The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism announced eight charges against David Kent of Topeka last week for poaching a monster-sized 14-point buck on Nov. 11 in Osage County. The eight charges include criminal discharge of a firearm, illegally hunting with an artificial light, hunting outside legal hours, hunting from a vehicle and using an illegal caliber to shoot big game.
Despite the fact that the 198 7/8-inch buck would have been a new state record, Kent was not charged with poaching a trophy-class buck, because state law says a whitetail buck must have an inside antler spread of at least 17 inches to be considered a trophy. Kent, who admitted to illegally killing the deer, faces a maximum fine of $7,000 and 18 months in jail if convicted. He is scheduled to appear in Osage County Court on March 1.
Game wardens confiscated the antlers on Jan. 29 when Kent entered them in the first ever Mossy Oak Monster Buck Classic. Needless to say, Mossy Oak was not thrilled about Kent or the type of publicity he’s brought to the event.
“We’re in favor of as stiff of penalties as we can get for poaching, especially for animals like this. The world-class animal will never get its justified place in whitetail history and some (law-abiding) hunter won’t get that thrill. It’s just a shame all the way around. We need to be setting some examples with people,” Brian Smith, Monster Buck Classic president, told the Wichita Eagle.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who agrees with Smith 100 percent. Do you? Comment below.