I don’t know how many of you caught this but The Nuge has made the news again and this time it is in South Dakota. Apparently Nugent went pheasant hunting on a private hunting preserve (Dakota Hills Shooting Preserve) before appearing at a Second Amendment rally sponsored by Citizens for Liberty, which is a Rapid City tea party affiliate. According to Kevin Woster, a reporter for the Rapid City Journal, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is investigating whether Nugent violated South Dakota Game & Fish law by hunting in South Dakota. Apparently, South Dakota and California are part of a multi-state cooperative agreement that if a person is convicted of a game violation AND HAS THEIR LICENSE REVOKED they cannot hunt in states that participate in the agreement (which is a good thing).
Now, let’s get this straight—the agreement specifically states that the person convicted of the game violation must have their license revoked. After reading everything I could locate on Nugent’s California episode I cannot find anything stating that Nugent had his license revoked. I am not saying that he didn’t, I am saying that I can’t find anything that indicates he did! So, if Nugent did not have his license revoked in California then he DID NOT violate South Dakota laws.
What I am reading in the Rapid City Journal is a deliberate attempt to discredit Nugent and the Second Amendment rally’s organizers. Whether the investigation began with the GF&P launching an investigation on its own, or being prodded into the investigation by outside sources is the core of the argument. Unless Nugent’s lawyers were crafty enough to have a significant portion of the punishment levied against Nugent buried and hidden from the public record then this entire case is MaCarthyism harassment targeting Nugent to discredit hunting (and the Second Amendment Rally) by discrediting Nugent. I have not had time to pull up any of the past writings of the author for a credibility check but this new episode in the life and times of Ted Nugent reads like skunk stink. If you are interested in the link to the story, here it is. http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_793b6f6e-e0ab-11df-afa1-001cc4c002e0.html.
If I am correct in my assertion, that this issue is skunk stink, how do we, as members of the hunting community, deal with this? Do we turn our backs on it, comfortable in the knowledge that if Nugent did nothing wrong in South Dakota the issue will quietly go away, as most do? But what if the investigation turns up a real violation? What if Nugent did have his license revoked and it was somehow kept out of the press and now we learn an ugly truth? Do we ignore it and hope it goes away, which is the usual course of action.
My answer is “No!” to both results. If it turns out that a case of MaCarthyism harassment was leveled against Nugent because he was in Rapid City to participate in a Tea Party like movement and the action was intended to somehow discredit him—then everyone who participated—from the GF&P employees to the Rapid City Journal must have their feet held to the fire of legal and moral inquiry and suffer the appropriate legal punishment and a lesson in morality spanking. If it means that some GF&P employees lose their jobs because of their malfeasance then let it happen. If a newspaper reporter loses his job for participating in the “creation” of a story to manipulate public opinion, let him join the unemployed.
On the flip side of the same token, if Ted Nugent did have his lawyers hide part of his punishment from the public view and then did knowingly violate South Dakota GF&P law, then he must be excommunicated from the circle of hunting communicators. Past good works are no salve for present misdeeds.
The traditional course of action for the hunting community, in either case, is to pull the wagons a little tighter, huddle under the tarpaulins and ponchos and wait for the storm to finish blowing, and then see how much was lost, and then try to go on as if nothing happened. That approach is counter-productive. For once let’s see the outdoor community flex its muscle and be willing to throw a few punches at the villain—whether in our camp or the other.
10 months ago