kansas deer hunting

What is the Fine for Poaching a Deer in Kansas?

 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.

 

Can I Fight a Kansas Hunting Violation?

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Receiving a Kansas hunting violation is never a pleasant experience.  Whatever the circumstances and whatever the reason, hunters facing charges for hunting mistakes face an uphill battle.  When you do receive a hunting violation in Kansas, you should know that you do have options and possibly defenses. You may just pay the violation or choose to fight it, and though the choice may seem simple enough, neither should be taken lightly.

If you do receive a hunting violation, you may choose to just plead guilty and pay the fine.  You should understand that paying the fine is pleading guilty to the charges and waives any defenses you may have had.  You won’t be able to come back later and try to reopen the case to fight the charges.  Whatever charges you plead guilty to will be on your record and you could even lose your hunting privileges.  Some charges may actually involve jail time, and pleading guilty could have you facing serious time away from your job, family, and friends behind bars.  However unlikely for hunting violations, you should understand that it is a possibility for some offenses.

That being said, choosing to fight a hunting violation is not a decision that should be taken lightly.  The process of fighting the charges of illegal hunting can be long and somewhat draining.  Hearings, motions, negotiations with the State, arguments, and possibly even a trial can be a daunting thing for someone unfamiliar with the justice system to face. 

The best thing you can do when you receive a Kansas hunting violation is consult with an attorney.  Nate Gilbert, a Kansas native, outdoorsman, and attorney has built a practice dealing with Kansas hunting violations and defending hunter’s rights in courts in Kansas as well as Colorado.  Consulting with Nate when you receive a hunting violation is free and will help determine the best options for you and what defenses you may have available.  

Can I hunt private land in Kansas that is not posted? Kansas trespassing, criminal hunting, and written permission laws.

Many hunters from across the nation will be converging on Kansas towns in the coming days for pheasant and quail opening weekend followed quickly by the rifle deer seasons.  While some may have family farms to return to or other private leases to hunt, others will be trying their hand on public lands and looking to find other private land that may be available.  The laws concerning where you can hunt are crucial when looking for that new honey-hole, especially for non-resident hunters unfamiliar with the nuances of Kansas hunting regulations.

Hunters may not hunt private land in Kansas without permission, even if it is not posted.  “Criminal Hunting,” is defined as hunting private land or water without the owner’s permission in statute K.S.A. 21-5810.  If you find private property that does not have signage saying “No Trespassing,” you still must determine the owner and get their permission before hunting the property.  This is different than some states with earlier pheasant seasons that hunters may be accustomed to, such as North Dakota.  Unless the land is clearly posted as public ground, such as Kansas’ “Walk In Hunting Area” land, you must have the permission of the owner before hunting there.

Purple paint is legally recognized as "No Trespassing" in many states, including Kansas.

Purple paint is legally recognized as "No Trespassing" in many states, including Kansas.

Where property IS posted, hunters in Kansas must carry written permission in their possession while hunting.  Kansas statute K.S.A. 32-1013 states that posted property in Kansas, that has signs saying any variation of “No Trespassing,” “No Hunting,” or “Private Land,” requires all hunters who are on the property to have written permission.  Verbal permission from the owner of the land, no matter how long you’ve known the owner or have hunted the property, is not enough and will result in trespassing tickets for your group. Purple paint on posts, fences, or trees surrounding the property also counts as “posted” property for the purposes of this statute.  Essentially, if there are signs or purple paint on the property you are hunting, you must have written permission to show the game warden if asked.

If you receive a trespassing ticket, you have a few options and should consult with an attorney before simply pleading guilty and paying the fines.  Nate Gilbert, attorney in Colorado and Kansas, grew up in Kansas and has defended trespassing charges for hunters in both Colorado and Kansas.  Drawing on the experience Nate has in dealing with these charges, a consultation with Nate will help you determine your best course of action and whether you have any defenses available.