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A 14-point whitetail deer head was removed from a state auction of illegally hunted trophy deer heads at the request of Gov. Sam Brownback’s office because of a continuing dispute over its ownership.
The Legislature asked that the state remove the deer head until lawmakers consider several issues raised by the ownership dispute, according to governor’s office spokeswoman Melika Willoughby.
The owners of the land in Osage County on which the deer was illegally shot in 2011 is fighting for ownership of the deer head, the Salina Journal reported. So far, Tim Nedeau and his family have been unsuccessful in gaining possession of the trophy head.
The Legislature is considering a bill that would require state government to give landowners first rights to buy wildlife illegally poached on their land. Nedeau testified last year at legislative hearings in favor of the bill.
“We, the landowner, do not own the wildlife. However, state statute 32-1013 states that the landowner can put up signs and/or purple paint, which means hunting with written permission only,” Nedeau said. “We have both. Therefore, we are the only ones who can hunt our land. So while any wildlife is on our land, we alone can hunt it.”
Ron Kaufman, director of information services for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, said Brownback asked the agency last week to remove the antlers of the 14-point deer from the auction.
The auction of more than 100 deer trophy heads, antlers, guns and boats brought in $90,000. One deer trophy sold for $2,950.