Charges have been field against a Topeka man for poaching a deer that could have broken a state record that’s stood for more than 35 years, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
David Kent was charged in Osage County Court with about eight crimes in the Nov. 11 shooting of a large, 14-point whitetail buck, KDWPT information officer Mike Miller said. 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 time of the kill to make the score official.
The state record for a typical whitetail deer shot with a gun is 198 2/8 and was shot in Nemaha County by Dennis Finger in 1974.
Charges against Kent were filed Feb. 1 and Kent was served on Monday. What makes the case more interesting is that Kent contributed to his own arrest in several ways.
He 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 the crime, a law-enforcement source said.
This is the third Kansas buck with antlers that could qualify to be 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. Also, a typical mule deer scoring about 207 typical points is on display at Cabela’s in Kansas City, Kan. It’s about five 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 they are not making any accusations of wrong-doing with the deer.