Nugent not what we need

Paula PiattI've had a lot of interesting Halloween costumes over the years – the Pillsbury doughboy, a football player, a Campbell’s soup can. I never wanted to be Ted Nugent.

I haven’t changed my mind.

And while his antics have raised an eyebrow before – his rants, his “good 'ol boy” persona, his propensity to talk before he thinks about what is coming out of his mouth (or maybe even more scary, actually realizing what he’s saying) – this latest escapade tells me it’s time for the hunting community at large to cut its ties with Uncle Ted. The last thing we need right now is the average non-hunter (let alone the antis) looking at him and seeing us.

Nugent recently pleaded guilty to illegally killing and transporting a black bear in Alaska. Seems he shot one on a bow hunt, wounding it, but didn’t find it. But because it was all for his TV show, he really needed to kill a bear, so he shot another one, eventually transporting it out of state.

He says he was “blindsided” by the law that says once you hit a bear (whether you kill it or not, it counts as your one bear); but not knowing the law isn’t an excuse. If you’re going to hunt, know the rules. It’s not up to your “staff,” it’s up to you. It’s really as simple as that.

He was fined $10,000 and put on two years’ probation. Additionally, he can’t hunt in Alaska or on U.S. Forest Service property for a year. He also has to pay the state $600 for the bear he took illegally and create and run a public service announcement during his Outdoor Channel television show. (Which, I might add, shouldn’t even be on the air any longer. What is The Outdoor Channel thinking?)

Under the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, in which a hunter cited in one state could conceivably lose his hunting privileges in all states that are members of the compact, Nugent could be ineligible to hunt in 35 states through June of this year if those member states deem Nugent's violation serious enough to impose the compact rules. Seems he was also “blindsided” by California laws in 2010 when, again for his TV show, he shot an illegal spike buck over illegal bait.

He ended up pleading no contest to the deer baiting and, oh yeah, he didn’t tag his illegal deer properly.

Two California game wardens watched in disbelief as the show aired on The Outdoor Channel. I’ll bet they wish all their cases were that easy.

The no contest plea in California could trigger the rules under the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact in which states can honor license revocations in other members of the compact.

What does it say when our “advocate” can’t legally hunt in more than half the states?

It tells me he’s not my advocate. Maybe he shouldn’t be yours, either.

Categories: New York – Paula Piatt

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