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What’s a Monster Buck Worth?

December 10, 2015 - Larry Claypool
What is a ‘buck of a lifetime’ worth? And as a hunter how do you handle the hoopla, possible endorsements (money) and attention you will receive from killing a monster buck? I guess we’ve all thought about that. But have you REALLY thought about it? And what is the right way to handle this instant fame, and can you make money from it? The money aspect may be further from your mind, but greed can have a snowball effect with friends and business people tossing dollars figures your way, from pure speculation. This came to my attention recently when an Ohioan claimed a ‘monster buck’ — a possible record breaker —  but didn’t want to tell his story to one of our writers because he ‘has commitments to fullfil until February 2016’. Why is that? What does that mean? That’s what I asked. I guess there’s a few good reasons. And it’s probably not anyone else's business, including mine. But, I’m going to guess there’s money involved. As I told the writer who made the request for the hunter’s story, I’d say someone’s dangling money in front of this hunter. And that’s still OK. All hunters are different, and what motivates each of them is their business. Is killing a monster buck a game changer? It might be. I guess it depends on how ‘monster’ the buck is. I posed this question to Ohio Valley Outdoors Pennsylvania Field Editor and longtime contributor Ralph Scherder. He’s a veteran hunter and has been a taxidermist in PA for several years. He’s seen a lot of big bucks come through his shop. Scherder said there’s a few reasons a hunter may want to wait to tell their story. In the Ohio hunter’s case Scherder said he may want to wait until the 60-day drying period is over so the antlers can be officially scored. Scores DO matter. And, secondly, there could be some media outlet involved. “Money talks and bs walks, I guess,” said Scherder when I asked him about this issue. “That's part of the problem with society, and it's infiltrated the hunting industry to the point of ridiculousness. I see it in the taxidermy shop at least once per year. Somebody gets a huge buck or giant bear. Next thing you know they start talking about Cabela's or some other high profile company being interested in buying it or paying for the mount — which they never do, by the way. But still, hunters have this fantasy about making loads of money off of one kill.” This magazine has documented many large record book-type big bucks, and I hope we eventually get the story about this ‘monster’ buck. It does remind me of “The Beatty Buck”, taken by Ohioan Mike Beatty in 2000. Mike admitted the record 304 6/8 non-typical brute he took with a compound bow changed his life. Note: We also did an update article in 2011 (July/August issue) about the 10-year anniversary of Beatty harvesting the buck. Scherder actually wrote that story. “My career in the outdoor industry was launched overnight,” Beatty told Scherder. Beatty went on to become a popular public speaker and founded his own hunting video production company, Tag’d Out, and offers hunting DVDs, apparel and game calls. Find him online at: www.tagdout.com. Did Beatty ‘get it right’ after killing his monster buck? I’d say so. And not because he’s been successful. He probably will tell you that he made a few mistakes along the way, but that’s life. Let’s hope other hunters who follow with ‘monster kills’ will do the right thing. We can’t wait to read their story. This is a great sport! Stay tuned!

 
 

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