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Deer Whitetail

Whitetail Expo Outs Kansas Poacher, Denies Record Claim (UPDATED)

by PH Online Editors   |  February 15th, 2012 4
Kansas buck

This trail camera photo of a buck taken in October led wildlife officials to believe David V. Kent's potential state-record antlers were taken illegally.

It’s no secret how we at Petersen’s Hunting feel about poachers, but we especially abhor those that would try to claim a long-standing state record.

And so we have David V. Kent, a Topeka, Kan., native who according to the Wichita Eagle, confessed to illegally shooting a 14-point buck after entering the antlers at last month’s Monster Buck Classic in Topeka, presented by Mossy Oak.

The antlers, which scored an unofficial 198 7/8 on the Boone & Crockett system, were the largest antlers to be entered at the event. Wildlife agents compared the antlers to trail camera photos of a buck taken in October, and determined them to be the same animal.

Initially, Kent claimed to have shot the big buck in northeast Kansas, but later admitted wrongdoing, according to a law enforcement official.

Kent faces charges of criminal discharge of a firearm, criminal hunting, illegally hunting with an artificial light, hunting outside of legal hours, illegal hunting during a closed season, using an illegal caliber for taking big game, illegal hunting from a vehicle, and hunting without a valid deer permit, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Had the deer been taken legally, the antlers would have beaten a 35-year-old record set by Dennis Finger, who shot a buck scoring 198 2/8 in 1974 in Nemaha County.

For more on this story, check out Game & Fish.

UPDATE: Kent’s trouble with the law apparently runs deeper than was originally thought. According to The Emporia (Kansas) Gazette, Kent was present on Dec. 15, 2007, when his brother, Theron Kent, 57, shot and killed 18-year-old goose hunter Beau Arndt, who was in a nearby blind with his friends. Theron Kent, who was hunting illegally, claimed he had fired a single rifle shot at a coyote on the road, accidentally hitting Arndt.

The Gazette reports that Theron Kent was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, criminal hunting and criminal discharge of a firearm, and was sentenced to 32 months in prison with 24 months supervision. In addition, Theron Kent must register as an offender for 10 years following his release, and is prohibited by federal and state law from “possessing or carrying a firearm for any purpose whatsoever, even lawful pursuits such as hunting.”

Arndt’s family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Theron Kent, The Gazette said, which accused Theron Kent of “negligence and wanton conduct.”

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