Ted Nugent still thinks about his friend and former hunting buddy Fred Bear often. And when Nugent plays the song he wrote for the world-class bow hunter, he still gets chills.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Nugent shared the video writing, “I still get goosebumps talking about it, like a bolt of lightning from above.”
Nugent uploaded two videos dedicated to Bear. The first was a feature on the Michigan rocker from Outdoor Magazine Television about Fred Bear and the eponymous song. Nugent said he still gets goosebumps just thinking of that song because of how it just came to him fully formed.
“I started spitting out these words. … I didn’t formulate them,” he said. It was like a jolt, he continued. “I didn’t consider a thought. I didn’t think I was going to write a hunting song.”
Writing the song re-opened an old wound though. He missed his friend and former hunting buddy Bear. Fred Bear died in 1988. Nugent released the song in 1995.
“I got through the first verse, and I got into the second verse right after Walk me down the trails again,” he said. “So good to have you at my side again. The spirit of the woods is like an old good friend. And I just dropped my guitar pick and started bawling my eyes out.
Though he went on, he felt Bear’s presence anytime whenever hunted. He always felt Bear was there whenever he was alone in the wilderness.
But Bear meant more to Nugent than just a hunting companion, he said.
“Fred Bear was not only the world’s great hunter, certainly the world’s greatest bow hunter,” he said. “He was probably the most sincere, lovable guy I’ve ever met in my life.
Nugent also uploaded an impromptu acoustic version of the song to his Facebook page this weekend.
Who was Fred Bear?
Born in 1903, Bear didn’t take up bow hunting until 1929, according to The Bow Hunters Hall of Fame, of which he’s a member. He’s credited with creating and implementing a number of techniques and tools hunters still use.
He also often filmed his hunts, which would be shown in theaters and included in hunting videos, Bowhunter.com said. Those videos were the entry point for a number of hunters.
“He was a guy that had a way to mold politics and nature in a way that he didn’t offend anybody,” said Don Dvoroznak, CEO of Ripcord Arrow Rest, according to the website. “He was a gentleman at everything he’d ever done. Bear was respected. He was looked upon as a man of honor, and I think that ethical way that he promoted the sport, and the ethical way that he showed the sport when he started filming I think was very instrumental in the way it’s carried on today. I think he set the stage for doing it right.”