Thanking the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act
November 22, 2023 •iSportsman Staff
Derek Settle’s high buck score has raised questions among the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife department. Learn about the investigation and controversy here.
Field and Stream reported Kentucky hunter Derek Settle scored the buck of a lifetime with an SCI Green Score of 311 2/8. They took many factors into consideration for this scoring. What they didn’t consider is the fact that this deer was potentially taken off a high-fence deer preserve.
An investigation into the buck is underway. Field and Stream says that one thing is certain: “Someone is not telling the truth.”
The sheer size of the buck has led many people from the start to claim that the buck is clearly a high-fence deer. However, in the area of Kentucky where Settle supposedly scored the deer, there have been reports of other, verified hunters who have taken down bucks of a similar caliber, so it is not entirely implausible that the story of this buck is legitimate.
After all, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that Settle checked in and tagged the deer…over tele check. So, Field and Stream had a fair amount of evidence that suggested that Settle’s story of taking down the buck on his own five-acre plot was true. So, they ran the story.
As soon as they published this story, there was an outlash over social media. Many hunters claimed that there was no way the buck Settle scored was a free-ranging deer. Of course, people denying the story online isn’t sufficient grounds to prove that the story was falsified.
What is enough evidence for at least reconsideration is that a deer preserve in Indiana claims that Settle got the deer from their private property. Patoka River Whitetails, a deer preserve in Indiana, reached out to Field and Stream claiming to have information that suggests that Settle took the deer from their property.
Amongst the information the Indianan preserve provided to Field and Stream was a photo of the buck on their property. Plus documentation of Settle being on their property a few days before he reported the record-breaking buck. Settle did in fact register a buck the day he was on the Indiana preserve.
Much of this information is still up in the air and has yet to be officially verified. We at iSportsman do not yet have a position on the legitimacy of the story. It should be noted that as of right now, Settle has not been charged with any violations.