Pigman found himself on the end of a game violation ticket, and he approached the situation the right way: by taking ownership of his mistake.
If you've ever hunted out of state, you know the hassle of getting licenses, correct tags, and having all your ducks in a row. With the travel and everything that comes into play, it can be overwhelming.
Well, now, imagine you're a very recognizable outdoor personality who hunts in 35 States and seven different countries, airing 160 episodes in front of millions of people. A lot of factors come into play and there are many ways to slip up and make a mistake. It's a matter of time before it happens. We are all human and we all make mistakes.
That is exactly what Pigman did this year when hunting in Oklahoma.
Pigman hunted turkeys with a 5-day Non-Resident license instead of an Annual Hunting License, which is illegal there.
On May 9th, Pigman released this statement to all his fans on his social media platforms, giving them insight to what happened and how it happened and ultimately taking complete responsibility of the mistake. In an industry where we all work as a team, it is encouraging to see someone of this stature take accountability and facing up to a mistake instead trying to shove it under the rug.
Today I plead guilty in Oklahoma to a game violation for hunting with an improper license, which led to a violation of section 5-411B "possession of wildlife not legally taken." In October of 2016 on an Oklahoma Whitetail hunt, the outfitter had been seeing a flock of turkeys on camera. I asked if I could harvest one for meat and he obliged. I made the mistake of having the outfitter tell me what I needed instead of looking for myself and I purchased a 5-day Non-Resident Hunting License instead of an annual Non-Resident Hunting License, which is required to harvest a turkey. Last week, after the show aired Sunday night where I shot the hen turkey with my bow, I was contacted by an Oklahoma State Game Warden and notified that he had cross-checked my license purchases with my hunt and found me to be illegal. That was my first knowledge that I had screwed up, but I did the right thing by owning up to it and accepting responsibility. Today I drove up to and met the Warden at the Canadian County court house, paid my $972.25 fine and drove back home to Texas. I gotta be honest that I'm disappointed in myself for buying the wrong damn license and not verifying myself that it was the right one to buy. I'm extremely sorry to all of my sponsors and fans for letting you guys down. There's no excuse for breaking the law, no matter how inadvertent or honest the mistake is. So please let this be a lesson for those of you that hunt all over the US or in other countries, please take the time yourself to make sure you're 100% good to go - even if it means calling a local Warden before you hunt. As many times as I try to incorporate Game Wardens on my show for the TV police, I slipped up on this episode and it bit me. I'm very sorry guys and gals. God Bless. - Pigman
On top of the message, Pigman also released a video apology for the incident.
When hunting out of State or anywhere, make sure YOU know the laws and rules and YOU have researched the situation yourself and you aren't just going by what someone else had told you.
Kudos to Pig for handling the situation the right way, heading to Oklahoma to pay his fine, and showing us what it looks like to take control and accept your mistakes with some accountability.