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Ted Nugent Convicted Under Obscure Alaska Gaming Law

Rock star and gun rights activist Ted Nugent pleaded guilty earlier this week to fish and game violations in Alaska. The rocker will pay a $10,000 fine, serve two years of probation, and is banned from hunting in Alaska or on U.S. Forest Service lands because he killed a bear after wounding another bear that he failed to capture.

Nugent killed the bear in 2009 for his cable TV show, "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild," on Sukkwan Island in Southeast Alaska. Under Alaska law, there is a single-bear bag limit per regulatory year and a wounded bear counts toward that limit even if it is not caught. Nugent therefore violated Alaska law by killing the second bear after failing to catch the wounded bear.

This case highlights how confusing and obscure poaching and game laws can be. Nugent, his lawyer and even the judge who accepted his guilty plea were all unaware of Alaska's "one strike" bagging law.

"It probably is not widely known, and if there is a side benefit to the agreement reached here today - since apparently newspapers are interested in Mr. Nugent and his doings - this probably will serve to alert a great many hunters to that very issue and may, in fact, prevent violations in the future and court activity for a whole slew of folks," the judge said.

"I would never knowingly break any game laws," Nugent told the court. "I'm afraid I was blindsided by this, and I sincerely apologize to everyone for this."

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Ted Nugent Pleads Guilty to Killing and Wounding Too Many Bears," Purna Nemani, April 23, 2012; Associated Press, "Ted Nugent pleads guilty in illegal AK bear kill," Rachel D'Oro, April 25, 2012

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