Fact Check

430-Pound Buck Shot in Michigan?

Photograph claimed to be a 430-pound buck shot in Hartford, Michigan.

Published Nov 18, 2014


Claim:   Photographs shows a 430-pound buck shot in Hartford, Michigan in November 2014.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2014]

A 430-pound buck was shot in Hartford, MI, yesterday. True?


Origins:   The photograph displayed above, purportedly showing a 430-pound buck killed by a hunter, made its way around the Internet yet again in late 2014.

Although the photograph is real, the same can't be said for the descriptions that often accompany it. Since 2009, the image has been shared via message boards, e-mail, and social media, along with various claims about the buck's weight and location. While the buck above has been rumored to weigh anywhere from 400 to 500 pounds, the most recent iteration claims it to be a 430-pound buck. The location of the deer also frequently changes: Over the years, rumors have placed the animal in both Maine and Ontario, while the current rumor claims the buck was killed in Hartford, Michigan.

The truth is the buck shown above was killed at a high-fence game farm in Wisconsin called Wilderness Whitetails in September 2009, and the photo seen here can be found in that game farm's trophy gallery. While no official weight was listed for the kill, wilderness preserve owner Shorty Flees told Field and Stream Magazine in 2010 it was a 420-pound buck:

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. It was taken last September and weighed 420 pounds live-weight. The heaviest deer that's ever been shot on our place. 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 updated:   18 November 2014


    Hurteau, Dave.   "Hurteau: 420-Pound Buck Was Killed on Game Farm."

    Field and Stream.   9 February 2010.

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