A well-known outdoors writer and hunting industry personality has been dismissed of his position from the Illinois Whitetail Alliance and has stated that he will completely step away from the hunting industry. These developments come after he was accused of misrepresenting a deer he shot a few seasons ago.
by Daniel E. Schmidt
Marc Anthony, an Illinois bowhunter known for stalking deer while wearing a ghillie suit, made the announcement this past week amid Internet claims that he misrepresented at least one of the deer that he has killed in the past five years.
The issue surfaced last week when a photo of whitetail rack owned by a Kansas antler collector in 2008 was posted on an antler collecting page on Facebook. One of that page’s followers pointed out that the rack was similar in appearance and configuration to the rack of a buck Anthony said he killed in Schuyler County, Illinois, in 2010. The 12-pointer was assessed a net score of 187-4/8 inches, according to the Boone and Crockett scoring system.
Then, for the 2011 Illinois Deer Expo’s big-buck contest, he entered the near-190-class giant and won best of show.
The controversy started on May 1 when The Antler Collector Facebook page posted a photo of two whitetail racks at 8:31 p.m. The image showed the racks side-by-side on a kitchen floor. The caption under the photo read: “Folks Here is Twin Towers from KS on the right and a big KS found dead on the left. This pic is to show how Big Twin is. The deer on the left grossed around 190 typ as a typ 12 point. Twin has a main frame of 182 gross 8 and dont make book! NOW!!! Tell me what deer you would shoot ???”
After several posts by users stating they thought each rack was impressive, a comment was made by a user by the name of Dan Cole of Fargo, ND. Cole wrote, “Not sure how I should go about this, but here goes…why is that rack so familiar to this one? More than coincidence?” He then posted a photo of the deer Anthony claimed to have killed in Illinois in 2010. Mike Charowhas of The Antler Collector page responded to Cole’s comment by stating, “HOLY COW !!!!!!!! DAN. That’s the deer,” inferring it was the same rack that he once owned.
At 11:44 p.m., Charowhas added this comment to the thread: “I’m still trying to figure out who I sold it/traded it/etc too. But I will say this, I bought the head on 8-24-2008 from a fella in SE KS bought that rack and misc sheds. …”
Deer & Deer Hunting contacted Anthony via email three times this week and asked him to comment on the situation. Although he offered several comments, he did not directly answer questions about whether he misrepresented that or any other deer he has killed. “I’ll guarantee you if I say, ‘I didn’t do it,’ they’ll say I’m a liar. If I say, ‘Yes’, I’ll be called a scumbag,” Anthony wrote in an email. He also wrote, “I can tell you I always hunt by the book, have never been arrested for trespassing, poaching, tag violations or any other violation ever.”
When pressed on the matter, Anthony stated that he has received threats and hate mail, and is concerned they will continue if he addresses specific questions on the situation.
“For the record, I denied all accusations from everyone who accused me only to get more threats and hate mail,” he wrote after being asked by D&DH if he did or did not surgically place a deer’s rack on another deer. “My point, (because I think you’re missing it or I didn’t make myself clear before), is “I” want to readdress this issue when “I” think the timing is right, not a third party,” Anthony continued.
“I simply don’t believe the timing is right, and I’m in no rush as [my family’s] safety is my number 1 concern.” When asked why someone would threaten him or his family over a deer, he replied, “I’m not sure why people get mad and want to do this kind of crazy stuff to me and my family! You tell me!!! Like I mentioned before, this is insane. This is from all of the attention recently, not from the past.”
In a press release posted on its Facebook page, the Illinois Whitetail Alliance issued this statement: “In light of recent events, Marc Anthony is no longer a part of the Illinois Whitetail Alliance leadership team. We’re not here to judge Marc’s innocence or guilt, but to move forward without any unnecessary distractions to the Alliance goals. “We hope that you’ll respect the integrity of this Facebook page, and not let things get out of hand here. This isn’t the place to discuss the situation that got us to this point. The Alliance is gaining strength and credibility in its efforts to take the management of the Illinois whitetail deer herd in a new direction, and any distraction from that mission here won’t be tolerated.”
Anthony’s name and reputation as one of America’s top big-buck hunters gained steam in the 2000s after he allegedly arrowed five white-tailed bucks that netted Boone and Crockett. It was also publicized that he killed more than two dozen deer that met the qualifications for the Pope and Young Records program.
Recently, Anthony was a regular contributor to North American Whitetail. However, all of his online articles have since been removed from that website. For the last three years, Anthony has written a blog at www.nontypicalhunter.com. He has also written for numerous mainstream hunting magazines and websites, including regular articles for bowhunting.net. He was a frequent contributor to the open user forums at deerandderhunting.com from 2009 to 2011. He was associated with numerous manufacturers of hunting products, and his name was associated with the Marc Anthony Bushrag Ghillie Suit.
As reported in a 2010 article in Mathews Bowhunting Whitetails on his hunting style and tactics, Anthony claimed to have killed more than 80 percent of his deer while bowhunting from the ground while wearing a ghillie suit.
UPDATE: MAY 7, 2014, 10:47 AM:
Illinois whitetail hunter and Illinois Deer Alliance member Don Higgins has made a public comment on the Marc Anthony situation. This was posted on Higgins’ website.
“I am extremely disappointed to learn of the situation involving Marc Anthony and his possible involvement in fraudulent/illegal/ unethical hunting activities. I have long been a strong advocate of the highest ethical hunting practices and have condemned illegal and unethical hunting rhough various venues for many years. When I wrote and published my latest book, “Real World Whitetail Icons … In Their Own Words,” I believed that Marc also felt as strongly as I do about this issue. For this reason I invited him to be one of the authors featured in this book.” Higgins went on to say: “I have never spent a single minute in the woods with Marc Anthony. I do not know the truth or details regarding any of his hunts or the bucks he has tagged. Only Marc knows these things. It is not my place to judge or condemn him, but I will never condone unethical or illegal hunting practices from anyone. I will remain a strong and loud voice on this issue of hunting ethics and fight for tougher penalties for game law violators just as I have in the past.”