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Motor City Madman and gun rights polemicist Ted Nugent recently pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges re: deer poaching in California. 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.

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  1. On a good day the Nuge is a well armed cartoon character. Now he is Yosemite Sam with a rap sheet.

  2. Actually, the fact that he baited the deer is more damning to Nugent's hunter-cred.

    I mean, c'mon, the Great Hunter has to bait animals in? Honestly, can you even call it "hunting" if they were lured in by bait?

    Why not just tether them to a post and shoot them execution style?

    It would be like finding out his smokin' guitar solos were recorded before the show and then played back during the performance.

  3. IIRC Nugent also ran for a seat on the NRA BoD. Don’t know if he won (no, I didn’t vote for him) but assuming he did, will the NRA boot him off the board for his antics? You just know that anti-hunters and anti-gunners would love being able to tell their supporters that the NRA is an organization that has “convicted poacher Ted Nugent” on their board.

    Nugent is, and always has been, an obnoxious blowhard. But then again, rock stars are supposed to be obnoxious, over-the-top, bigger-than-life assholes. It’s what they get paid to do.

    Unfortunately, I think that gun owners (and conservatives in general) are so used to being the uptight, tie wearing nerds who are looked down on by the “cool kids” of Hollywood that they tend to become “starstruck” when anyone in the entertainment world embraces their cause. If Nugent wasn’t a famous guitar player, nobody would know (or care) about what he had to say, any more than anyone would care what Arec Bardwin thought about the hot political issues of the day if he was just a guy who installed vinyl siding in Temecula.

    • My comment is very late. Add to his California capers Nugent’s nasty remarks about Obama . To disagree with BHO’s views on firearms is just fine. Am no BHO fan. Nugent’s comments were appalling, irresponsible, and vulgar and racist. He’s a poor rep for the NRA. And in top of that he bathes in the glory of his own ego, as if he is Entitled . The man never learned humility. I doubt he will ever learn it.

  4. Hey,
    The Motor City Madman should run for office on his war service record, NOT! William Walace of Braveheart movie fame he ain’t… The Nuge is basically a good guy, just a bit off the reservation. I nor most of the readers here have ever been interviewed by those Wild and Crazy Party Animals in the U.S. Secret Service for comments that I have made against the president. Mr. Nugent crossed the line here, even if He did not mean it. This time he went to far! Mr. Nugent is a NFA Class 3 firearms Owner. Somebody might just take notice of his vitriolic speech at ATFE the time is sends in a ATF Form 4 to transfer a new toy into his arsenal. He should stick to what he does best, “Rockin Out”! This is what Ted does best! Now if the Secret Service had an extra girl to send my way, I would appreciate it…

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