Over the past few years, Marc Anthony has become a very familiar face in the world of archery deer hunting.
The Goodfield ground hunter in the Ghillie suit who got part of his start as a writer with the now-defunct Prairie State Outdoors and later with Heartland Outdoors has gone on to pick up endorsements from top companies and speaking engagements at major events and is a writer for various major publications.
For the time being, all of that is coming to an end.
“I am pulling myself out of the industry altogether,” Anthony said Saturday. “I don’t want anybody else to be reflected in this stuff I am dealing with.”
Anthony is currently embroiled in a controversy that he said has kept him up for several sleepless nights. When we spoke earlier today, Anthony said he understood that Heartland Outdoors would probably want to cut ties with him as a result of the ongoing scrutiny. That has not happened yet, as Anthony’s posts are still active on our Website.
At issue are claims that Anthony misrepresented at least one of the bucks he has killed in the past several years. Anthony has built an industry-wide reputation as a hunter who has shot two dozen Pope & Young bucks and five that met the Boone and Crockett Club all-time minimums. And he says that 90 percent of those bucks have been killed on the ground.
There are plenty of places you can read all about the current controversy and see pictures of a found-dead buck that looks like one Anthony said he killed in 2010. Below is a comparison of the two racks floating on the Internet.
In response to questions about the controversy, Anthony said, “I am a by-the-book hunter. I don’t cheat. I am not a poacher. I have done nothing illegal.”
Anthony did recently step down from the Illinois Whitetail Alliance, which explained the move with a Facebook post that said,
In light of recent events, Marc Anthony is no longer a part of the Illinois Whitetail Alliance leadership team. We’re not here to judge Marc’s innocence or guilt, but to move forward without any unnecessary distractions to the Alliance goals.
We hope that you’ll respect the integrity of this Facebook page, and not let things get out of hand here. This isn’t the place to discuss the situation that got us to this point. The Alliance is gaining strength and credibility in its efforts to take the management of the Illinois whitetail deer herd in a new direction, and any distraction from that mission here won’t be tolerated.
We take our mission seriously. This can be seen in the Alliance proposal asking for stiffer penalties for game violations. Integrity is the part of the foundation of this group, and we should all work together to make sure we instill the highest possible standards in the hunting community we all represent.
We hope this situation doesn’t divert attention away from the fact that the Illinois deer herd is in serious trouble and major regulation changes are needed before the start of the 2014 hunting season.
Thank you all for your continued support.
IWA leadership team.
As an entity, Heartland Outdoors is not yet passing judgement. We still believe in the idea of “innocent until proven guilty.”
But these are serious, though not really criminal, charges. Mostly at issue is the ethics of deer hunting, which is often a dicey realm.
As Anthony said, “Everybody in this industry wants to hate somebody.”
For now, we are waiting to see what comes of all this.