A season of hoaxes and rumors

Posted on: November 12, 2015 | Bob Frye | Comments

Blog--Lawn ornamentsA hoax had homeowners in Wisconsin thinking they had to pack their ornamental deer away this fall.

It’s been a fall for hoaxes and rumors in the outdoors.

This is a personal favorite.

Someone sent out an image of a memo, on what seemed to be official Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources letterhead, via Facebook and Twitter suggesting residents were going to have to pack away their concrete deer lawn ornaments prior to Nov. 1 so that state biologists could conduct a deer population survey.

The memo was headlined “Subject: Important message from the WI DNR, Please Act NOW!”

“To the citizens of Wisconsin,” it read, “please remove any concrete deer ornaments from your lawn by November 1, 2015. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a state-wide deer count and some yard ornaments may have been counted over the past two years by mistake.”

The hoax fooled a lot of people. The Department of Natural Resources got so many calls it had to issue a press release outing the hoax for what it was.

In North Carolina, meanwhile, a hunter seeking notoriety tried to convince people he’s killed a new state record deer.

Not so.

The man, Nick Davis, claimed to have shot a 27-point non-typical buck with a bow in September. It green scored 208 2/8, exceeding the existing record by more than 30 inches.

The problem? It was a fake.

According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Davis did indeed shoot a small buck earlier this fall, albeit illegally with a rifle during the state’s archery season. But he cut its rack off and screwed into the skull in their place antlers he’d purchased from a Pennsylvania deer farm last year.

Davis is facing charges related to closed-season deer hunting and unlawful possession of an illegally taken deer for the buck.

And here in Pennsylvania, the lack of available doe licenses had people thinking conspiracy for awhile.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission issued fewer doe tags this year than last, in response to hunter complaints. The result was that many wildlife management units sold out faster than normal.

That led to some wild rumors.

On that got some traction online for a while held that doe tags in southeastern Pennsylvania were unavailable because representatives of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, had bought them up to keep hunters out of the woods.

There’s no truth to that, commission officials said.

Bob Frye is the everybodyadventures.com editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or bfrye@535mediallc.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at everybodyadventures.com.

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.