Don’t Hunt Near the Road…
|Kansas Poacher Gets Light Sentence After Killing 190-Class Buck
Posted: 05 Sep 2012 06:52 AM PDT
by Scott Bestul
Back in February, we brought you the story of David Kent, a Kansas man accused of poaching a giant Sunflower State whitetail. Kent was confronted by wardens after bringing the antlers of the buck–a 190-class typical that threatened the state record–to the Monster Buck Classic in Topeka last winter. The wardens were tipped off by a Kansas hunter who had trail cam photos of the buck that were taken 100 miles from where Kent claimed to have killed the deer. Kent eventually confessed to the crime and has now been sentenced, according to the AP story.
Kent’s punishment included 30 days in jail to be served on weekends, a $1,500 fine, and $8,000 in restitution to the landowner. In addition, Kent will lose his Kansas hunting privileges for five years, and the buck’s antlers, as well as the rifle Kent used to poach the buck, are now state property.
We discussed appropriate punishment for poachers just a few weeks ago after the case of Minnesotan Ryan Jackson was settled. I felt Jackson’s punishment was appropriate. But Kent’s strikes me as a little light. Weekend jail time seems too convenient, and while $9,500 in fines is nothing to sneeze at, there are extenuating circumstances in this case: In the fall of 2007, David Kent was in a vehicle with his brother, Thomas, when the pair spotted what they thought was a flock of geese–but was actually a spread of decoys–in a field. Thomas fired into the flock with a rifle and killed 18-yea-old Beau Arndt, who was hiding in the spread. Thomas served two years in prison for Arndt’s death. While David wasn’t charged in the case, one would think that such a horrific tragedy would have made a lifelong impression on him. Apparently it did not, and I’m highly skeptical that a few weekends in jail and a little lost money will do anything to rehabilitate this serial violator.
WTF. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.