In August I received this trail camera image from a nice man who was excited that this caliber buck had popped up on his land, and he wanted to share the image with the BIG DEER bloggers. I called it “the biggest trail-cam buck of 2012” and posted it. A few days later I got this email from the same fellow:
If I would have had any idea how much trouble posting this photo would cause, I never would have done it. We were excited as this was the first evidence we had of the buck being on our property. Everyone in the area has known about this buck for the last couple of years. Now that the buck has broadened his range, it seems a couple of people have their noses out of joint.
I have thick skin and can take being called out on your blog, but what happened yesterday crosses the line. I received a call from our renter (the farmer that rents the crop and hay ground from us) and he was extremely upset. He had two messages on his answering machine threatening him, his farm machinery and his home. I respectfully request that you remove the photo from your blog. This is not worth someone getting hurt or equipment and property being damaged. I would be glad to keep you filled in on how this plays out.
I pulled the photo immediately. Why some misguided souls would cause trouble and cast threats over a big deer is beyond my comprehension; that is so far from the true meaning and spirit of hunting that I just don’t understand it. But, sadly, big racks turn some people mad...and it hurts our sport.
Well, now the good news. I got this third email from the nice man:
Hi Mike: I told you I would keep you up to speed on this deer... We did not get any more trail cam pictures of him, but I received this last night from our renter. The buck was shot by his son on a property adjoining ours on Friday. The only thing that would have made me happier is if I would have shot it myself. But he is a good young man and I think it's fitting after all of the problems this buck caused his dad with the vandalism threats, etc. Now that it's all said and done I can tell you that the buck was shot in Harrison County, Iowa about 2 miles west of the little town of Magnolia. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this buck in the next couple of weeks.
This is one of the coolest, biggest wild deer of 2012, and yes it will be big news. I’m really glad for the hunter. But somehow the sad saga of nasty talk, threats and pettiness has taken some of the luster off it for me. Still, great job man. And to the nice fellow who shared this monster with us first back in August, many thanks. comment