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Ted Nugent Pleads Guilty to Illegally Shooting and Transporting a Black Bear in Alaska

The Anchorage Daily News reported over the weekend that Ted Nugent signed a plea agreement in which he admitted to illegally shooting and transporting a black bear in Southeast Alaska in 2009.

The agreement states that Nugent, 63, will pay a $10,000 fine, face two years’ probation, create a public service announcement about responsible hunting to run on his show “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild” every other week, and will be banned from hunting or fishing anywhere in Alaska and on any U.S. Forest Service land nationwide for one year.

All of this stems from a black bear hunt Nugent took in the Tongass National Forest in May 2009. During the bowhunt, Nugent either grazed (Nugent’s and his lawyer’s interpretation) or wounded (Alaskan authorities interpretation) a black bear. The bear was never recovered. Four days later, Nugent shot and killed a different bear. This series of events appeared on his television show. Federal authorities argue that the filmed incident clearly shows that Nugent exceeded his bag limit for Game Management Unit 2 by killing the second bear. When Nugented transported the bear off federal land in a boat, he violated the Lacey Act, which prohibits the sale and transport of illegally harvested wildlife and plants.

Despite signing the agreement, it’s clear Nugent and his lawyer, Wayne Anthony Ross, have issues with the area’s hunting regulations.

“They’ve got apparently some crazy law in Southeast that says if you even touch an animal with an arrow, it becomes your animal,” Ross told the Anchorage Daily News. “He looked to see if he had hit it and didn’t believe that he’d hit it fatally.”

Ross further added that Nugent was unaware of the five-year-old law change and that he and his friends made every effort to find the bear after finding a spot of blood where the bear was hit.

“There wasn’t any blood trail that they could find,” Ross told the newspaper. “There was a little blood apparently at the spot, but nothing that indicated the bear was hard hit. The bear didn’t die. He only took one bear.”

This is the second time Nugent’s television show has gotten him in trouble. In 2010 Nugent pleaded “no contest” in California to charges of baiting deer and having an improperly signed hunting tag.