Fines for killing a deer illegally can vary based on the number of convictions you’ve had in the past, the size of the deer, and the method used to kill the deer. The base fine for violations involving big game in Kansas can range from the minimum of $500 to the maximum of $1,000 for a first time offense. K.S.A. 32-1032 sets the fine for deer poaching in Kansas as well as a possible jail sentence of up to 6 months and a misdemeanor conviction. For a third, fourth, or fifth conviction of illegally killing big game in Kansas, there is no maximum fine, meaning the judge could order you to pay steep costs associated with the sentence depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Additionally, the jail sentences can range from a minimum of 30 days to 90 days.
In addition to these fines, Kansas has also imposed “Trophy Fines” which vary depending on the size of the deer. For whitetail deer, a trophy buck is considered any buck with an inside spread of at least 16 inches. For mule deer, a trophy buck is considered any buck with an inside spread of at least 20 inches. When the illegally killed deer meets the trophy criteria, the fine is set at a minimum of $5,000.00. The judge could possibly order you to pay additional money, but it will at least be $5,000.00.
Finally, the State of Kansas has authorized the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to seek restitution from individuals that poach deer in Kansas that have a gross antler score of 125 or more. This formula is defined as: (gross score - 100)² x $2. For example, if you illegally kill a deer with a gross score of 160, the restitution fine would be $7,200.00
In addition to any of these fines based on the actual killing of the deer, you may face additional fines depending on the method used to kill the deer. Shooting from a public road, trespassing, and hunting out of season carry their own fines that would be tacked on to the fines listed above.
If you are charged with illegally killing any deer in Kansas, you should know that you have options. Consulting with an attorney is advised as soon as you are issued any charges in relation to illegal hunting in Kansas. Often, a plea bargain or agreement can be reached with the state that could drastically reduce the monetary amount you owe in your case. Nate Gilbert, attorney in Colorado and Kansas, has defended illegal deer hunting and poaching cases in Kansas and uses the expertise gained in these cases to help hunters assert their rights in a court of law. Consulting with Nate will help you and your family deal with the stress of illegal hunting charges and get you back on your feet.