While much of the attention that celebrity bowhunter and former Illinois Whitetail Alliance board member Marc Anthony has received lately over a deer he claimed to have killed in Illinois in 2010, one of his other reported kills is raising more questions. The new questions are about a 16-point buck Anthony said he killed with his bow and arrow during the midday on Nov. 5, 2009, in Tazewell County, Illinois.
by Dan Schmidt and Keri Butt
In 2009, Marc Anthony allegedly shot a 240-pound buck (field dressed) at midday, trailed it, tagged it, got it out of the woods, cleaned it up, then changed into street clothes, put his ghillie suit over the top of it, had photos taken of him with the head on what appears to be a garage floor, registered the deer, wrote a blog about the hunt and posted the blog and photos 2 minutes after phone-checking the deer with the Illinois DNR — all within about three hours.
According to documents obtained by Deer & Deer Hunting through a Freedom of Information Act request with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Anthony reported an archery harvest of a 16-point buck that day. In Illinois, deer hunters are required to call in their harvests by 10 p.m. on the day they kill their deer. It takes an average hunter about 10 minutes to complete the phone-in process.
According to Illinois DNR records, Anthony phoned in his kill at 3:47 p.m. that day. In several Internet blogs and forum posts, Anthony stated that he killed the buck during a midday hunt.
In the first blog, posted two minutes later, at 3:49 p.m. on prairiestateoutdoors.com, Anthony uploaded three photos and a brief description of his hunt. In the photos, Anthony can be seen wearing street clothes underneath a ghillie suit and posing with a deer head on what appears to be a cement garage floor. There is no blood visible in any of the photos, and the deer appears to be stiff and its eyes are sunken.
“A midday hunt proved the key to catching this guy!” he wrote. “With his hormones taking over and his big brother not far behind, the only choice was him. Big brother was a bit too far for my arrow to reach and this guy would have busted me any minute by the way he was traveling, so the Muzzy Phantom found its mark! 40 yards later, the bruiser dumped about a third of his blood into the clay soil. An easy trail to follow even for Stevie Wonder.”
About two hours later, at 5:55 p.m., Anthony posted two photos and this text on the deeranddeerhunting.com open forums:
“Well, a midday hunt proved to be the key in bringing this ole’ boy to his knees. The very same buck I missed last week when my arrow hit a metal ladder stand, wasn’t so lucky today. He was following a doe and his big brother wasn’t to far behind but I had to take him out as he would have busted me within a minute or so. The rut is really on here in IL.”
Anthony added the following caption underneath the second photo:
“A fool learns from his own mistake but a wiseman learns from a fool’s mistake.”
At 8:04 p.m., Anthony was back online, posting this on the DDH forum:
“His big brother was about 165”-170” and full of mass. As tempting as it was, I had to let him go or I would have blown it. The deer in the picture above scores about 160” as a basic 6X5 with 5 stickers.”
The next day, he answered a question on the forum about the buck’s weight by stating, “He weighed about 240 pounds dressed. If he had lived another 2 weeks, he would have most likely dropped 20 pounds or so during the rut.”
He further stated that he shot the deer while hunting off the ground (still hunting) in Tazewell County. That is located directly south of Anthony’s home county of Woodford.
According to the National Weather Service, daytime temperatures for that area in Illinois were in the high 60s and low 70s on Nov. 9, 2009.
Anthony could not be reached for comment. Earlier this month, he was resigned from several pro-staff positions in the hunting industry when questions arose about a deer he shot in 2010. He was also let go from his position with the Illinois Whitetail Alliance. When asked why he was abruptly leaving the hunting industry, Anthony stated that safety concerns for his family were his top priority.
“Time for me to move on,” he said in a statement posted in his website.
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