What. The. Hell.
I remember reading about this on a forum a couple months ago: Ted Nugent did a deer hunt in California and put it on his TV show, and Cali hunters were all abuzz because the episode showed him killing a spike buck (illegal here) over what looked like bait (also illegal here).
I didn't see the show, but apparently a couple California game wardens did, and now comes the news that Nuge has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor poaching charges. Read more...
Dude! What were you thinking???
Of course, some of the first comments I read on the Sacramento Bee's story (before stopping in disgust), criticized the Bee for picking on Nuge, and "Kalifornia" for having such restrictive laws. Way to show your inner caveman, guys.
The fact is, the rules are the rules. We're all responsible for knowing the rules before we hunt. And someone who's going to televise his hunt is doubly responsible.
(And not for nothing, but one of the reasons we have restrictive rules is that this is not whitetail country. Our deer are NOT that abundant. In fact, we've seen a decline in parts of our blacktail population over the past 20 years.)
Now, I can see how Nuge would get into this bind: This is the way he hunts all the time. That doesn't excuse him for not familiarizing himself with our laws, but it does show that the hunt was nothing out of the ordinary for him.
What boggles my mind is that his guide, who does live in California, not only let those violations happen, but let them happen on film. That's just flat out stupid. If you live in this state, you can't not know that it's illegal to bait, and illegal to kill spikes.
The larger problem is that this contributes to the non-hunting public's impression that we're all a bunch of poachers. If a guide and a rock/hunting TV star break laws brazenly, then what must the ordinary hunters do?
© Holly A. Heyser 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
What. The. Hell.