Throughout the history of hunting, we have never had a deer send a lasting shockwave through the entire community like the Rompola buck. Splitting the industry in half and creating more questions than answers. This infamous buck sits center stage when it comes to the most controversial whitetails ever to surface.
Whether you think it is fake or it is real, there are several aspects when it comes to the deer and Mitch Rompola himself that are quite contradictory. We narrowed it down to 3 facts about the Rompola Buck saga that stand out.
Listen to the full discussion:
#1 – Mitch’s Numerous State Records
Mitch was synonymous with one of the hunters that looked up to the challenge of hunting Northern Michigan. His friends had called him Swampaster and he had a reputation for shooting big whitetails on a consistent basis.
It’s even reported, he held the Missouri state archery record, and then he topped his own record again after a few years. Although after doing some digging, I cannot locate any literature to confirm these records.
The former Commemorative Bucks of Michigan state record was also shot by Mitch Rompola in Grand Traverse County in 1985. That buck scored 181 7/8 B&C, but On November 2, 2012, Robert Sopsic topped that record by 2/8 of an inch for the new state record archery buck. It was clear Mitch had a reputation for being a successful big-buck hunter.
What are the odds of a singular hunter having not one, not two, but three state records and a world record to his name. a quick glance at any whitetail record buck shows a list of names, but very few names on those lists have multiple records. In a state like Missouri, it could be possible but highly unlikely, but to do it in a high-pressure, low-age class state like Michigan? it seems a little fishy to me.
#2 – Mitch’s Desire To Be A Left Alone
Less than a week after the reported kill, Mitch got an unlisted phone number and dropped out of sight. Two of his most vocal critics in Michigan each had put up $10,000, which they said Mitch could collect if he’d just have the rack X-rayed and enter it into B&C. But not even that could spur the man into action.
What’s contradicting about this is the fact that before Mitch killed the infamous buck, he was building a reputation in the industry with magazine articles and making partnerships with manufacturers in the outdoor industry. He was mentioned in several books listing the top whitetail hunters in the nation and had a deal with a deer scent company as well.
You would figure after shooting a buck like that (that tops the previous world record by 3″), Mitch would have laid claim to the title of world record. Instead, mitch went from climbing the ladder for whitetail greatness with sponsors, magazines, and books to completely disappearing off of the face of the earth after shooting the “New World Record” and even signing a deal with Milo Hansens business associate to never enter the buck into B&C and stop calling it the world record.
#3 – The Rack Supposedly Was Lost To A House Fire
***The below information was obtained using free public use programs, websites, and apps.***
Soon after the news broke of the buck, Mitch shut out the outside world and dropped off of the face of the earth. It is rumored that during this time period, the rack was destroyed in a house fire.
With the numerous public resources on the internet now, I was able to go into google earth and look back at historical imagery at Mitch’s actual house. The furthest back satellite image on google earth was from 1985. It is a little blurry, but you can make out the outline of the house and the image gets clearer as the years progress.
As you thumb through the different years, you will notice that the house stays exactly the same, even to this day. If a house fire did happen, it did not get bad enough to disfigure the exterior of the house, meaning it wasn’t an overly big fire if it did happen at all.
The melting point of bone is roughly around 3,000 degrees farenheight, so for the rack to be destroyed in a house fire, the fire itself would have had to engulf the entire house to reach those temperatures.
Did the fire actually happen or was it a cover for Mitch hiding the rack? What made Mitch go from a hunting industry personality to a hermit? Did the multiple state records actually happen? The world may never know.
As is with every article ever written on Mitch Rompola and the Rompola Buck, there are more unanswered questions than answers. With the recent sale of the Milo Hansen buck and the even more recent discovery of the Rompola Buck’s score sheet, I think that the answers to some of these questions could possibly be just on the horizon.
Written by: Lucas Jones