not mn monarch

Dan posted this enormous rack on Facebook yesterday and asked: Has the mystery of the Minnesota Monarch been solved?

The Minnesota Monarch was a legendary buck that roamed the remote woods of northern Minnesota in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A man picked up his fresh sheds (picture below) in 1990; they had 39 points and net-scored around 334 inches. If somebody had shot this deer in the fall of 1989 it would have been the highest-scoring wild buck ever killed by a hunter. Those antlers still rank #1 in the shed record book.


But then the Monarch vanished. There is no evidence that a hunter ever shot him. People speculate that the deer died of old age…or was eaten by wolves…or maybe fell through thin ice on a lake and drowned. But nobody knows for sure, and this massive rack has never been seen again.

Still hasn’t. Come to find out, the rack that Dan posted is not from the Monarch, though it has some similarities, especially if you envision it as a rack several years later as the buck was going downhill. But the top rack is apparently off a game-farm deer, and the story goes it sold at an Iowa antler auction this spring for $1,100.

Twenty-five years, and the mystery of the Minnesota Monarch lives on.