ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service bagged singer/hunter Ted Nugent, who pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act by possessing and transporting a black bear, taken in violation of state law.
He was sentenced in federal court April 24 in Ketchikan, Alaska. Nugent, 62, of China Springs, Texas, pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count, the Department of Justice announced.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, Nugent, who stars in and produces the outdoor hunting show "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild," was filming a black bear bow hunt on Sukkwan Island on U.S. Forest Service Land.
Nugent utilized a number of bear-baiting sites between the dates of May 21, 2009, to May 26, 2009. On May 22, 2009, Nugent shot and wounded a black bear at one of the registered bait sites. Nugent failed to harvest the wounded black bear, and continued hunting in violation of Alaska state law, which counts a wounded black bear towards the hunter's bag limit of one black bear per regulatory year, it was alleged.
Nugent continued to hunt another black bear in violation of Alaska law and subsequently harvested another black bear at a bear-baiting site on May 26, 2009, which put Nugent over the regulatory bag limit for that year.
The DOJ said Nugent knew or should have known that the illegal black bear that was possessed and transported by Nugent was in violation of the Lacey Act.
The law was enacted in 1900 to protect wildlife and plants. It was the first wildlife conservation law. The Lacey Act makes it illegal for "any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law whether in interstate or foreign commerce."
Violation can result in civil fines of $10,000 per each violation or maximum criminal sanctions of $20,000 and possibly five years imprisonment
The violation was reported to the U.S. Forest Service after viewers observed the hunting violation on Nugent's show. Nugent cooperated with law enforcement and indicated that he was unaware of the state law requiring a hunter to count a wounded black bear towards his bag limit.
According to the DOJ, Nugent will be placed on probation for two years, pay a $10,000 dollar fine and $600 to Alaska for the illegally taken bear. Nugent is prohibited from hunting or fishing in Alaska and on any U.S. Forest Service land for a term of one year.
He must produce and broadcast, at his own expense, a 30 second to 60 second Public Service Announcement about a hunter's responsibility for knowing the rules and regulations of hunting. It will air for one calendar year, every other week on the "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild" television show.