Nugent blasted me again and said that animal lovers like myself—and he had read some of my stuff—should get out of hunting and wear dresses and take up knitting.

    Then the poop REALLY hit the fan. His fans started blasting me and wrote to Outdoor Life and Sports Afield and other mags and told them that if I wrote another article for any of them they [Ted’s fans] would cancel their subscriptions. Then they blasted me more on Ted’s website and he blasted me some more and they all talked about getting their automatic weapons permits and holding a rendezvous at Ted’s place and going out and blowing up everthing walking around on 4 legs.

    Now assume someone is sitting on the fence re: hunting and shooting, not so sure it should be encouraged and not so sure it should be banned. If they watch Ted and his minions at work, I guarantee they’ll slide over to the side of banning hunting and shooting.

    The guy is a jerk. I would never in a million years hunt with someone like that. Heck, I’ve never even known of another hunter like Nugent. He is a gross misrepresentation of hunters in general.

    Hope he reads this.

    Aloha from the Big Island.

  3. Phillip on August 4th, 2012 13:30

    Thanks, Holly. I hadn’t seen the press release in my email when you pinged me yesterday, but between your comments and what I later read in the release, I decided not to sit on this one. Maybe the program won’t come across like I portrayed it here, and maybe it wasn’t even fair of me to go off on it based solely on my preconceptions. But knowing Nugent’s reputation, and Quaca’s tendency to just go balls-to-the-wall once things start rolling, I don’t think I’m going to be far off. We’ll see what really happens when this airs.

    Bruce, bummer that you had to be subjected to that. It sure illustrates the mentality though… not that it needs much extra illustration. Taking pot shots at Nugent is still dangerous, from a “potential fan outrage” perspective, but I don’t have a heck of a lot to lose here. I’m just a small-time blogger, and there’s not really anyone who’ll care all that much if someone threatens to boycott my advertisers… least of all me. I don’t get paid a penny for this blog (although I hope to see that change soon-ish), and if getting paid hinges on me biting my tongue, then I’ll never see a dime.

    I try to be diplomatic on most topics, but there’s simply nothing I can offer here short of blunt reaction. I can’t say I’m surprised the Sportsman Channel is going to air this, because it should make for quite a ratings bonanza… especially if it goes like I think it will. And in the world of show business, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. It’s the folks on the periphery who will have to deal with the fallout.

  4. Alex Hoover on August 6th, 2012 10:25

    I saw the “Aporkalypse Now” commercials this morning. I can’t imagine that this will be good for the image of hunters.

    Nicely written and thought-out blog post.

  5. Mongo on August 8th, 2012 13:11

    What ever you think of Ted’s hunting/shooting/political views and statements, there is one thing that he understands and the lot of you do not. There is no middle ground with the liberals on guns and hunting. They want to restrict it one increment at a time and once you cave in on one item they will just go for the next. Too many hunters these days think it is just fine to ban civilian ownership of machine guns or semi auto so called assault weapons or large capacity magazines as long as their hunting rifle and shotguns are not touched. Hate to break it to you but the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting but has every thing to do with keeping the citizens armed to prevent tyranny by the government. The weapons that are protected are the very ones hunters wish to give up to appease the left. As for hunting, they want it to go away as well as guns and will never stop and you can not appease these people. Just look at the face book page of the USA girl that won the Olympic Gold for trap. The hate filled comments hoping she will die because she hunts. It does not matter if the animal is killed quickly or slowly to them, hunting is wrong and they intend to ban it. You would think those of you in places like California would have learned the lesson by now about trying to appease the liberals. What good has it done in that state? Look at how many places that have deer hunting bans and are overrun with deer yet they do not even consider lifting the hunt ban. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT RATIONAL and no matter what the TV show shows they will be bound and determined to see hunting ended. Finally Hogs are vermin here in Texas and need to be controlled. Many of my friends hunt them with night vision and machine guns and suppressors all the time. They are all better shots than the so called ethical hunters I see running around and their own ranch land is now cleared of the vermin pigs. They have been so successful that other ranchers in the area ask them to clear their land as well.

    To sum it up, THERE IS NO GOOD IMAGE OF HUNTERS OR GUN IN THE EYES OF THE LEFT and you need to learn that.

  6. Twinsen on August 8th, 2012 16:38

    Dear Fudds,

    For the past 50 years you’ve bent over for every liberal wanting to ban guns because it was against people like me and not people like you. Take your anti-gun NRA and shove it. I understand that you think only you should own guns and they should only be used in the ways you want them to be. That makes you a gun banner, and a worthless old fart that only exists to screw over the average shooter. Your cowardice and convictions make me and mine look bad. It has never been the other way around. All shooters are evil and nasty to liberals. They don’t see you as rational and me as not. They see us both as enemies and you will side with them 90% of the time against me.

    In closing, keep your reading glasses and nitpickery out of my constitutional rights.

  7. Holly Heyser on August 8th, 2012 17:00

    Mongo, what goes on in California has nothing to do with appeasing liberals; it has to do with the fact that only one percent of us hunt, and animal-rightists have a lot of support here, and it’s easier to win the support of non-hunters with a “save animals” message than with any sort of “kill animals” message.

    I don’t know what deer hunting bans you’re talking about. I have not heard of any deer hunting ban in California. Most of the battles I hear about are where cities want to allow archery hunts to cull in areas overpopulated with deer, and it seems like those fights are always on the East Coast.

    Finally, one in every ten hunters in America is a liberal. Four in ten are moderates, which is where I fit into the political spectrum. Pissing all over everyone who’s not an extreme conservative is counterproductive, especially given that California is seeing active new interest in hunting from urban liberals. I’ve watched those hunters start seeing guns and gun rights in ways they never imagined they would, which is awesome. I’ve also watched them get really turned off when conservative hunters just assumed the new hunters would march in lockstep with them on every other issue as well.

    Republicans are a minority here, and hunters are a bigger minority. We cannot do ANYTHING without some support from the other side. You can wish for any kind of legislature you want, but this is the reality that we face here.

  8. Phillip on August 8th, 2012 17:19

    Twinsen, somewhere in the past 50 years you obviously failed to bend over for some basic reading comprehension if you think my opinion of this television program has anything to do with acceptance or approval of gun bans or limitations. Or maybe you’ve just spent the past 50 years bent over for other reasons. Hey, that’s none of my business, but someone has definitely shafted you hard, and filled you with this moronic “with us or against us” dichotomy. You may want to go try to wash that off. It’s having a negative impact on your ability to think for yourself, and not doing your apparent intellect any favors either.

  9. Phillip on August 8th, 2012 18:49

    Mongo, Let’s start this out with a clear statement. It’s not about “left” or “right” and if you can’t get past that false dichotomy you’re in the wrong place for a conversation… the socio-political world is much larger than that narrow-minded perspective. That’s a bill of goods sold by the political establishment to divide the populace and kept alive only by people who profit from dischord. It serves no constructive purpose, and the sooner we dispense with it, the sooner we can start to make positive changes.

    Also, you and a couple of other folks are apparently new to this blog. You’ve made some assumptions about me and my positions that you might want to check at the door until you learn a little bit more about this place you’ve chosen to visit.

    That said…

    I’m not at all interested in changing the minds of the anti-hunters. That train left the station a long time ago, and we’re never going to catch it. But those people are a smaller minority than hunters and gun owners. It’s that big pile of voters in the middle though, who don’t hunt and maybe don’t own guns that I am concerned with. They’re not necessarily “against us”. They’re just ignorant. So when they hear the anti-hunting and anti-gun propaganda, they really have no scale against which to measure it. They take it as fact. It’s up to us, as responsible and logical pro-gun and pro-hunting communicators to provide the counterpoint to the anti’s message. I still meet people who are surprised to hear that I actually eat the meat I hunt. They just don’t know any better, and that’s the biggest threat that hunters and gun owners face… uneducated voters.

    I’m not one of these people who believes we, as individuals, should bend over backward to adjust our appearances and actions in order to soothe the negative opnions of other people. I don’t really care if you want to wear your camo to town, or carry your rifle around in the back window of your truck (although that’s just asking for a break-in). I don’t think we should break down in tears and prayer over every animal we kill, and I have been known to let out a victory yell after a good shot or to high-five a fellow hunter on his success. Hunting is supposed to be fun, and I’m not ashamed of that.

    But I do believe we should be conscious of our image on the public stage, and even more importantly, I believe that hunting and shooting television has an explicit responsibility to manage the image they present to the general public. Failing to do so has implications for all of us, because the people on those programs are a public representation of all hunters and shooters. The networks, of course, are only out to rack up those advertising dollars. It’s not up to them to police our ranks. It’s up to US. And if we don’t, the popularity and acceptance of our sport will continue to decline.

    This is not my first foray into this conversation, Mongo. I’m pretty sure I could offer you a few lessons on the Second Amendment, so don’t jump to conclusions about breaking any revelations to me about what that section of the document is all about. I know damned well that gun rights are constitutionally protected, and I know the reasons why, and I’m glad of it. But hunting, on the other hand, is still considered a privilege in most of this country… and privileges don’t have the same protections. They’re subject to the will of The People. That may be something you “need to learn”. The reason there are “bans” on hunting in certain areas (and not just in CA) is public perception of hunters and our activities. Non-hunters fear what they don’t know, and the anti-hunting propaganda has leveraged all the negative stereotypes to keep it that way. Hunters behaving poorly in public has reinforced that. Want a specific example?

    In 1956, California held a big doe hunt to thin the herd in places, and even out the buck:doe ratio. Hunters took a record number of deer, of course, and as a result of all that success there were an unusually large number of people hauling dead deer down the highway. Keep in mind that, during this era, family cars outnumbered pickup trucks, so strapping your deer on top of the car, or across the trunk was a common method of transport then because it kept the carcass cooler than stowing in the trunk. On top of that, there was the tendency of successful big game hunters to show off their “skill”, so little towns had public meat poles (a tradition still alive and well in parts of the Northeast) where they could hang the carcasses prior to processing.

    The anti-hunting contingent grabbed onto this visible evidence to call it a “slaughter” and actually raised a significant outcry. Non-hunters who knew nothing about hunting, suddenly noticed all these dead deer being “flaunted” on car tops and game poles, and they bought into the anti’s hysteria. Most hunters probably had no idea that driving their kill home was feeding the frenzy, but the end result is that a law was passed allowing local governments to enact local bans on hunting does. Now we have herds that are way out of balance and no recourse because no local politician is going to risk the anger of his constituency to permit doe hunts. Today, when an outdoors writer suggests being a little more discreet about displaying our kill, he’s taken to task by shortsighted, “no compromise” types like you for “bending over for the anti’s” or being “politically correct”.

    This is absolutely no different than the bans on “assault weapons” that are all about superficial properties… flash suppresors, pistol grips, folding stocks, etc. Nevermind that the BAR in my safe is descended from one of the most lethal war machines to ever stalk the killing fields of WWII. Nevermind that the old Marlin .22 sitting by the back door holds 20-plus rounds in a tube magazine, and could be just as lethal in a crowd as any AR-15. But its walnut stock, with the little squirrel cutout looks benevolent enough. No need to ban that! Nevermind that there are something like 90 million privately owned firearms in the U.S. that haven’t been used in any crime… ever. But a couple of whack-jobs go nuts, kill a bunch of people, and there’s a mad rush to ban a subset of firearms primarily because of how they look.

    Image is important. The lessons of history are there for the taking. But some people refuse to see them, and as a result, we’re doomed to keep having the same discussions and the same battles. Meanwhile, popular support for hunting continues to erode among non-hunters, and the pastime of hunting continues to fade away as an American tradition.

    Ted Nugent and his ilk don’t get that. Nugent himself can play the no-compromise, unapologetic, clown prince, font-of-all-Second-Amendment-knowledge because he has that luxury. He is wealthy, well-connected, and has an ego that doesn’t allow the incursion of other people’s morals or ethics. It doesn’t enter his mind that anyone else matters, because he lives in his personal myth and it has actually worked for him. He is a showman, and he has created his own, private stage where he can play the part he has created for himself without consequence. But he is short-sighted and selfish and the media loves him for it.

    And here’s the thing that I think a lot of his supporters don’t understand. Because of his extremity, he’s managed to make himself about as irrelevant as PETA. He’s a laughingstock. Few people on either side of the issue take him seriously. The downside to that is, a lot of what he’s saying, whether it’s about gun rights or hunting, is actually correct. It’s not what he’s saying, but how he says it that causes the problem. But now that he’s managed to marginalize himself, that important message is also at risk of being marginalized. When I talk to someone about gun rights, they tell me I “sound like Ted Nugent.” That simple response completely undermines any credibility that my argument may have had. He has managed to cast all of us in his image.

    Specific to the PigMan episode, as I wrote before… this is probably a small thing in the big picture, but I hate the idea that Nugent is now going to cast his shadow over the very real issue of hog depredation (as well as over one of my favorite hunting shows). If you think I’m against depredation efforts, or against the use of military-styled weaponry to get it done, you haven’t read much of this blog. What I’ve always liked about Brian Quaca’s show is that he is apparently having a ball doing what he’s doing, but he offers some occasional serious perspective about feral hogs. I believe people can still take him seriously. I’d like to see it stay that way.

  10. Justin Cook on August 8th, 2012 23:23

    Phillip –

    Very rational, very well though out commentary. This will be a very polarizing episode, there is no doubt. Some will love it, some will despise it. I for one stand firm with our ability to keep it as tasteful as possible given the circumstances surrounding how delicate of a topic mass hog eradication is. I think there are 2 common realities that folks can assume during the airing of this episode: a) if you’re not from Texas (and I am not), you’ll gain a greater sense of respect for what farmers and ranchers are dealing with on a day to day basis, and b) this is in fact a viable method, although not the most effective, of dealing with the overpopulation issue. Regardless of what people may choose to say when they put on their Monday Producer hats, this is the reality of what is going on in Texas. Hunting from a helicopter is 100% legal and Ted Nugent was absolutely instrumental in getting that legislation passed with the help of a State’s Attorney and Rick Perry himself. That’s why he is a part of this particular episode. Now I’m not playing politics here, just simply stating the facts that led to our decision to do this show. Our goal is very simplistic with a purpose of showing the tens of thousands of viewers who tune in every Sunday night what the situation on the ground is in Texas. In this case, its showing by visual example as opposed to blogging or writing a magazine article. It is not traditional hunting and should not be compared to such. We stand firm in our beliefs that hogs are an exciting and adrenaline rush to pursue with bow, rifle, and dogs in a traditional hunting format. But you’ve watched the show and know well enough what to expect by now. If there is an opportunity to bring a point to the public eye revolving around pigs, we’re going to do our best to do so minus all the Hollywood drama of striking fear into the hearts of our viewers. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I’m sure we will hear plenty of commentary on both sides. I think folks will be pleasantly surprised though.

    – JC

  11. Phillip on August 9th, 2012 06:18

    Thanks for the note, Justin. I expect that was tough to write, in light of some of my opinions, but I do appreciate the respectful tone.

    I do hope you’re right, and that this episode works out for the better. I mentioned when I first commented that there’s a danger in making an extensive commentary on an episode I still haven’t seen. So I hope you prove me wrong. And, by the way, I realize that by the time you’re airing promos, the episode is completely in the can and making changes isn’t even an option,so we’re going to get what we’re going to get.

    I will be tuned in.

  12. Eradication hog | Onerbuck on August 9th, 2012 08:21

    […] PigMan and Ted Nugent To Shoot Hogs From A Helicopter… On TV … […]

  13. Mongo on August 9th, 2012 09:36

    You are worried that it will run off people from hunting but have you considered that it will also bring people to it as well. The latest wave of terrible gun shows on cable like “Sons of Guns” and “American Guns” have brought many new gun owners into the fold. The biggest recruiter for gun owners is first person shooter video games. Face it most people, including myself, find watching some one whispering to a camera man for 30 minutes and then shoot a deer pretty damn boring. Hunting shows are not going to recruit new hunters on the whole but new gun owners will start looking for uses for their guns and some start to hunt. As for persuading the masses of people who don’t have an opinion on hunting either positively or negatively, its not going to happen with a TV show unless they sit there and show a squealing gut shot pig lay there slowly dieing. We all know there is no TV show made by a hunt will ever show that and to the average person that has never hunted think if a piggy is hit it is dead.

    As for those hunters that will watch the show and think “that’s inhumane and not an ethical clean kill” well the average hunter, and I have met 100s like this, can’t shoot to save their butt much less make a clean kill most of the time. Hell most of them that show up to the range still have the original box of ammo they bought with the rifle and consider it sighted in if they get 1 round within 5 inches of the center of the target. These same “hunters” could not shoot at any position other than a fully supported one and still hit a animal. In all the years and deer I have taken I never had a deer get more than 5 yards from where I shot it. Having many hunting guide friends the majority of hunters are constantly having to track hit game because of poor marksmanship. Mass number of inhumane unethical kills in done by your average hunter. Essentially its the pot calling the kettle black.

    As for politics, I use the term left generically, to me there is only two real groups, Constitutionalists and non Constitutionalists. Any one that thinks limits on any fire arm falls in the latter group. The type of gun does not make some one a nut job and killer though too many hunters must believe this since many are willing to throw that segment of gun ownership under the bus in a heart beat. I hunted for many years with a national match M14 and killed many deer with it. I always had a 20 round magazine in it and never sprayed bullets at any target. Look at stupid laws in many states that seem to be reasonable, 5 round mags for hunting only, magazine limits for shotguns for migratory bird hunts. These two laws are dumb, what deer stands around after being missed 5 times? Once again these laws are supported by hunters many times because they think that people are spraying bullets to kill animals. Why this perception? because the average hunter can not shoot.

    Sorry started rambling and I’m just going to stop.

  14. Phillip on August 9th, 2012 11:30

    Mongo, I’d first like to say thanks for sticking around. It seems that you actually are interested in discussion, rather than hit and run trolls that so many other people seem to do. We don’t have to agree on everything. Respectful disagreement is perfectly valid and accepted here.

    There’s this weird disconnect between the hunting community (“Fudds”) and the “gun nut” community. I’ve never understood it, personally, but there’s a distinct line drawn between the two. It could even be described as an atagonistic relationship… although lord knows why this is the case. I can say that the vast majority of hunters I know are just as rabidly protective of their Second Amendment rights as anyone you’d ever meet. I don’t know you, so I’m not sure where you fit in the spectrum, but from your comments, particularly your negative stereotypes and generalizations about hunters, I would put you closer to the “gun nut” side than the “Fudds”.

    The main reason I’m pointing out this distinction is because it’s fairly obvious to me that you don’t understand hunters, the “Fudds”, and you certainly don’t get hunting television. You spend a little too much time talking about “most” people or “most” hunters when what you’re really doing is expressing your own judgement and narrow preconceptions based on an obviously limited experience. You perpetuate the same negative stereotypes that the anti-hunters are working so hard to promote. That’s sort of ironic, given your opinion that it is hunters who would throw the Second Amendment supporters under the bus.

    What is also obvious is that you don’t really have a grasp on the topic at hand.

    That’s not intended as a personal slam on you. It’s just an observation based on what you wrote.

    You obviously haven’t watched a lot of hunting programs (which makes sense, if you don’t enjoy watching them). I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of the footage of aerial hog shooting, especially footage of amateur shooters, but your comments suggest that you haven’t. Hunting television has been fairly controversial since it first became popular. The biggest “problem” with it is that while experienced hunters may be able to fill in behind the scenes with their own knowledge, non-hunters or even the newer guys simply don’t always know what they’re seeing. They see some guy kill a beautiful deer, and then dance around whooping and hollering over the carcass. It doesn’t look “right”. They see some guy shooting elk at 800 yards. It doesn’t look “right”. And there’s the stuff the networks and producers hope you don’t see, like the gut shots and sloppy hits… but it’s there for any observant person to note. And it’s all caused a lot of public relations flack for both the industry and for hunting in general.

    And it strikes me that you don’t really have an understanding of the depths and extent of the anti-hunting agenda (but I’m sure you could quote chapter and verse about the anti-gun agenda). If you’re lucky, you live in a place like Texas where the hunting industry commands significant political clout, or in a place where hunting traditions are still strong enough to keep the antis in their place. But a lot of the country doesn’t have that luxury, and in some states like California, Iowa, New Jersey, and Oregon, there’s a running battle to protect the privileges that hunters still have. In a lot of cases, it comes down to nothing more substantial than “image” to determine the outcome of any given skirmish.

    So while I get the gist of what you’re saying, that you don’t think people are going to get turned off on hunting by this one episode of The Pig Man, I don’t think you are necessarily seeing the bigger picture. But, and here’s the catch… I could be the one who’s wrong. Time will tell.

  15. Mongo on August 9th, 2012 13:36

    I am lucky enough to live in Texas where we have less issues with the anti hunters than most places. I also would be classified as a gun nut. I legally own several machine guns (real full auto ones not news story ones) and suppressors. I also own some nice bolt rifles that I have used for hunting. I did not get into guns because of hunting but the reverse , I got into hunting though my ownership of guns. I really enjoy the piece and quiet of the woods when hunting and in those predawn hours I hate to admit it but I get my best sleep up against a tree waiting for a deer that is not scared by snoring. I also agree that the term fudd is used by myself and other like me and it really has become a more derogatory term than I would like to admit.

    I think the explanation of why the general gun nut movement has apathy for fudds is in order from my side that you might not see. I and every one I know in the gun nut community, though I am sure there is exceptions, support your right to hunt and own what ever guns and equipment you wish. Unfortunately the reverse does not seem to be as true. I understand that there are those hunters (notice I did not say fudds) that believe in the full meaning of the 2nd amendment and do not selfishly think it is alright to ban those evil guns as long as your hunting arms are still available. Those that are selfish in this regard have been given the name Fudd by gun nuts. Some hunters may believe this refers to all hunters but it does not, just those Quisling types that will seek to appease the gun hating segment of the population. Just look at the blog that started this conversation, “A sound argument can be made for the possession of ARs”. Why should there be any question at all about owning ARs? ARs are not evil, they are inanimate tools that can be used for good or bad but they in themselves never have done anything evil. The statement is at the core of the gun nut vs. fudd difference. The gun nut would never say “an argument could be made for possession of high power scoped sniper rifles like those used for hunting”. Unfortunately the NRA lost its way for many years and thought it was there to protect hunting guns only. Even though the NRA charter specifically calls for protection of the 2nd amendment they have allowed incremental reduction in gun rights for decades. When Zumbo got blasted for bad mouthing ARs, the backlash hit him and the NRA square int he face. The AR is now the largest selling rifle in the US and is being used for hunting as well as other 2nd amendment activities. The NRA is finally getting its act together and for the first time since 1934 is seeing that safety items like suppressors and black guns are part of their charter as well as the beloved over under and bolt guns.

    As for my general disdain for the quality of the many hunters, at the beginning of every deer season the local ranges are packed with hunters with their hunting rifles. Most have the boxes of ammo that they got when they bought the rifle. They want to check the zero of the gun and if it is within 5″ of aim at 100 yrds they are happy. Those that are not have no clue how to sight the gun in. I have sighted so many guns in for hunters I have long ago lost count. This may sound like I am a gun smith or work at a range but I am a mechanical Engineer. I have worked in the gun industry and have several successful designs being used by our military. The science or the mechanism is my first love when it comes to guns and thus my interest in old machine guns. I typically shoot over 20K rounds of non 22LR ammunition a year. I no longer do it but I use to compete in high power rifle matches and NRA center fire and rim fire pistol silhouette. I no longer hunt these days due to injuries from a drunk driver hitting me but I have bagged my share of deer, dove, squirrels, and rabbit.

    As for having seen hunting shows or helicopter population control of hogs, I have seen both. I actually enjoy watching the ones posted on Youtube of aerial hog hunting and I am truly amazed at the marksmanship shown by those involve. I would love to do it one day myself and yes I would love to do it with a belt fed machine gun. The hunting shows were ok to watch when I hunted only to be jealous of the fine deer they had their pick of (aka not the Texas hill country small deer). The shows do not offer much that would attract the non hunter to hunting though and I have yet to hear of some one converted to hunting by watching one, though I am sure it has happened at least once. Hunting is more socially passed on than any other sport whereas gun ownership and shooting actually has dramatically risen due to video games, self defense needs, and even those awful cable TV shows previously mentioned. I will bet that if anything, the pig man/Nugent episode will increase the interest in pig hunting, gun ownership and even helicopter pest control by “civilians”. Ted may make the hunting/gun hating people mad but he tell it like it is and for that I am grateful. The press, schools, government and banners sure the hell are not going to tell you the truth.

    Final thought:
    You know what is the worse question for anyone, much less a fudd, to ask a gun nut about a weapon? “Why do you need that”. I have been asked this hundreds of times but I have never asked it of any gun owner or hunter. Have any of you ever been asked by a gun nut “why do you need that” when talking of your guns? The only reasonable reply is “read the 2nd amendment”.

  16. Arnold on August 9th, 2012 16:03

    I am new to this blog.

    I wanted to say that Phillip and Mongo, you both make same great points. Enjoyed reading each response. Hope to read more very soon.

    Thank you

  17. Phillip on August 9th, 2012 19:36

    I’m going to say this and leave it there, Mongo.

    No one in this discussion has questioned the right or the need for ARs. As such, you’re creating enemies where none existed. You’re building straw men to knock down, and there’s no need.

    I don’t use this blog site to get deeply involved in the Second Amendment, gun rights discussion primarily because that discussion is far too emotionally loaded. There are other sites for that, and more power to the moderators and bloggers who are willing to let those conversations run. For my part, I don’t have the patience for the stereotypes, generalizations, and yeah, the mindlessly repetitive dogma that prevent real, reasonable discourse. Your arguments illustrate that reasoning better than anything I could ever say.

    Conversation. It’s not always about right or wrong. Sometimes it’s just to hash out thoughts, ideas, and even to challenge the status quo. If you’re unwilling to do that, then it’s not a conversation. It’s a lecture. The conversation here, today, is not about gun rights or why gun nuts hate Fudds. It’s about the strong possibility that an episode of a hunting TV program will generate negative PR and feed anti-hunting and anti-gun sentiment. If this is true, then you’ll have more than enough people to whom you can carry your Second Amendment message because we’ll all need all the support we can get.

    Maybe I’m wrong about the Pig Man episode. That is what we’re talking about, after all. Maybe it will be a stunning success, and non-hunters or fence-sitters will flock to the sport to get some of that action. Maybe it won’t generate one instant of flack or fallout from folks who believe it sends the wrong message. It’s a possibility.

  18. Pig Man and Ted’s Aerial Gunning Adventures – A Mild Reprise : Hog Blog on August 10th, 2012 06:58

    […] this one isn’t going to be as easy to write as the last time I wrote about this… just a couple of days […]

  19. Randy on August 12th, 2012 21:58

    To all those who are un-initiated, un-educated or just plain ignorant of the facts depredation is NOT hunting. Depredation is the elimination of a pest animal. Case in point, pigs were introduced in California I believe in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. They double their population every 6 months. They root up grain fields and anything else they wish to eat. They have also caused an ecoli outbreak by defacating in the lettuce fields in northern California. They have a tendancy to be nocturnal and have a bigger brain than coyotes which makes them smarter. So even if the hunters in California bought tags to hunt pigs chances are only a small percentage would fill their tags which would not even put a dent in the total population. And if memory serves, Texas has a bigger problem with this particular pest. If you take into account that in Texas silencers can be used legally, night hunting is legal, and the use of dogs, they’re still not making a substancial dent in their pig population. If you take into account that wild pigs inhabit almost every state of the Continental US, the problem is only getting bigger. Taking all these things into account, let the Pigman and Ted Nugent have alittle fun, show that an AK-47 can be used as a hunting implement with the use of their helicopter to take out a few vermin and feed a bunch of hungry people in these United States where we are having a hell of a recession/depression and knock a sizable dent in the population where they will be. And for all those opposed, have a coke and a smile :)

  20. Mongo on August 27th, 2012 21:48

    So did you guys watch the show?

    Was it as bad as you thought?

    Seemed fine to me with to much mouth from the host but that might be his style since I never saw the show before this episode.

  21. Bryant Ring on September 5th, 2012 15:39

    I am an ethical hunter who prefers Deer by Bow and Arrow. I also wish that every wild hog in Florida , Georgia and South Carolina would die over night and be transported up in an alien craft to be delivered to another planet.
    I want to kick the Spaniards in the balls every time these pests wreck a deer hunt or destroy an oak stand with their foul stench. Feral hogs have no ecological value at all and I don’t think they have a soul. The only good reason for wild hogs is it gives Cur Dogs something to gnaw on. Gun ship on, Ted! Bryant Ring : = : =

  22. Phillip on September 5th, 2012 20:29

    Bryant, I do think it’s worth mentioning that the “Spaniards”, while they certainly played a role in the introduction of feral hogs to the US, don’t deserve a heck of a lot of the blame for the current hog problem in the US.

    No, unfortunately, a good chunk of the blame comes back to hunters… or at least, to certain hunters. These are the guys who think it’d be great fun and sport to bring a trailer-load of hogs to their hunting lease, drop the gate, and turn them loose. For many states, and for a good part of the 20th century, this was not illegal behavior. In fact, no one had ever thought to draw up laws against it, because it never occurred to the lawmakers that it was even a possibility.

    Look, I’m a hard core hunter, and I hate to see our community maligned. I’m not trying to hang every other hunter out there. In my opinion, the guys who transplant hogs are every bit as bad as any other poacher or scofflaw, and they certainly don’t represent the rank and file of our sport. But if you want to kick someone in the balls over feral hogs, this is one place to start. The other object of your affections, as it were, would be many state wildlife departments who relocated feral hogs to public lands in hopes of generating a sport hunting opportunity. These short-sighted practices, albeit well meaning, took place in several southeastern states, including Georgia and Florida, as well as Alabama if I remember correctly. Feral hog populations were not only started, but encouraged in these states as a way to give public land hunters something to pursue in order to maintain their interest in the sport. California may or may not have engaged in the transplant programs, but they did decide to declare the feral hog a “game animal”, thus entitling the pestilence to the same protections afforded blacktail deer and elk. And Texas… and I love Texas… the liberal regulations and private property rights laws in the Lone Star State enabled folks to create huge feral hog populations with unregulated trapping and transportation of both feral hogs and eurasian boar. Only in the last few years has Texas cracked down on the way hogs are transported and released in the state. It’s all there in writing if you are willing to do the digging.

    The point is, the blame game is a dangerous one when it comes to the hog “epidemic” across this country. It’s far better to be part of the solution, and yes, that solution absolutely includes shooting hogs from helicopters as well as trapping and night shooting. And if you’re a bowhunter, that’s cool. Be part of the solution by not holding out for the big, toothy boar. Shoot those sows, especially the gilts (unbred young sows). Or in lieu of that, just shoot every pig that walks within range, big or small.

  23. Jory on September 30th, 2012 21:56

    I personally loved the show. Hogs are very dangerous. We kill hogs over 350lbs that will kill you. Especially kids. They scare me and I am very worried about our kids with these animals in the vicinity.

    Maybe education people on how dangerous they are and how destructive they are is better than blaming Ted for taking on something the rest of us seem almost scared to discuss.

    How beef, chicken and swine slaughter houses run is much worse than what anyone can say about this show.

    my thoughts.

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