A black bear in Alaska was illegally killed by former rock star turned reality TV celebrity Ted Nugent. Ironically enough, his reality TV show is called Spirit of the Wild, but killing one bear illegally and injuring another is hardly any behavior one would call “from the spirit.” Nugent’s bear hunt was captured on video and broadcast on his show. The two crimes: one was the shooting and the other was the transporting of a black bear off of federal property. There were actually two hunts he participated in. In the first, he shot a black bear with a bow and arrow injuring it, but he said he thought he missed. Some time later he shot and killed another one, and then took that bear off federal property.
Nugent wrote on his website, “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.”
He has received various punishments for his illegal actions, including a $10,000 fine, two years of probation, public service in the form of recording PSAs about responsible hunting, and a one year ban on hunting and fishing in Alaska or any U.S. Forest Service land.
He might have been charged with violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade of animals which have been illegally killed, sold or transported. Violating this law can result in one year of imprisonment and stiff fines. It was passed by President McKinley in 1900, and has been amended several times. In its current form it is a broad piece of legislation used to combat crimes against wildlife.
Black bear hunting is a very dubious activity, considering they are no threat to humans and have a mainly vegetarian diet.
Image Credit: Harvey Barrison, Wiki Commons