Kirt Darner and his wife Paula go on trial in January for several Big Game related violations, one of which is for tranquilizing trophy Elk in New Mexico and then transporting them to a Ranch where huge fees would be charged for hunting them.
This seems to be the end of the line for the once popular "legendary" big game hunter and guide. I say "legendary" simply because now all his Big Game kills are questionable, even if they were legitimate. Hunters can be an unforgiving crowd, and rightly so. Fool us once, shame on you - fool us twice, shame on us. Many of us don't give game law violators a second chance.
Whether found guilty or innocent, it seems the final hand has already been dealt by the Boone & Crockett Club when the removed his Non-Typical Mule deer from the books.
When the B&C club notified Darner that they wanted a hands-on examination of the rest of his B&C entries, Darner notified the Club to remove them all, which they did.
The big Mule Deer in questions had already been listed in the B&C Club, it was killed back in the 40's.
I remember when the articles first started coming out about Kirt Darner. At the time, I had a subscription to Outdoor Life and soaked up every story I could find about Kirt. I, like many other deer hunters I'm sure, dreamed of one day getting a chance to take one of those big racked Mule Deer.
Kirt Darner's claim to fame at the time was that he'd killed more B&C Mule Deer than anyone else.
He appeared in ads for Remington's Model 700 and made the Outdoor show circuit giving seminars and lectures. If memory serves me correctly, he had a few deer hunting products that he pitched also.
It's sad if you stop and think about it. Many people who actually knew him claims the guy really does know a lot about trophy Mule Deer. From all accounts I found, the guy could have been a genuine Trophy Mule Deer expert and probably made a living by consulting and selling products. Unfortunately for Mr. Darner, not many of us will believe him or want to have anything to do with him nor will any company want to endorse him or his products after this.
Rich LaRocco, the Outdoor Writer who penned both of Kirt Darners books, has distanced his self from Darner. Can't say that I blame him. According to this article about Kirt Darneron LaRocco's website, Mr. LaRocco actually had a hand in bringing some of the discrepancies in Darner's stories to light. This led to closer scrutiny of Darner's claims which finally led to the truth about his B&C entries and their delisting from the Record Book.
Kirt Darner now joins another club in the Outdoor industry, one that isn't quite as rosy. The members of this club have names such as Noel Feather, Tink Nathan and Roger Rothaar to name a few. It's the Club of Famous Hunters who let their ego and greed bring them down. We as Hunters turn our backs on such a club and rightfully so. We need to be the ones policing our own sport. If we don't, then the general public will.