Kansas Hunters Push for Stricter Poaching Penalties

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David Kent of Topeka, Kansas is a poacher that has angered hunters. Kent illegally shot a 14 point buck in November of 2011. The buck's Boone and Crocket score is 198 7/8 inches, which surpassed the previous record antlers measuring in at 198 2/8 inches, a record set in 1974. Hunters are upset with the lack of consequences that Kent faces for his actions.

Kent removed a trophy buck from the field, that legitimate hunters no longer have a chance to harvest. Kent took this buck illegally, and has admitted as such. Wardens confiscated the antlers when Kent took them to the Monster Buck Classic in Topeka at the end of January. Charges against Kent have been filed and he will appear in court in March facing a fine of up to $7,000 and 18 months in jail. The eight charges also 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.

Tim Donges, president of the Bluestem Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, is promoting a penalty system similar to what’s been used in Ohio for several years. His formula for restitution value is a buck’s gross score, minus 100. That number is squared and then multiplied by $2. With this penalty there is a feeling that the restitution to the state is closer to the actual value of the deer, if this system was in place now Kent would be fined almost $20,000 for the buck he illegally took. From The Wichita Eagle.