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CJ Alexander, the Hunter Who Killed a Potentially Record-Breaking Buck in Ohio, Is Now Under Investigation

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, "wildlife officers have seized the antlers, cape, and hunting equipment associated with the alleged unlawful taking of the deer"
CJ Alexander buck 2
CJ Alexander says he killed the buck with a crossbow on a 30-acre plot of private land. Sierra Smith

UPDATE: The Ohio DNR confirmed with Outdoor Life on May 10 that CJ Alexander has been indicted on 23 criminal charges as a result of its poaching investigation. Read the full report here.

Dec. 26, 2024. Amid a recent firestorm of poaching allegations surrounding a deer known as the Alexander Buck — a potentially record-breaking whitetail killed by Christopher “CJ” Alexander — the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that they confiscated the deer from Alexander’s possession and have launched an investigation. 

According to a DNR press release obtained by Outdoor Life

Wildlife officers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife are investigating a potential record deer taken during the archery hunting season in Clinton County, Ohio. The deer was reported to have allegedly been taken by Christopher J. Alexander, 28, of Wilmington, on Nov. 9, 2023. 

An investigation was launched by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources after information was provided alleging that Alexander failed to obtain the lawfully required written permission prior to hunting on private property. 

While the investigation continues, Ohio wildlife officers have seized the antlers, cape, and hunting equipment associated with the alleged unlawful taking of the deer.

As detailed in an earlier piece published by OL, Alexander claims to have legitimately harvested the potential record breaking buck on Nov. 9, 2023 within the boundaries of a 30-acre property owned by his sister. However, the location of where the buck was killed is now under question.

Some hunting forum posters have pointed out that Alexander says he recovered his buck during the daytime, however all the published photos of the deer were taken at night. Alexander told OL that he and friend Cory Haunert had waited for Haunert’s girlfriend to get off of work before taking pictures, since she had a quality camera. 

Ohio’s Buckeye Big Buck Club secretary Mike Rex gave the buck a green score of 206 7 / 8 inches. With that preliminary score, the buck would have the potential to be the number one typical whitetail taken in the state of Ohio, and the number three typical whitetail taken in North America. 

However, due to the Boone & Crockett Club’s common base rule, it’s unlikely that the rack would have earned such a high score in the B&C books (the G-2 and G-3 tines on the left antler appear to share a common base). But besides the scoring questions, there are now significant legal issues surrounding the rack and Alexander’s hunt. 

According to Section 1531.201 of the Ohio Revised Code, anyone found guilty of illegally taking a deer over 125 inches gross score shall be ordered to pay a special restitution fee in addition to any restitution value established in division rule. This additional fine is calculated using the following formula: ((gross score – 100)² x $1.65). Should DNR officials find the Alexander buck’s widely reported gross score of 235 ⅞ inches to be accurate, Alexander could receive an additional fine of $30,462.33 if convicted.