Rock musician Ted Nugent has long been an advocate for hunter’s rights, and made a surprise appearance at a Texas House Committee meeting on Wednesday with a testimony that stole the show. According to The Dallas Morning News, the Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism was discussing a deer hunting bill, HB 2433, introduced by Representative John Davis (R-Houston). The bill would require deer breeders to release the animals into the wild at least 60 days before hunters hit the field. The current requirement is 10 days before hunting season.
Supporters of the bill included biologists, ranchers, and others who felt that the short period of time that the deer had to adjust was unethical. Opponents in the room argued that the bill would be a major blow to breeders, and limited sportsmen in hunting opportunities. The discussion became heated as the divided gathering argued over the finer points of the bill. It was towards the end that Nugent, dressed in a camouflage shirt and matching hat, stood up to give his testimony.
Introducing himself as an avid hunter, Nugent denounced the bill for the negative effects it would have on the state’s outdoor industry.
“Texas has such a glowing positive reputation for the world’s leader in wildlife management success and family hours of recreation and just incredible lifestyle and industry,” said Nugent told KTBC. “I want to make sure we eliminate as many obstacles to that as we can.”
The audience was inflated by spectators who were there to hear the sometimes controversial Nugent speak, and at times laughed along with the musician’s unique brand of humor. Nugent even became reflective on his passion for hunting.
“I’m celebrating my 64th season of hunting clean and sober because I get high on venison,” the rocker testified. “The mystical flight of the arrow, and the fair chase of getting up early, using the wind, using the sun and trying to outmaneuver these incredible majestic beasts that are not just protein sustenance, but–and I think I speak on behalf of everyone else in this room–spiritual sustenance.”
No vote was reached on the issue on Wednesday.
Below is a video interview in which Nugent extols the virtues of venison and hunting as part of a healthy diet.