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Antelope Island Mule Deer Taken 2011: $265,000 Worth

This is the first time since the state of Utah took ownership of Antelope Island in 1981 that mule deer and bighorn sheep have been taken through a hunt. It was big news earlier this year at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo when the high bid to hunt mule deer on the island went for a staggering $265,000. That winning bid went to WD Martin.

The evening of November 15th, WD Martin shot one of the super bucks located on the island with the help of Mossback Guide & Outfitters. This monster buck is 39-inches wide and scores 240 gross (if not broke). This 240-class mule deer was part of the reason this tag went for so much as speculation grew of just how big of a buck was going to surface when the hunt finally arrived. In addition to the auction tag, there was also a single draw tag hunter who would also get a chance to hunt. Brad Kendrick was the lucky hunter who drew the tag and followed it up with another spectacular 240 class non-typical mule deer (if not broken would have score 245 gross).

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Antelope Island Mule Deer

WD Martin with his 240-class auction tag buck that is 39-inches wide. WD paid $265,000 for the tag and a chance to hunt Antelope Island for a trophy buck

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Antelope Island Mule Deer Picture

Brad Kendrick was the lucky hunter to draw the lone mule deer tag in 2011 on the Island and connected on this beautiful 240-class buck nicknamed 38 Special

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Antelope Island MapThe hunts were approved last summer on a one-year trial basis, with the requirement that 90 percent of the money from the auctioned tags be used for wildlife habitat improvements on the island. Of course when you throw in the combination of auction tag, big money, big bucks, and an area not hunted in decades, you are going to have controversy.

Miles Moretti, president of the Mule Deer Foundation, which helped auction off the tag, clearly stated that the money raised will not be going to the infrastructure of the park but is to be truly used for on-the-ground projects to improve wildlife habitat.

In addition, there was also a bighorn sheep auction tag hunt that sold for $50,000 on the island as well.

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arrow9 Responses

  1. 35 mos, 1 wk ago

    who the h##l calls this hunting it shows just how our state manages wildlife its not for wildlife it for the money now is this right H##L NO!!!!!! ITS NOT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT. sad but so true its why we have such screwed up hunting because of management IT SUCKS BAD

  2. E. Martin
    35 mos, 1 wk ago

    Not much of a hunt when they stocked these unsuspecting animals for months! These animals have been protected. The animals are used to people and have not worried about being hunted before in the lives. I believe in hunting for consumption but am disappointed that they allowed any hunting on the island. Shame on the Park Service!!!

  3. Jimmy
    35 mos, 1 wk ago

    That looks like the deer my kids hand fed when we were out there on vacation last year :-)

  4. M Jackson
    35 mos, 1 wk ago

    Agree. When hunting becomes a sport for the rich, it will soon end for all. We are not crackpots who are envious that someone else gets an opportunity that we can’t. Rather, we are average hunters who provide the bulk of support for wildlife who have found ourselves living in a time where it is next to impossible to live a hunter’s life. Hunting in Utah has become a sick joke… ever since some have discovered how much money they can make off of it. These photos and this post from David King are a disgraceful shame.

  5. 35 mos, 1 wk ago

    I am just posting what is going on. Don’t kill the messenger. This is a huge topic right now and is a highly searched for post. Good or bad, agree or disagree, people want to know what is going on.
    Thanks for the discussion though.
    David King

  6. M Jackson
    35 mos, 1 wk ago

    Understand. Didn’t mean to offend. This is a sore spot for a lot of us and we don’t like to see our way of life destroyed. To make matters worse, the “record books” allow animals like this to be listed and ranked. They also allow animals harvested via guides, animals taken on private property, and those from special drawings. All of this contributes to the wrong course for hunting.
    When they make it so the common man cannot hunt, hunting will cease to exist (legally).

  7. Nosaj
    33 mos, 2 wks ago

    Being such a big part of life “Rifle Buck Mule Deer” since I was 5 years old. Watching this sport/passion change throughout the years. I’ve seen the price for a general tag go up, the number of tags go up while the quality & quantity of the game diminish, unless you you have $$$. Working at a large sporting goods company here in Utah I have seen it first hand. Since when did $$$ = state/world record game? A six figured tag buys you a state/world record (Spider Bull)? $265,000 dollars gives you a world record animal? Your bank account shouldn’t give you a state /world record. I know 90% of the tags cost goes back to the DWR, but like I said I haven’t seen any improvements to the hunt. And when did paying an outfitter to send Calvary to scout and corner your game become hunting? Anyone, correct me where I’m wrong, But when did this garbage become the hunt in Utah?

  8. chris
    31 mos, 2 wks ago

    I hear both sides of the argument… with that being said, let me remind everyone that there were 2 deer killed on Antelope Island. One for the highest bidder ($265K) and the other for whatever the price of a special draw is, (I dont know, cause I havent drawn one yet). Point is, the other was a tag for the common man.
    @Nosaj;
    I also would like to point out, that the “spider bull” was running around on public/special draw unit/private property and was missed by several DIY hunters with general season, and special draw tags before the elk was finally killed. The fact that Doyles client (guy with the statewide Elk tag I believe) harvested the Spider bull is just another indication of how good Doyle and his crew really are. I get so sick of listening to all the haters, all of the time. Some people just have a level dedication that is so far above and beyond your average man that most people cannot even imagine it. They have make it about money/politics/cheating etc… to make themselves feel better about their own lack of passion/committment to hunting/outdoors. The spider bull came down to 2 things….. HARD WORK and DEDICATION. Period. As far as having people scout and spot, and help you out on a hunt being part of the hunt in utah, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY, and if you dont have any help, you should try it out some time, that is what the hunt is about whether with Mossback, or on public land DIY hunts….. This is not garbage, this is the magic of “the tradition of hunting”…

    Quit hating, and focusing on things so outside of your own control, and start worring about things you can have an impact on, and then, go out and do something about it.

  9. scott
    24 mos, 3 wks ago

    Wow- sounds like a lot of sour grapes! This is an awesome buck and I admit I am envious. If I had that kind of money I would do the same.

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