Seen this horse yet? It's the latest mystery monster making the rounds (or maybe its second or third round) in cyberspace. Depending on which source you reference, the buck pictured was killed in Maine or maybe in Ontario and weighs 400, no 414, no 440 pounds. The resounding question is: "Is this photo for real?" After a little poking around and a couple of dead ends, I wound up on the phone with Shorty Flees of Wisconsin's Wilderness Whitetails Game Farm and Preserve.
"Yes, it is a legitimate buck. I mean, we are a high-fence operation--I want to be clear about that--but this is a real buck," said Shorty. "It was taken last September and weighed 420 pounds live-weight--the heaviest deer that's ever been shot on our place. In fact, your readers can go on our website and watch the video of the hunt.
"Our client hunted this deer for 11 days. We'd had very warm weather and this buck just would leave his bed in a cedar swamp during the day. But it finally cooled off, and the hunter caught the buck making its way from the swamp to a food plot. He was so pumped, he just went nuts. He was kissing the deer."
Last fall, Wilderness Whitetails clients shot 38 bucks over 200 inches, including one 340-incher. Now, whether or not you call high-fence hunting "hunting" is a separate question, which you're welcome to address in your comments. (Would you take a free hunt at Wilderness Whitetails?). But the answer to the question so many people seem to be asking is yes, the photo is for real. Check out their promotional video.