John McCoy is the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette’s award-winning outdoors writer. His "Woods & Waters" page appears weekly in the Sports section of the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
In 32 years of outdoors writing, John has had articles published in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Bowhunter, North American Whitetail, Hatches and other publications. His works have earned more than 50 state, regional and national awards for writing and photography.
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When are poachers going to learn that the truth eventually finds its way out? Wildlife law enforcement is so good, so effective nowadays that it has become a fool’s errand to even attempt it.
From the Associated Press:
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka man has been charged with poaching a 14-point whitetail buck that could have broken a state record that has stood for more than 35 years, authorities said.
David V. Kent was charged Feb. 1 in Osage County with eight counts related the Nov. 11 shooting of the deer, said Mike Miller, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. 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.
Kent was served court documents Monday. A message left at Kent’s business Friday was not returned.
The Wichita Eagle reported that the deer was unofficially scored at 198 7/8 inches of antler on the Boone & Crockett system. Although it was measured by an official scorer, it hadn’t met the waiting period of at least 60 days after the kill required 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.
Kent brought the antlers, which he said came from a deer killed in northeast Kansas, to public attention at the Monster Buck Classic last month in Topeka. He was taken into custody and the antlers confiscated after he was recognized as having brought the largest typical antlers to the event.
Wildlife agents have compared the antlers to a photo that surfaced showing the buck was alive in the fall in Osage County. Agents believe the antlers came from the same deer.
This is the third Kansas buck with antlers that could qualify as a state record that isn’t officially recognized.