Motor City Madman and gun rights polemicist Ted Nugent recently pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges re: deer poaching in California. sacbe.com tells the tale of an “in yer face” hunting advocate who not only broke the law, but televised his misdeeds. “Two game wardens saw [Spirit of the Wild] when it aired for the first time in February, and one of them ‘just about fell out of his chair’ when he saw what transpired, said California Fish and Game spokesman Patrick Foy. On the show, Nugent killed a deer with bow and arrow. But the wardens could see it was a ‘spike’ buck, meaning its antlers had not yet forked, Foy said. It is illegal in California to kill such a young deer . . .
The wardens also noticed something had been spread on the ground that the deer appeared to be eating before it was killed. A subsequent investigation revealed this to be a commercial bait product called “C’mere Deer.” It is illegal to bait wildlife in California.
In other words, Nugent and/or his guides and TV producers sacrificed legality for theatricality. And killed Bambi. No matter how this went down, ignorance is no excuse under the law. And pig ignorance—not having someone check the hunting footage for potential legal issues—is inexcusable.
After the plea, Nugent said . . . nothing. No public statement. Nothing on the website. Nada. From a PR POV, that’s a big mistake. When you criticize others remorselessly, a little remorse when you f-up goes a long way to maintaining credibility.
While the likelihood that Mr. Nugent will keep his big mouth shut over this incident are about as high as the chances that he’ll play Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 at his next gig, and one can only imagine his level of contrition (how low can you go?), Ted’s missed what’s called a “teachable moment.”
His fans have noticed. Bigbaddad1:
I am an avid and enthusiastic hunter, and this makes me sick. Ted Nugent, who advocates the rights of gun owners and hunters, advocates the use of everything he kills, and advocates “fair chase” in his shows, has turned out to be a poacher — not a hunter, but a poacher. Pleading ignorance is no excuse. At the very least, his guide should have known that it’s illegal to spread bait for hunting in California and that it’s illegal (and has been for decades) to shoot spike deer. I can only hope that his guide was cited as well, and that both of them will learn from this experience. Unfortunately, I doubt they will. Mr. Nugent, you have shown your true colors, and you are a disappointment to us all.