Fulfilling Terminally Ill Kids' Hunting Dreams

As of January 1, 2001, the Make-a-Wish Foundation — the group that fulfills terminally ill children’s last wishes — will no longer aid children who want to go on hunting trips as their final wish. Rock star and pro-hunting advocate Ted Nugent and the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation are filling that gap, however, by fulfilling such dreams.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation is certainly free to set up whatever criteria it sees fit in helping terminally ill children’s last wishes, but at least it could be honest about why it no longer grants hunting wishes. According to the Phoenix-based group, it has nothing against hunting per se, but says that hunting is just too unsafe for terminally ill children to participate in. According to Make-a-Wish spokesman Jim Maggio,

When you take into consideration the fact that the child may have been weakened by the effects of that life-threatening illness, and all the treatment protocols and medications that may accompany that — it’s simply to great a risk to the safety of that child than we’re willing to assume.

This sort of half-hearted explanation actually makes Nugent look like a sage commentator when he notes that in the case of Zachary Martin, 16, who Nugent will be taking along with him for a big game hunt in South Africa, Martin’s parents and doctors have all given their blessing for the hunting trip. “Somebody at the Make-a-Wish foundation knows better than those people?” Nugent told Fox News. “I think not.”

Why not just come out and say that the group started feeling the heat of animal rights protests beginning in 1996 after it helped a young man fulfill his dream of hunting in Alaska’s wilderness? Hiding behind alleged medical reasons seems like an extremely transparent excuse.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation still will sponsor fishing trips, but its anti-hunting stance will certainly embolden animal rights activists to go after the group over helping terminally ill children kill fish. As Nugent told Fox,

Last time I checked your tuna salad is dead. Fishing, hunting and trapping are all the same and it is the proper and scientifically sound utilization of natural resources. Hunting is not only honorable and essential, but it’s probably the last pure function that a living being can be part of. It’s birth, life and death. Mankind knows all about killing. We have to eat. Meat is food.

It won’t be long until the activists start making the same argument to the Make-a-Wish Foundation urging an end to horribly cruel fishing trips.


Young hunters’ wishes can come true, after all. Robert Shaffer, Fox News, January 22, 2001.

Charges Against CAFT Activist Dropped

An animal rights activist who allegedly bumped and threatened Ted Nugent had all charges dropped due to insufficient evidence. Nugent claimed the activist bumped him outside of a Neiman Marcus before proceeding to threaten the rock star’s life. Unfortunately for Nugent, surveillance video from the store satisfied prosecutors that there was no physical contact between Nugent and the activist. Without the battery charge, prosecutors clearly thought any attempt to go after the activist on a veiled verbal threat would be very unlikely to succeed.

Now that this episode is apparently over, I just want to offer a brief commentary on Nugent himself. I was disappointed to see people on e-mail lists, web sites and elsewhere embracing Nugent as an important person in the fight against animal rights. This is a recipe for disaster.

To put it bluntly, Nugent is a nut case. Animal rights activists were already online distributing a long list of wonderful racist and sexist quotes Nugent has made over the years, and Nugent just cannot help but open his mouth and say something stupid. Just recently he had to pull out of a Kiss concert scheduled in Houston because while performing in Houston and San Antonio earlier in the year he went on rants about how people who come to America but don’t speak English should go back to the countries they came from. Lovely.

I would hope that if someone like John Rocker came out denouncing animal rights, that there would not be any stampede by anti-animal rights groups to embrace him, and Nugent is certainly cut from the same cloth as Rocker.

Memo to the Nuge: think before you speak

It seems Ted Nugent
recently became angered at Ontario, Canada, for canceling its spring bear
hunt. Nugent quickly proclaimed he and his fans were boycotting tourism
to Canada until Ontario lifts its ban. The only problem is a couple days
later Nugent confirmed he would be traveling to Canada in March to speak
at Canada’s Music Week. Announcing a boycott and then confirming you’re
going to break it a couple days later is the sort of bone headed move
one would expect from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Besides, the boycott
itself seems like an almost certain failure. Living only a few miles from
the Nuge here in Michigan, I can certainly attest to his popularity in
this part of the country, and he does get a lot of support for his pro-gun
and anti-animal rights message, but does Nugent really think he can get
his fans to boycott visiting Canada? This would be like telling people
to simply stop visiting Indiana or Ohio if those states enacted a ban
on hunting — it is just not going to happen. To make boycotts like that
even begin to be effective requires convincing large corporations and
others to take convention and other business elsewhere.

The most likely result
of Nugent’s “boycott” will be to strengthen the resolve of the opponents
of the bear hunt in Ontario who will certainly point to yet more meddling
in their affairs by their neighbors to the south.

There are better
approaches to getting the bear hunt resumed than an ineffective impromptu
boycott that even its chief organizer can’t abide.


Rocker won’t abide own boycott. Betsy Powell, Toronto Star, January 1999.