Fact Check

30 Point Buck!

Photographs show a 30-point buck shot by a 14-year-old Amish boy using a longbow?

Published Dec. 8, 2008


Claim:   Photographs show a 30-point buck shot in Wisconsin by a 14-year-old Amish boy using a hand-made longbow.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, December 2008]

Thirty point DEER

Shot by an Amish boy with hand made long bow:

This buck was taken by a 14 year old Amish boy near Dalton, WI.

He used a hand made long bow and made the killing shot by stalking the huge buck using corn shocks for cover. The boy's family would not allow him to pose with the trophy animal for pictures so a nearby neighbor, Willie Flacid posed and is also acting as spokesman for the Amish boy.

According to Flacid, the Amish family has already received several offers from outdoor sporting companies to purchase the trophy. No dollar amount has been announced yet, but according to Flacid, 'the amount of money being offered is enough that no one would ever be hard up again.'


Origins:   This is another case of real photographs being shorn of their original context and forwarded around the Internet with added fictional details. The references to "Willie Flacid" and "no one would ever be hard up again" mark the text as a joke, and the information about the buck pictured having been killed in Wisconsin by a teenaged Amish boy using a hand-made longbow is inaccurate.

The first photograph displayed above (we're not sure who is posing in the other two) shows a deer taken with a crossbow on 30 September 2006 by John Schmucker (an adult) in the Amish community of Wheat Ridge in Adams County, Ohio. The buck had been well known for years among a small community of hunters in that area before Schmucker finally brought it down:

The Amish buck had a home and John Schmucker knew his address. Having observed the old buck for the past three years, the buck had grown in both size and notoriety.

Knowledge of the buck was a little kept secret within the Amish community on Wheat Ridge in Adams County. Only a few hunters outside the Amish community knew of the buck's existence, and they weren't talking, either. It became the secret of Wheat Ridge, spoken only within the hushed gatherings of a few local Amish deer hunters who had personally seen the old buck and its magnificent rack.

Schmucker's feat caused quite a stir across several counties:

Word spread fast throughout the small tightly knit Amish community that the big buck had been taken. "For three days solid I had a lot of people over here," said Schmucker.


called a neighbor to help take the deer to a checking station in Peebles. When John returned from the check station a large crowd of people had gathered. "I could barely get in the driveway," said Schmucker, "as soon as we got in and got the deer out of the truck everybody was right there taking pictures and admiring the deer. It was about 11:30 that night before I could finally skin the deer out."

For three days people came from all over Adams County and neighboring counties to see the massive buck that John Schmucker had taken, as word of the big Amish buck spread rapidly across the local deer hunting community.

According to the Georgetown News Democrat, the buck was eventually scored as follows:

The big non-typical buck that John Schmucker took on opening day of bow season in Adams County has been officially scored and will rank among the top whitetails of all time.

After the required 60-day drying period, a panel of scorers from the Buckeye Big Buck Club and Boone & Crockett scored the deer at Schmucker's residence on Dec. 1, officially releasing the score at a media event held at the Division of Wildlife's District Five office in Xenia [the next day].

According to the panel, the Schmucker buck scored a whopping 291-2/8 Boone & Crockett points after deductions, with a gross score of 300-6/8 making it the number two whitetail in the state and the largest ever taken with a crossbow in Ohio.

The item reproduced in the "Example" box above appears to be an altered version of an account similar to the one found here.

Last updated:   11 December 2008


    Cross, Tom.   "The Amish Buck."

    The [Hillsboro] Times-Gazette.   10 October 2006.

    Cross, Tom.   "Schmucker Buck Is Scored."

    The [Georgetown] News Democrat.   3 December 2006.

    Harp, Ed.   "Bow Opener Produces Another Record Buck."

    [Ohio] Outdoor News.   24 October 2006.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.