Mitch Rompola
YouTube: Mike Avery Outdoors

Vintage Mitch Rompola Interview Gives Rare Insight Into the Mind of the Reclusive, Controversial Bowhunter

Vintage interview gives us a rare glimpse at one the whitetail world's most mysterious characters.

In the world of deer hunting, perhaps no name elicits more groans and debate than Mitch Rompola. Every hunter is familiar with the story of how the guy supposedly shot a new world record whitetail on November 13, 1998, near Traverse City, Michigan. The big deer allegedly scored 216 5/8 inches and had a jaw-dropping 33-inch inside spread.

If that score turned out to be accurate, the Rompola buck would narrowly edge out the Milo Hanson buck to become the new world record typical whitetail. However, the deer was never officially entered into the record books. Controversy followed over the next few months as few got the chance to examine the deer in person, leading some people to suspect a scam or hoax. Some scorers claimed it was a real deer. However, the Grand Traverse County kill was never confirmed as Rompola became a recluse and eventually ducked out of the spotlight. In his wake many were left wondering if this guy was the real deal or not.

We may not know if the big buck was real or not, but we can get a glimpse into the bowhunter's deer knowledge with this vintage interview with Mike Avery Outdoors. This interview took place before he claimed to shoot that monstrous record buck in 1998. Whether you believe in the deer or not, it's a fascinating watch.

Whether you believe the Rompola story about his alleged world-class whitetail or not, this video seems to confirm the guy knew what he was talking about when it comes to deer hunting. It's worth noting there were conservation officers and official scorers who said the deer was real. The buck he showed in this video was the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM) state record for archery for many seasons. These days, the whereabouts of Rompola are unknown. He would be in his 70s at this point. We're not sure if he's still putting trophy bucks on the ground, but it seems the guy had a heck of a hunting career before that infamous 12-pointer.

Controversial claims of a modified skull plate, and droopy ears aside, odds are likely slim we will ever know the truth behind his most infamous set of antlers. Even if he were to finally allow an examination and X-rays, we doubt the deer would become the next world record. Rompola seems to have burned some serious bridges with organizations like Pope & Young and Boone and Crockett club.

Whatever the truth may be, the Milo Hanson buck remains the current world record and until someone proves the Mitch Rompola buck was real, hunters can only speculate to the legitimacy of one of hunting's most unusual stories.

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