A hunter paid an astronomical $310,000 for the privilege of hunting a Utah mule deer because the deer in that state are made of platinum and gold nuggets. Ok, not really.
He purchased the hunt because the money will go to a great cause, and he’ll have the chance to take a monster buck.
Idaho hunter Dennis Austad (you may recognize him as the hunter who took the world record elk in 2008) was the winning bidder for a buck mule deer tag on Antelope Island this fall at the recent Western Hunting & Conservation Expo held in Salt Lake City. Ninety percent of Austad’s winning bid will be used for habitat and conservation work at Antelope Island State Park. The remaining funds will be retained by the Mule Deer Foundation, which auctioned the tag, to help with its mission to restore, improve and protect mule deer and blacktail deer and habitat. Mule Deer Foundation CEO Miles Moretti told the Salt Lake Tribune about auction. “That’s a record for all deer hunting permits,” He said. “The last record was $265,000 for a Utah statewide mule deer hunting tag.”
Antelope Island State Park Manager Jeremy Shaw told the paper that this influx of cash would be used to purchase and plant 10,000 bitterbrush seedlings.
“Bitterbrush is like ice cream for deer; they love it,” Shaw said. “Sagebrush is important in hard winters for deer and pronghorn. It helps them get through rough winters.”
This extreme donation was not Mr. Austad’s first time to pledge money to deer habitat however. Doyle Moss, owner of Mossback Guides and Outfitters explained, “Denny really enjoys the unique experience of hunting the island. Denny has said many times he is willing to pay more money because it is used for habitat.”
Thank you for putting your money where your passions lie Mr. Austad.