Ted Nugent Explains Guilty Plea for Illegal Bear Hunting in Alaska

Glenn Beck interviews Ted Nugent regarding the “illegal hunting” charges he recently plead guilty to in Alaska.  Beck & Nugent

Just in From Ted:

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Not a day goes by where an American outdoorsmen doesn’t confide in me that due to the increasingly complex, illogical hunting and fishing regulations across the nation, that it would not surprise them that they have unintentionally violated a game law at some point in time.  Other outdoorsmen routinely express their frustration about regulations that serve no purpose and cannot possibly be explained in terms of wildlife management.

America is increasingly drowning in just such strange, goofy regulations and requirements.  As logic crusader John Stossel recently exposed, our federal government releases roughly 80,000 pages of new regulations each year, confusing, ambiguous, weird illogical regulations that serve no meaningful purpose other than to feebly attempt to justify bureaucracies already off the rails. It’s way past bizarre. 

The “you don’t need to read it, you just need to sign it” health care bill argued before the Supreme Court was almost 2,000 pages long of extraordinarily complex rules and regulations.  Sarcastically, Supreme Court Justice Scalia stated that reading the bill was a violation of the 8th Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause.

Regrettably, state hunting regulations have also been ravaged by the over-regulation beast. In Alaska, the hunting regulation book is 128 pages long.  The Alaska trapping regulation is 48 pages.

Alaska is not alone.  Numerous other states have seen incredible expansion of their hunting regulations over the past few decades.  In Texas, the summary of hunting and fishing regulations is 85 pages.  The hunting regulations in California are roughly 140 pages long.

Even with an increasing mountain of often confusing and complex hunting and fishing regulations to abide by, sportsmen have a legal and ethical obligation to know and abide by these regulations, no matter how goofy they may be. I have said this for decades and will continue to do so as we fight to make them sensible.

I have hunted in Alaska for almost 40 years.  It is a spectacular, beautiful place that offers incredible big and small game hunting cherished by sporters from around the globe.

In 2009, I returned again with my sons to Alaska to hunt black bear. What I was unaware of is that the specific region where I hunted had a new and unprecedented requirement that a bear hunting tag was considered to be “filled” even with a non-lethal hit on the animal. For sixty years, every “tag” regulation in every state and Canadian province has declared that you tag the animal upon taking possession of the animal.

The first arrow I shot on that hunt was obviously a non-lethal shot where the arrow literally glanced off the animals rib, as seen clearly on stop action video.  The bear leapt, stopped, looked around, and slowly ambled off, confused but unhurt by the disruption.  After diligent effort by my son and I, we were convinced that this bear was alive and well. We then continued our hunt and ultimately killed a beautiful black bear.

I filmed the entire hunt including the first non-lethal arrow and put it on my television program Spirit of the Wild on Outdoor Channel for tens of millions of viewers to witness.  Airing the hunt on television proves beyond all doubt that I had no willful intention to violate any hunting regulation.

Was I negligent in not knowing the Alaska bear hunting rule for the specific region I hunted that year?  Absolutely.  For my negligence, I have been charged with a violation and I pled guilty. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only person ever charged with violating this new, unheard of law. Lifetime AK hunters, guides, outfitters, even the resident judge at my hearing were unaware of such an unprecedented regulation.

While I disagree with Alaska’s requirement that a tag is considered to be “filled” even on a non-lethal hit, that was the requirement at the time of my hunt. Had I known of that requirement, I would not have hunted that region because I fundamentally disagree with it, and I certainly would not have hunted another bear.

I have promoted the grand, honorable hunting lifestyle all of my life and will continue to do so.  Hunting, fishing and trapping are the epitome of true conservation.

What I also pledge to American outdoorsmen is to work to repeal onerous, unscientific, counterproductive rules and regulations that make no sense such as the seven states where hunting is banned on Sunday, making 50% of the season illegal for the average hunting families in those states.  Idiotic laws such as these are a hindrance to real conservation and the critical need for recruiting new hunters. Such arbitrary laws serve no scientific purpose that benefits the management of wildlife value whatsoever.

The outdoor lifestyle cannot be preserved for future generations of sportsmen by constructing such a labyrinth of confusing, unscientific and oftentimes counterproductive regulations and rules. Reversing this trend is my focus.

While I have never intentionally violated a hunting regulation, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and I am truly sorry, and have paid dearly.  There is even less of an excuse for ignorant laws.



8 Responses to "Ted Nugent Explains Guilty Plea for Illegal Bear Hunting in Alaska"

  1. Mike Tomano   2012/04/30 at 4:46 pm

    There is obviously a movement to target Ted Nugent. If one could silence Ted, there would be no pro-gun or pro-hunting views presented in the mainstream media. Ted Nugent dedicates his life to preserving our Constitution. Ted’s message is needed now more than ever. The hunting collective need not only rally behind Ted, but thank him for his gargantuan efforts. Good Hunting, MT

  2. Zan Christensen   2012/04/30 at 6:41 pm

    My goodness. That AK bear shot at rule is pure BS!

  3. Collin Cottrell   2012/05/01 at 1:19 am

    What a joke! WE STAND WITH YOU TED!

  4. John MacLennan   2012/05/01 at 2:57 am

    Outrageous. Another example of the slow erosion of hunting rights here in the land of the free by the Great Left Machine………… this is disgusting on so many levels.

  5. John MacLennan   2012/05/01 at 2:58 am

    Outrageous. Another example of the slow erosion of hunting rights here in the land of the free by the Great Left Machine………… this is disgusting on so many different levels.

  6. Norfolk Boy   2012/05/01 at 7:18 am

    Well, seems like you did right Ted, Glad to hear the story from the horses mouth. I wonder, do fines from this sort of thing go back to the Department of Conservation (or what have you) or do they go into the .gov’s general pot?

  7. Rich Walton   2012/05/02 at 12:38 pm

    Ted has been the clearest, most avid voice for America over the past 20 years. He stands for everything America was founded on; personal freedom and personal responsibility. He believes in the Constitution which endows us with certain unalienable rights from our Creator, which was done by design. Our Founding Fathers knew if the gov’t gave us these rights, some future gov’t could take them away. Which is exactly why the Obama and the liberal establishment is trying to shred the Constitution and discredit and discount Christianity. If they can push the belief in God away, then there is no Creator from which the Constitution was based. We are in a fight for our very basic freedoms which is why we all need to stand behind Ted 100%. This isn’t about some obscure, nonsensical game law. It’s about shutting up and discrediting a voice of American Freedom. Don’t be fooled. There is nothing the unscrupulous left would like more than to shut Ted up. We can not, under any circumstances allow this to happen.

  8. Gene Galitz   2012/05/06 at 7:57 am

    I agree Ted! This instance just goes to show how important it is for sportsmen and sportswomen to stay informed with what’s taking place in the government, both local and on the Federal level. People need to remember that any time congress or any other legislative branch is in session YOUR FREEDOMS are in jeopardy!
    Gene Galitz