Ted Nugent pleads guilty to illegal bear killing, dropped from military concert
Ted Nugent has reached a plea deal over the illegal killing of a black bear in Alaska, which will bar him from hunting or fishing in the state for a year.
The news comes about a week after the 63-year-old Detroit-born classic rock musician made headlines for ranting against President Barak Obama at a National Rifle Association convention. His words spurred a meeting with the Secret Service and recently, got him dropped from a military concert at Fort Knox.
Nugent is a renowned guitarist who rose to fame in the 1980s with the group Damn Yankees and is now equally known for his political views and rants against the current Democratic leadership. The gun owners' rights advocate is also a reality star - he has an Outdoor Channel hunting reality series called "Spirit of the Wild."
Nugent shot a black bear during a bow-hunting trip in 2009 and filmed the segment for his Outdoor Channel reality show, "State of the Wild." He had wounded another bear days earlier and failed to find it. According to state law, hunters can shoot only one per year. He pleaded guilty to the shooting in a plea agreement he signed with federal prosecutors on Friday.
They say he used several baiting sites on U.S. Forest Service property to lure the animals and transported the second bear on a boat despite knowing it was illegal. His attorney told The Anchorage Daily News that Nugent was unaware of the laws.
The plea deal calls for Nugent to be banned from hunting or fishing in Alaska for one year, be on probation for two, pay a $10,000 fine and film a public service announcement about the legalities of hunting and broadcast it during his show. He signed the agreement on April 14 and is expected to enter his plea to a court over the phone on Tuesday so a judge can approve it.
The outspoken-right wing classic rock musician and guns rights activist has been making headlines for more than a week after he ranted against President Barak Obama at a National Rifle Association convention. His words spurred a meeting with the Secret Service.
Nugent had said he will "either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if Obama is re-elected in the November election and also called on his fellow Republican voters to channel "Braveheart" and "ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off" at the ballot.
Scores of people had weighed in on Nugent's rant, which went viral, on Twitter, with some perceiving it to be a threat against the president. Nugent denied it was. Two Secret Service agents later chatted with him about the incident and the agency said the issue was resolved.
Nugent was subsequently dropped from a U.S. Army summer concert at Godman Army Airfield in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was supposed to perform at the June 23 event, along with classic rock bands REO Speedwagon and Styx. The groups are still on the lineup.
"After learning of opening act Ted Nugent's recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation," said a message posted on the official Facebook page of Fort Knox. Refunds have been offered.