The Enduring Legacy of “Fred Bear”

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Fred Bear.

In the Moore household that name was always spoken with great reverence.

In 1988, Fred Bear passed away but something was birthed that year that has kept his legacy alive more than anything.

It’s the song Fred Bear by Ted Nugent.

Having known Ted since I was 19 years old, we’ve had many discussions about Fred and that song.

Ted, Fred Bear and a furry friend.

“When I got the news of Fred passing that song flowed out of me,” he said.

And on his last major tour appropriately entitled Adios Mofos, it fits right in with his classic laden setlist of numbers like Stranglehold and Free For Fall.

The song for the last 35 years has become an anthem for hunters who feel truly connected to nature in a more profound way than much of the hunting media expresses, much less the mainstream.

The chorus’s refrain of “In the wind he’s still alive. In the wind he’s still alive. In the wind I hear Fred Bear” unites hunters in a way that perhaps nothing has ever done.

It also through an audio sample of Fred played in the outro and various video packages over the years, has not only introduced nonhunters to Bear but hunting in general.

I met my late friend Clint Starling the day I met Nugent in 1993 as he was Ted’s friend and involved with this then organization Ted Nugent World Bowunters.

Clint was born with spina bifida and wasn’t supposed to live past 17. He lived to be 47.

Clint loved bowhunting and he wasn’t exactly the most emotional guy on the planet, but more than once while we watched Ted play this song live, I saw tears well up in Clint’s eyes.

Ted, Clint Starling and his nephew Colton at the last show Clint got to see before passing away.

I always tear up when I hear it, but to see Clint do this was special.

On a long drive back after one of these shows, Clint talked about how much he loved hunting with his Dad and how Ted inspired him to take up the “mystical flight of the arrow”.

The hunting world has done a poor job of heralding its heroes. This is especially true in the hyper critical environment we live in where even disagreeing with someone on the type of firearm they use has seen pioneers escorted out of the business.

Ted Nugent has taught us the value of lifting up our heroes in this now iconic song.

It’s a song about a hunt, time with a lived one and remembering the powerful connection to nature you shared because of hunting.

And now 35 years later on Sept. 15 we get an awesome 12-inch hunter-orange vinyl Ep with incredible cover art and great bonus features.

This special vinyl release includes the original studio version & Hunt Music version; plus 2 Unreleased versions of the classic song.

It’s a great tribute to a song that follows many of us in the field every time we venture beyond the pavement.

Ted Nugent wrote this song out of love. It was a way of turning mourning into a celebration of a life beyond well-lived and a legacy that has benefitted all of us who hunt.

Fred Bear the song lives on and is more powerful than ever as it reminds in these dark and crazy times life is better spent outdoors with those we love.

And now we can enjoy this song in an amazing format befitting such a poignant work of art.

Chester Moore


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