It might be impossible to determine the extent of one deer’s effect upon the economy in Republic County, Kan., a couple of years ago, but there’s no doubt a substantial amount of cash changed hands when photographs of the animal hit the Internet.
An influx of nonresidents hungry to lease hunting ground is never appreciated by those whose bank accounts aren’t affected. Every time a local hunter sees a big buck in the back of a truck with an out-of-state tag, there will be grumbling.
The only thing residents hate worse than an outsider shooting their deer is poachers, regardless of origin. And during the fall of 2012, conditions were ripe for both.
Landowners with climbable trees earned a lot of spare change that season, including the man who owns the property Tom Hamel hunts. Tom, who lives in neighboring Cloud County, might’ve had to look elsewhere if it hadn’t been for a mostly wide-open, 80-acre pasture nobody else wanted to hunt.
Even the landown...