In a recent website post, Marc Anthony suggests the world-class buck he claimed to have shot in Illinois in 2010 was not faked and that he chose not to address the questions because of alleged threats to him and his family.
Anthony’s carefully worded and sometimes rambling response, released nearly two weeks after this story broke on social media, still leaves several direct questions unanswered. Anthony was a well-known celebrity in the deer hunting industry. The comments have been posted on a website called nontypicalhunter.
By Keri Butt
In the response, Anthony states: “Here it is in a nutshell: I never purchased antlers from a Kansas dealer and installed them on my buck. There were a few other innocent people involved with this story when I shot the buck, but because I didn’t want them to have to go through the same garbage I was going through, I protected them.”
Also in the statement, Anthony said the buck’s antlers looked crooked on its head because the deer was underweight and had an infection. He did not directly address the question that Deer & Deer Hunting posed to him earlier in May: if he ever misrepresented this or any other deer he has shot. He also did not address questions on whether or not the rack was a reproduction.
Anthony closed his website post by stating he was going back to focus on his construction business.
He has not responded to recent interview requests.
Earlier this week, North American Whitetail posted a video interview of Anthony with a head mount of the buck in question. The video was filmed several years ago. In the interview, Anthony gave information on how he hunted for, and eventually killed, the buck. He also made statements on how he meticulously used trail cameras to track the buck before he killed it.
On Oct. 15, he wrote this description of the hunt:
“Here’s what happened: I found a brand new place to hunt this year, which was about 100 miles from where I live. The first thing I did before even looking at the property, was go online and get a satellite image of the farm. Being an early season hunter, I picked out three places that had a solid food source, water source and heavy cover all within 200 yards of each other. From there, I drove to the farm and placed a trail camera at each location. 2 weeks later, I checked the cameras. One was a complete dud and the two others, were productive. In 2 more weeks, I checked them again and found the dud was still a dud and the other two were very active with mature bucks. I later realized that the “dud” area was actually a very good place to be during the rut because of all of the past seasonal tree shredding evidence, etc. I’ll probably work that area during the rut. Anyway, I decided to study the trail camera pictures and attempt to decide which way these bucks were coming from. I went back to the farm and placed a camera on both sides of the original active camera to see which way these bucks were traveling. In a few weeks, I found one area was consistent with buck activity and the other side wasn’t, so I moved the 2 cameras even farther in the direction the bucks were coming from, leaving the original camera alone. To make a long story short, I patterned about 80% of their route. I might have been able to get their entire route captured but it went off of the property line. Remember, you can only pattern them like this during the early season!
“When it came time to hunt, I set-up on different locations along this route, depending on what the wind was doing. If I had no action in a few hours, I would still-hunt the route (but not the entire route) based on the wind. I never wanted my scent to blow toward the route. I almost had this guy last week but nature took over in shape of a squirrel who spooked him off of his path and away from my arrow. With last week’s weather change, I was right on top of the action and happened to be in the right place. I would like to note that I was in the timber for over 100 hours this season already, so there’s work into this type of hunting! In fact, I was beginning to second guess myself mid-way thorough because of all of the time I was away. When your hobby turns into work, it’s time to back off. …”
An exhaustive search of Anthony’s many articles and online posts about this buck revealed no trail camera photos of the deer when it was alive.
When a Facebook post went viral on May 2, Anthony immediately “parted ways” with Bear Archery, in which he was a pro-staff member. He was also listed as a pro-staffer for Muzzy Broadheads, Vital Gear, Natural Predator, Non Typical Hunter and several other companies. Anthony was also a member of the Outdoor writers Association of America.
In the wake of the accusations, Anthony was also dismissed — he did not resign as previously reported — from his position with the Illinois Whitetail Alliance. Later that weekend, he stated he was leaving the outdoors industry “forever.”
Several individuals have claimed that Anthony bought the rack in question and inserted it — or a faux reproduction of it — on a buck. He won the 2011 Illinois Deer Classic “best of show” award for the buck.
A Warden’s Take
Steve Beltran, a conservation officer with the Illinois DNR, said cases like this are difficult for law enforcement because there can be such a drive by some members of the hunting community to “take down” those with high profiles, for some reason. “It gets hard to sort out the truth,” he said.
Beltran also mentioned that simply altering or changing out antlers or a cape isn’t technically a crime.
“Hunters do that all the time,” Beltran said. “However, if a person has illegally taken an animal, which would include falsifying harvest records, and if that person is still in possession of that animal, there is no statute of limitations. This would establish reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause for us to seize the animal in question and conduct a full investigation.”
When questioned if the DNR had followed up on the accusations against Anthony, Officer Hank Fraser said, “We are aware of this situation. I know a couple of our officers have reached out to Anthony for answers, but I am unaware if they’ve actually made contact or not. If there is an investigation, we are certainly not going to tell the press about it.”
Fraser made the suggestion to contact the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to “see if they are doing anything.”
FOR MORE ON THIS STORY: