Kansas man accused of poaching deer that would have broken state record

02/09/2012 5:00 AM

02/10/2012 5:54 PM

Charges have been filed against a Topeka man accused of poaching a deer that could have broken a state record that has stood for more than 35 years, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

David Kent was charged in Osage County Court in connection with the Nov. 11 shooting of a 14-point whitetail buck, Wildlife and Parks information officer Mike Miller said Thursday.

Charges include hunting with an artificial light, hunting during a closed season, illegal hunting from a vehicle and the use of an illegal caliber for deer hunting.

The buck has been unofficially scored at 198 7/8 inches of antler on the Boone & Crockett system.

The deer was measured by an official scorer, but hadn’t met the requirement for a waiting period of at least 60 days after the kill to make the score official.

The state record for a typical whitetail deer shot with a gun is 198 2/8 by Dennis Finger in Nemaha County in 1974.

Charges against Kent were filed Feb. 1, and Kent was served court documents on Monday, Miller said.

Kent brought the antlers to public attention at the well-attended Monster Buck Classic last month in Topeka, where he said he had killed the deer in northeast Kansas.

Photography surfaced at the show placing the buck alive, in Osage County, earlier in the fall. Wildlife agents compared the photo to the antlers and determined it was the same deer.

Kent was taken into custody and the antlers confiscated shortly after he was recognized as having brought the largest typical antlers to the event.

He confessed to shooting the deer illegally, a law enforcement source said.

This is the third Kansas buck with antlers that could qualify as a state record that isn’t officially recognized.

A typical buck that scored 199 7/8 was shot by a rifle hunter in 1999.

It was confiscated when it was learned the non-resident hunter used a relative’s resident permit to tag the animal.

A typical mule deer scoring about 207 typical points is on display at Cabela’s in Kansas City, Kan.

It’s about 5 inches larger than the state record, but Wildlife and Parks won’t certify it as the state record because there’s no record of the person listed as the hunter having a permit for the listed year.

Miller said the department is not making any accusations of wrongdoing in the shooting of the deer.

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