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Hunting Kansas Trophy Bucks Whitetail

Record-Book Buck Killed By Serial Kansas Poacher

by Game & Fish Staff   |  February 14th, 2012 37
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.

You would think being witness to a horrific poaching incident that cost the life of an innocent 18-year-old boy would be enough to scare someone straight into towing-the-legal-line when it comes to game laws.

But for some, change is hard, and that’s certainly the case for David Kent.

In 2007, Kent and his brother Theron Thomas Kent, were traveling in Lyon County, Kansas — “coyote hunting” –  when they spotted what they thought was a field full of Canadian geese. The geese were actually decoys that 18-year-old Beau Arndt and friends had laid out for a hunt; the waterfowlers were in a blind near the decoys.

From the front seat of the truck, Theron reportedly fired his high-powered rifle at the geese/decoys and tragically, the worst outcome possible occurred, when Arndt was struck by Theron’s round, killing him.

Kent testified in court that he was shooting at a coyote.

According to the Emporia Gazette, Theron was charged with involuntary manslaughter, unlawful hunting, unlawful discharge of a firearm and was sentenced to three years of prison. Theron was released Nov. 18, 2010 on low-level supervisory parole.

Fast forward to the recent Kansas Monster Buck Classic presented by Mossy Oak, which was held in Topeka the last weekend of January 2012. David Kent showed up to the event with an incredible 14-point typical rack that green scored 198 7/8 inches, a score that depending on shrinkage, would potentially challenge the state-record typical buck — a monster taken by Dennis P. Finger in Nemaha County in 1974.

The massive rack naturally garnered a lot of attention and questions about where the buck was killed along with other hunt details. Kent reported the buck was taken in “Northeast Kansas” but suspicions started to arise when a trail camera image surfaced showing the buck in Osage County, located in east central Kansas, from earlier in the season.

After comparing Kent’s rack to the trail camera images of the buck, KDWPT officials determined the buck was one in the same and began questioning Kent about more specific details. Kent eventually confessed to shooting the massive buck illegally. The rack was confiscated and Kent was taken into custody.

Kent faces charges of including 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.

Dylan Polk contributed to this story

  • Kevin

    This person is the lowest of the lows, lock him up and throw away the key..

    • rlmorgan9

      I'm with you. I live in this area and know exactly how the community was effected when they kiilled Beau Arndt. They are not hunters! They are just killers looking for something to shoot or kill. When they take game like this, they puff up thier chest and brag about what a great hunter they are. They are a disgrace to outdoor sports and should never be allowed to own a gun or a fishing pole, a vehicle of any kind, have a drivers permit, vote, own property and if I had my way – be exhiled from the US.

      • mike k

        I agree. You have my vote.

      • freddio

        i would sign that petition

      • rick mabry

        I'm with you he took away someones chance to harvest this buck legally, after killing that young man he should never been granted the right to hunt again!!!!

  • MaryJane

    He should have never been able to own a gun after he killed the young man!I have had some legal issues and can't own a gun.My offense didn't even have anything to do with a gun.

    • Dave

      It was his brother that was convicted of killing the young man. Even so, this guy is a menace and should be locked up.

  • NB Mantz

    My hope is that this sick ticket will never, ever be allowed to even be around any firearms or bows, let alone possess them…and never be allowed to buy another hunting license, or hunt in any high fence preserve for the rest of his life anywhere! If he still wants to compete in something, he should take up Scrabble and enter a tournament….he just might win by correctly spelling the word which means taking game illegally …….

    • Matt

      NB, I don't disagree with you, but the problem is your talking about legal activties. People like this don't buy licenses, pay to hunt, or purchase weapons legally. I'm sure we agree on that, I'm just pointing it out. The anti's use those types of words to get laws passed to make things harder for law abiding people like I'm certain you are. Hope I haven't offended you.

  • Rock

    I have an idea that might cure this idiot of his poaching! Next year he should be forced to do community service by being forced to dress out the first 100 deer shot and brought to his local DNR station by fellow hunters so they all get to see him. And, along with a poster with a picture of the buck and story of how he robbed fellow hunters of such a great buck. After gutting out 100 deer, if he is not cured he never will be. Does Kansas have the death penalty?

    • RLS

      I agree with that — he should do community work of some kind for a a year or more, that way the state don't have to feed him, house and dress him.

    • mike k

      That's the best idea i have heard so far, but make it 1000 deer.

  • DONALD GOLD

    I live in Colorado and I just read about this poacher and his brother. First off, his brother got off too easy, no room for ignorant, lawbreaking individuals, and I hope he got sued for lots of money. Secondly, we have so many poachers in Colorado think this can get away with poaching, some do, but others get caught and for those who get caught like in this case, a liar, a poacher, a good for nothing thinking he is the greates, well to me he is the scum of the earth like his brother. LOCK HIM UP AND SEND ME THE KEY CAUSE I WON'[T RETURN IT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOLDIE

  • guest

    i say cut off his trigger finger on both hands and the adjacent finger s well so he can't fire a weapon

  • blank

    How about you make him work in a store that sells guns but have every employee knwohe can't touch the guns. Then tell the whole area about him so he has to live with everyone telling him off and work near guns but never beable to touch them.

  • http://huntingholumstyle.wordpress.com Holum

    He is lucky he lives in the USA, in Africa they shoot poachers on sight. Why not here?

    • ken

      right on

  • MoHunter

    Once a scumbag, always a scumbag…

  • Derek

    It is WAY past time for major penalties for wildlife crimes to be awarded to people like this. The wildlife is "owned" by the people in the state not by some idiot who cannot and will not obay the law. His picture and story should be in every outdoor magazine that is printed.

    • http://huntingholumstyle.wordpress.com Holum

      I'm hoping his mug gets printed everywhere too. Give him fame, just not the kind he wanted.

  • Leslie

    Charge him with everything you can, including pissing in the grass without a permit.. Money and reputation are what hurts these kind of people.. also, I'd blow up that photo of him holding that rack and post it in every available public area labeling him as a poaching weasel that is stealing from all of the honest hunters out there

  • eugene

    this man should be charged a a felon and all his hunting rights should be taken away for life he should be arrested any time he kills anything even a mosquito. lowest piece of thrash that walks on the earth.

  • jerry

    Their are places in siberia for it to do all the time.

  • Spoada

    As people have commented and I agree, that any chance of the ability to hunt, shoot, or fish is denied to him. As a Hunter Safety Instructor in New York he has made a spot in the ethics part of the class. Why he wasn't charged as and accessary to murder is beyond me. I had a person doing community service of going to hunter safety classes for 3 yrs. for his condition of shooting a house he didn't know was in the woods he shot at harvesting a deer. He lost his license for those yrs. also.
    This guy needs to be brought out behind the barn and smacked with the stupid stick(aka 2×4).

  • John

    The tragedy of the story is obviously a life was taken too soon and a trophy animal was poached…but another tragedy is the justice system will let this guy out in what? 1-3 years? Can't we come up with life in prison especially for a repeat offender like this? I wish i would see our justice system get it right for a change.

  • skeeter

    Lock him up. poaching bastard.

  • melson

    just wondering how many people that posted on this are poachers or have poached.

  • one less road hazard

    YEA, 95% OF HUNTERS HAVE POACHED STATISTICS SAY, SO YEA, ALL OF YOU SLICK ONES THAT GOT AWAY, KARMA IS A BITCH, oh, and jealousy CLEARLY is whats going on here. you people are so transparent you make the male race look stupid!!! deer killing people just reached number one in human fatalities, NUMBER ONE KILLER OF HUMANS!!! HE PROBABLY SAVED SOME LIVES YOU IGNORANT JEALOUS HATERS!!! GET OVER IT, move on, and watch out for those "hunters" that bait the deer, yea, those are the real hunters, too lazy to go out and track em the rite way, intrapment is so fair to the deer rite, THAT should be illegal, what were u waitin for landowner, the deer to die of old age so you dont even have to use a shell, your the real criminal!!!!!

    • ignorant post

      appears you are the ignorant individual. Facts are he was using firearms illegally, he witnessed his bother kill a 18 year old boy; he illegally shot this deer at night and likely had no clue what was beyond what he was shooting at! This individual is careless and should not ever be allowed to own or possess a gun.

  • the deer

    im in a better place…. let me rest in peace…

  • REALLY!!!!

    the landowner s riding the coat tails of this poor guy, pathetic!!! wants to file a civil suit, are you kidding me??? i totally agree with the last comment, your the real criminal, u baited the deer, your half to blame, do u even know how to hunt, no, not from your yard, like the big boys, tracking, suffering thru the cold, waiting hours, aiming and shooting from a tree, camoflauging to blend in with the earth, take a class, read a book, educate yourself, grow up!! better yet just stick to farming!!!

  • Nathan

    Its a shame this guy killed the deer illegally. But then again most everything is illegal these days. The commericalizing of hunting, pay out the nose for a place to hunt. Everything go's to the highest bidder. So the deer don't belong to the people anymore. I can remember when if a kid wanted to go down to the creek and hunt squirrels or rabbits with a 22, Most any farmers had no problem with it. Not any more ( LEASED). $$$$$ And they call it hunting.

  • Lewis

    We have the same type of hunter in jefferson county kansas, his name is CHAD BRANSON

  • S.C. Brown

    He kind looks like BTK!

    • Jim Bob

      I say dress him up in a !80" decoy, and let him sit out in a cut cornfield about 100 yds off a county road! Then start a rumor in the area about some giant and lets see how many poachers we can catch!!!

  • ignorant posts

    Facts are he was using firearms illegally, he witnessed his brother killed a 18 year old boy; he illegally shot this deer at night and likely had no clue what was beyond what he was shooting at! This individual is careless and should not ever be allowed to own or possess a gun.

  • Ronnie

    Yeah killing a man wrong but y’all act like when u was a kid u never seen a deer off the rd wanted too shoot it or did shoot it yeah it’s not the legal way to go but were can u find places to hunt these days I got caught once I learned a lesson I see some deer on the rd if love to shoot but hey I know what ill get if I get caught so try to hit them with your truck

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