Ted Nugent Runs Afoul Of The Law In California

And this bit of news from The Outdoor Wire:

Ted Nugent has been fined $1,750 in a California court for baiting deer for his hunting show “Spirit of the Wild”. Nugent entered a no contest plea to that charge and not having his deer tag countersigned at the closest possible location. It could have been worse, Nugent also illegally shot a spike buck on the show but was not charged -that one was dropped after negotiations between his attorney and the Yuba County District Attorney’s office.

In what has become a too-frequent situation with TV hunting shows, Nugent essentially provided the proof of the crime on his TV show. According to California media reports, a Fish and Game warden was watching Nugent’s show on Outdoor Channel and “about fell out of his chair” when he saw Nugent with the spike. After a subsequent investigation, charges were filed.

Nugent’s cameraman, Mitchell Neil Moore and property owner Ross Albert Patterson were both charged with violations and paid fines for illegally possessing an animal and taking an animal with bait, respectively.

To the Fish and Game Department’s credit, they treated Nugent as they would any other violator and did not issue a press release when the charges were filed on August 6.

In this instance, there’s been no comment from Nugent. I won’t defend him, but it’s not the first time that time pressures from tight television production deadlines have caused problems. As expected, Nugent neither denied or dodged the charges, with officials saying he was “very cooperative” in the entire matter.

In what appears to be a matter of poor judgment, “The Nuge” becomes the latest high-profile sportsman to join the wall of shame as a game law violator.   While there have been many other celebs who share this unenviable distinction, in this blog we have discussed two others that come to mind: Troy Gentry and Babe Winkelman.  In fact, as an aside, the post about Babe Winkelman back in 2004 was the second blog entry I ever made on this site.

One of the great advantages conservation officers (or game wardens) have in performing their law enforcement duties is the fact it’s human nature for folks to brag about their exploits in the outdoors.   Whether this is done in front of a TV camera (as in Nugent’s case) or even described in a blog, the fact remains “bragging” often can lead to a citation.

So, how do you feel about these personalities who get so-called “pinched?”   Do you think less of them in terms of respect, or do you cut them some slack realizing the violations happen all the time whether to friends or associates?

Personally, I am a stickler for adhering to the game and fish laws.   I consider it to be the sportsman’s responsibility to be aware of such things no matter how complicated they sometimes become.   And when I read about a high-profile personality, like a Ted Nugent, running afoul of “the rules” it makes me cringe.

To me, at issue isn’t the fact Ted Nugent got busted.   Nope!   Instead, I worry about the message this sends to the non-hunting public when one of our leading, outspoken personalities is shown that he doesn’t necessarily play by the rules.   Indirectly, his actions give us all a bad image…and that bothers me.

©2010 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.  No Reproduction without Prior Permission.