By The Archery Wire
A New York state man who claimed to have used a bow to shoot a massive whitetail buck with a non-typical score around 226 has withdrawn the deer from possible contention as an archery state record after a sharp-eyed trophy measurer identified the deer as farmed-raised.
The Watertown Daily News reports Wayne N. Long II has subsequently been cited by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for filing a false statement in connection with the deer. An investigation by the DEC is continuing.
The story of Long's deer went viral on bowhunting websites and online forums after he claimed to shoot it on the family's farm near Watertown on Sept. 27, the opening day of New York's northern tier archery season.
In an Oct. 2 article, the Watertown Daily Times carried an article and photograph of Long and the deer, noting that its preliminary scoring of "about 220" would rank it above the current state archery non-typical record of 210 4/8.
But then, Matt Cooper, an official Boone & Crockett measurer and vice president of the New York State Big Buck Club, had the opportunity to see and score the buck at a local taxidermy shop. He asked Long a few questions about the deer and the hunt, but the story he received didn't jibe, Cooper said later. While inspecting the buck's lower jaw, Cooper estimated the deer couldn't have been more than 2 1/2 years old-far too young for a wild whitetail to grow such a hefty rack in New York state.
Cooper was convinced the deer was raised behind a high fence, and he subsequently gave Long a pair of options: either remove the deer from contention for the record or prove publicly that the deer was not farm raised. Long withdrew his request to the record books.
As a result, an article in the Oct. 3 Watertown paper contained the following lead: "There will be no spot in the record books for Wayne N. Long II, a Watertown hunter who claimed to have killed a state record buck in Rutland Corners on Thursday. Instead, he received a ticket Tuesday from the state Department of Environmental Conservation for filing a false statement."
Since that time, Long has not spoken publicly about the deer, the citation, or the ongoing investigation by the DEC.
DEC spokesman Stephen W. Litwhiler told the Watertown paper that Long was issued a citation for filing a false report instead of one for possession or transport of an improperly tagged deer, which is done for hunters who error when filling out their tag.
"This is not just a simple tagging violation," Litwhiler said.