Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

So, you want a Colorado Rocky Mountain high? Well, I got your Colorado Rocky Mountain high in 4WD right here pardner!

September 1, 1973, and I had finally taken a Journey To The Center of My Mind, survival instinct kicking in full-on gonzo, and I came up for air from 300-plus fire-breathing rockouts per year since 1967 with my Amboy Dukes rock band, and with the AM radio blaring a John Denver song, I headed to the Rocky Mountains of western Colorado to escape the sonic bombast rock-n-roll mayhem.

         With my trusty Bear Kodiak recurve bow, a quiver full of arrows, my .44 magnum, a Boy Scout mess kit, and pup-tent, I loaded up my 1970 Ford Bronco with survival gear, filled her up with hi-test gas at 69 cents a gallon, and off I went for bowhunting adventure in the Uncompahgre National Forest on the western slope in search of the mighty mule deer, elk, and black bear.

         My little Ford Bronco was my pride and joy. With three on the tree, a 302 V8, Warn winch up front, swing-away spare tire on the rear bumper, spare gas cans, rope, tow strap, chains, fire-extinguisher, first aid kit, shovel, axe, hi-lift jack, cooler, water, full toolkit, and some spare parts like fanbelts, fuel filter, oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, fuses, hoses, hose clamps, wiper blades, flashlight and batteries, an assortment of nuts, bolts cotter pins, zipties, workgloves, fire-starter, heavy duty tarp, 12V air compressor, tire repair kit, and a ton of independent attitude, I felt I was more than ready to take on anything Mother Nature may throw at me, or maybe even Armageddon if need be!

         Raised a bowhunter by my dear old dad and his majesty Fred Bear in the big timber of Up North Michigan, its intense focus and discipline provided a life-saving balance to my full-tilt boogie musical cravings. I spent every non-musical moment of my life beyond the pavement in critter habitat seeking to harmonize and connect with the Great Spirit of the Wild that never failed to intrigue, fascinate, and call my name.

         To this very day all these many, many years later, at the tender age of 74 this year, the lure of the wild continues to beckon me into the hinterlands and neverlands of the road less traveled, stimulated beyond measure to be one with the pulse of God’s miraculous creation.

         In order to adequately penetrate that beloved road less traveled, nothing gets the job done quite so effectively as a good, solid, properly equipped 4X4. And no other 4X4 on earth, in my humble opinion, does it quite so wonderfully as the original bobtail Ford Bronco.

         The places I was able to maneuver that little truck in those mountains pushed my spirit of adventure to the limit, and thank God I knew exactly what that limit was so I didn’t wreck her and end up stranded far, far from civilization.

         That exciting offroad bowhunting adventure was about 50 rocking years ago, and yet this very morning, I repeated the essence of said adventure along the beautiful North Bosque river on our SpiritWild Ranch in Texas in another rough and tumble Ford Bronco.

         There was that original 1970 Bronco, a subsequent ‘75 Bronco, a ‘76 Bronco, a ‘79 Bronco, a ’74 Bronco, an ‘82 Bronco, a ’68 Bronco, a ’71 Bronco, and my current ’69 and rebuilt ’74 Broncos.

         So, let’s get one thing straight right here and now; there does exist a Ford Bronco cult, and I am a proud member in good standing.

         There’s something very special about the original early Broncos from 1966 through 1977, and too the short-lived Bronco II and onward to the full-size Bronco from 1978 to 1996.

When Ford brought this special truck back in 2020 with the completely redesigned version, it sold out as quick as it arrived and continues to get snatched up as quickly as they roll out.  

         There seems to be an early Bronco club in every state, and the aftermarket Bronco industry is widespread and growing.

Bronco rallies take place in one form or another year-round all across the country, and the prices some of these little beauties command at auction are nothing short of shocking!

         You can order a full-on resto-mod built from the ground up from many Bronco specific custom shops that will cost you anywhere from $150,000 to $300,000 on up!

         Considering my fully loaded 1970 Bronco had a sticker price of $3,200, and it’s easy to see how this cult has driven their value into the stratosphere.

         I happen to have many dear Bronco nut friends that are the masters of all things Bronco knowledge, history, mechanics, and customizations, and we are like a cult within a cult. I would hate to add up the hours that I have wrenched and fidgeted and messed around working on my various fleet of Broncos. And worse, I hate to think of the money I’ve spent doing so!

         But I can tell you this, when it comes to offroad fun and hitting the non-trails never traveled, the excitement and fun I’ve had in my Broncos has provided me with some of the most enjoyable times of my life.

         With another exciting hunting season here, I can guarantee you that there will be an uppity guitar player with a bow and arrow in a Ford Bronco headed into No-Man’s land with a bloodtrail and a gutpile in the not too distant future, eventually loading a hard earned dead deer into his little truck with a gleaming smile on his face and the Spirit of the Wild at his side.

         Hi, my name is Ted Nugent, and I am a Ford Bronco addict, of the non-recovering kind!

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