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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, February 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Ted Nugent Pleads Guilty to Killing and Wounding Too Many Bears

JUNEAU, Alaska (CN) - Rock star and gun-rights activist Ted Nugent faces up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine for wounding a black bear he could not capture, then killing a second one in violation of his bag limit - for his cable TV show, according to his federal plea agreement.

Nugent violated the Lacey Act by shooting the two bears in 2009, for his "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild" cable TV show, which is produced by Nugent's company, Spirit Wild Productions, and airs on the Outdoor Channel, according to the federal complaint and plea agreement.

The 2-page complaint claims that on May 26, 2009, Nugent "knowingly transported wildlife, to wit: One Black Bear (Ursus Americanus), in violation of any law, or regulation of the United States, when, in the exercise of due care, the defendant should have known the black bear was taken, possessed, transported, in violation of, and in a manner unlawful".

According to his 16-page plea agreement: "On May 22, 2009, members of Nugent's production team filmed Nugent bow hunting black bear over a registered bait site on Sukkwan Island," on federal property. "Nugent shot and wounded a black bear. Nugent failed to locate and harvest the wounded black bear," the plea agreement states.

Alaska has a bag limit of one black bear per year, and "a wounded black or brown bear counts towards a hunter's bag limit for the regulatory year the bear is taken," the plea agreement states. However, it states: "After shooting and wounding one black bear, Nugent continued to hunt other black bear in violation of Alaska law.

"On May 26, 2009, Nugent shot and killed another black bear, in violation of both state of Alaska law and in violation of a law or regulation of the United States ...

"Nugent knowingly transported that black bear aboard the F/V [fishing vessel] El Dorado ..."

Nugent signed the plea agreement to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Lacey Act. He waived his right to collaterally attack or appeal the conviction and sentence, except on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel, or whether his plea was made voluntarily.

He does not have to forfeit the bear but has to pay Alaska $600 for it.

The state recommended that Nugent be barred from hunting or fishing in Alaska for a year, pay an additional $10,000 fine, and that he broadcast a public service announcement on his cable show for a year, that discusses "the importance of a hunter's responsibility in knowing the rules and regulations of the hunting activities that they engage in."

Nugent will appear by telephone on Tuesday morning to enter his plea.

He is represented by Wayne Ross, with Ross & Miner, of Anchorage.

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