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Poaching suspect to enter plea Aug. 30

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, August 12, 2012, at 7:41 a.m.

A Topeka man accused of poaching one of the largest deer ever killed in Kansas received a continuance in Osage County District Court on Thursday.

David Kent is now scheduled to enter a plea Aug. 30, Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones said.

Kent is accused of shooting a typical whitetail buck that unofficially scored 198 7/8 inches on the Boone and Crockett scoring system. The Kansas record of 198 2/8 was shot in 1974.

The antlers were confiscated after Kent showed up at a big buck contest in Topeka in January. He said he shot the deer during the 2011 firearms deer season in December.

An Osage County hunter attending the contest had November trail camera photos that placed the buck far from where Kent said it was killed. Authorities said Kent admitted to shooting the deer illegally.

Charges were filed Feb. 1. Jones said there have been several continuances.

Jones said the case is drawing a lot of attention because of the size of the deer, and because Kent is the brother of Thomas Kent. In December 2007, Thomas Kent illegally fired a rifle bullet into what appeared to be a flock of Canada geese.

They were decoys, and the bullet killed 18-year-old Beau Arndt of Americus, who was hiding in a blind amid the decoys while hunting with friends.

David Kent was in the pickup when his brother fired the fatal shot out the window. Thomas Kent served about two years in prison.

Jones expects the judge to insist the case be resolved by a plea or trial on Aug. 30.

Kingman Lake — It may be a week before wildlife officials begin releasing water from Kingman State Fishing Lake.

Jeff Koch, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism fisheries biologist for the lake, said last week it was being drained to kill off problematic populations of common carp, gizzard shad and invasive white perch.

At first it was thought the draining could start within a few days. Now, Koch said biologists want a chance to capture some of the lake’s northern pike.

Pike, largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish will eventually be restocked.

The lake will remain open to fishing, but only normal legal means may be used. A traditional public salvage, which allows fish to be caught about any way, will not be allowed to help ensure white perch aren’t moved to other waters.

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