Ted Nugent's new reality show does not rock

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    Recently I found a UPS package in my mailbox at work that had been opened and inspected before it got to me.

    It had kind of a strange return address on it, and the security folks at work were concerned it might be from some sort of maniac.

    They were right. It was from Ted Nugent.

    Nugent, who achieved stardom as a rock musician during the 1980s and — to a much lesser degree — the 1990s, has entered the reality television game with a new show on the Outdoor Life Network called "Wanted: Ted or Alive."

    Like virtually every other so-called reality show on television, Nugent's program will feature a gang of misfits and celebrity wannabes testing their survival skills in an outdoors setting. But unlike the other shows, at some point during this four-episode farce, the contestants will actually be hunted — by Nugent.

    Yes, that's what I said.

    The long-haired hippy-generation holdover, who has gained a reputation for shooting everything that moves and daring people to say something about it, will challenge his contestants' skills by turning them into game animals for a worldwide cable audience.

    Is it just me or does this guy set outdoorsmen back 25 years every time he cracks his front door?

    People have been making fun of Nugent for years for his over-the-top pro-hunting stance and his claim that his family members eat only what they kill. Nugent's cartoonish persona has almost caused me to agree with PETA a time or two, and he's given non-hunters everywhere the impression that all hunters are bloodthirsty, trigger-happy, pony-tailed crazies.

    It's bad enough listening to Nugent spout silly sayings like "spirit of the wild" and "stick with Uncle Ted" when he's hunting legitimate game on legitimate outdoors shows. Now we have to watch him hunt a tattoo-covered disc jockey and petite blond female identified as a "hot events coordinator" in the show's press materials.

    Of course, he won't really shoot them.

    At least, I don't think he'll shoot them.

    I hope he doesn't shoot them.

    Even without pulling the trigger, though, his effect on the public's perception of hunting could be more damaging than any gunshot. People who happen to be riding the fence between pro- or anti-hunting stances could certainly be swayed.

    With that in mind, if you don't know much about hunting and you happen to land on Nugent's show while you're flipping through the channels, try not to hold his antics against all of us who do hunt.

    If you are a hunter, try to ask your non-hunting friends over for dinner when the show is on and tune the TV to something else.

    If you're a contestant on Nugent's show, be afraid.

    Be very afraid.

    And think hard about purchasing a really good Teflon vest.

    Bryan Brasher writes for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.

  • For more outdoors stories, click here to visit the ESPNOutdoors.com homepage.