Last month during the Kansas Mossy Oak Monster Buck Classic held in Topeka, wildlife authorities got suspicious of one of the entrants for the Big Buck Contest – a giant 14-point buck that threatened the state record which has stood for more than 35 years.
The event, which looks to promote the sport of hunting, showcases the latest gear and gadgets specifically designed for the deer hunting enthusiast. One of the largest attractions is the display of antlers, where the hunter who takes the state’s biggest buck can earn not just notoriety, but prizes as well. It was here where Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) officials confiscated the rack and took hunter, David Kent, into custody.
Kansas hunter David Kent, along with the antlers of the buck in question, were taken into custody at the Mossy Oak Monster Buck Classic.
Kent claimed to have taken the buck while hunting public ground in northeast Kansas. However, with the use of trailcam photos, KDWPT officials determined the antlers came from a buck that lived as recently as this fall in Osage County, many miles from where Kent claimed to have taken the buck.
This trailcam photo was used in identifying the giant Kansas buck, showing it alive in Osage County this last fall.
Following an investigation, Kent was charged on February 1st in Osage County with eight separate counts relating to a November 11th shooting of the deer. The charges include hunting with an artificial light, hunting during a closed season, illegal hunting from a vehicle, and use of an illegal caliber for deer hunting.
If the charges are true, this would be the third time since 1974 that the Kansas state record typical has been threatened – all three of those bucks taken illegally.
The current Kansas state record typical whitetail scores 198 2/8-inches, taken by Dennis Finger in Nemaha County in 1974. Kent’s deer measured 198 7/8-inches.
Due to the nature of the case against David Kent, resident Kansas hunters are crying for steeper fines and harsher punishments on all future poaching cases. Do you agree with them?