Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

The story of the trophy deer shot in the dark by a poacher may finally be reaching its end.<BR><BR>The photo of a guy holding the head of a monster buck flew around the internet a year ago. <BR><BR>Two hunters were charged with six counts of illegal hunting, including night hunting and trespassing, for killing a trophy white-tailed deer.<BR><BR>Gary W. Stroughter, 54, of Baton Rouge, and Samuel F. Stroughter, 74, of Prairieville, both of Louisiana, were charged with the crimes.<BR><BR>The deer was killed north of Dryden, Canada on November 10, 2003.<BR><BR>The animal that was killed has been the subject of considerable media interest due to the size of its antlers. The deer was seized by conservation officers.<BR><BR>Last week we found out the buck’s head and antlers have been mounted and will now be on display.<BR><BR>This is what we received from our friends north of the border:<BR><BR>A new Ontario record has been set by a deer illegally killed north of Dryden in November 2003. The 18-point rack of the deer, known as the “Dryden Buck,” was scored 192 7/8 typical white-tailed deer by an official Boone and Crockett Club scorer.<BR><BR>Because the deer was killed illegally, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has made the decision not to register it as a record and therefore, its ranking will remain “unofficial.”<BR><BR>“This could have been a memory of a lifetime if the hunter had taken the deer legally,” said Bryan Merritt, MNR’s Dryden District Enforcement Supervisor. <BR><BR>“Instead the deer was forfeited to the Province of Ontario by the courts after the hunter who killed it was convicted of night hunting, trespassing and abandoning meat. This hunter demonstrated a complete lack of respect for the ethics and laws that hunters know are important in ensuring the future of wildlife populations.”<BR><BR>The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), which has ownership and control of the mount, has loaned it to the Dryden District Museum where is it currently on display.<BR><BR>At least this story has a happy ending…well, except for the deer.