For those of you who have yet to hear, Ted Nugent, the 61-year-old rock icon turned hunting show host, was recently in the news for violating nearly a dozen game laws while taping an episode of his show "Spirit of the Wild" in California.
Nugent reportedly hunted over an attractant called "C'Mere Deer," which California does not allow. He also took a spikehorn with his bow in an area with antler restrictions.
The episode of Nugent shooting the young buck aired on the Outdoor Channel in February, and California game wardens viewing the show were quick to notice Nugent's violations.
He was originally facing 11 charges, but agreed to a deal with Yuba County prosecutors this month under which he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and agreed to a $1,750 fine.
While some may chastise Nugent - who has long championed ethical hunting practices - for not knowing local laws, I would hope the majority can look past this err in judgement.
Ted Nugent has been a positive force among sportsmen and gun activists for decades, fighting for rights the antis claw at every day. His unselfish ways with our military, the disabled and our nation's youth are well documented - a fact he should be commended for.
In this age of broken promises and double talk, Nugent isn't afraid to speak his mind at the risk of being politically incorrect.
He says the things the majority of us are thinking but are afraid to put in print and has sent many a bunny hugger scurrying down the hole from which they emerged.
For this, I think ol' Uncle Ted deserves a "C'mere Deer" salute.
Moreover, I would hope folks consider the circumstances surrounding Ted's case before passing judgement.
While I know neither Ted or I would ever advocate breaking game laws, I think many game wardens would readily admit there is plenty of ambiguity and grey area in some.
I have never understood, for example, why it is legal to hunt over a food plot or on the edge of a cornfield or apple orchard but not near an attractant made of these very same materials.
I've watched from a treestand as deer crunched away on freshly fallen apples, but rake those same apples into a pile and you're breaking the law.
I mean, what if you mow your food plot and the deer are browsing on the clippings you dumped over the bank?
I suppose that would be illegal, too.
Or, what if you cut down an oak tree laden with acorns. Could that be construed as feeding the deer?
Seems like a lot of subjectivity there.
Some states define products like "C'Mere Deer," "Deer Cane" and "Acorn Rage" as attractants, and they are therefore legal to use, while others - like New York - classify them as feed. In New York, it is illegal to feed deer in any way, except, of course, if it is the aforementioned food plot, corn field or apple orchard.
But lures and calls that trick a deer into looking for love and airborne scents, like the "Buck Bomb" scented fogger - also marketed by Acorn Rage - are perfectly legal.
Perhaps I can help. According to state lawmakers, if it is an attractant that might "entice a deer to feed" you'd better leave it on the shelf at Gander Mountain.
Call me crazy, but I might argue that a can firing acorn flavored scent at 100 mph into the air could "entice a deer to feed."
Meanwhile, poor old Uncle Ted is being ridiculed for using a product in California he uses all the time in his home state of Texas, where it doesn't exactly seem to be decimating the deer herd.
I've got one thing to say to you, Ted: I bet the backstraps were worth the $1,750.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications, a licensed Adirondack guide and tracker and an avid outdoorsman. His column appears regularly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.