When Donald Trump Jr canceled his Secret Service detail this month, rumors ran wild that he was trying to engage in nefarious undercover business with Russia.
But anyone hoping to connect him to dodgy double-dealings with Putin’s henchmen is on a wild moose chase.
That’s because he temporarily dropped his government entourage so he could hunt the antler-bearing beasts in Canada, The New York Times reported.
Donald Trump Jr (seen left in the Trump Tower elevator, right in 2010 holding an elephant’s tail) canceled his Secret Service detail so he could hunt moose in the Yukon, it has emerged
It emerged last week that Trump Jr had decided to ditch his Secret Service detail.
There then followed a string of articles linking that decision to the fact that he was under investigation for allegedly colluding with Russia to get his father elected.
One GQ article, for example, said that it seemed ‘particularly suspicious’ and was ‘probably shady’.
Some speculated that he might attempt to flee the country; others that he had engineered a meeting with Russian agents.
But the truth, it seems, was much more mundane: He was hunting moose.
Trump Jr was spotted flying economy on Air Canada Jazz Flight AC 8889 from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Whitehorse in the Yukon on September 14.
One witness who spotted him wearing ‘outdoorsy gear’ – khaki clothes, boots and a baseball cap – called him in to the New York Times, which then went on a hunt of its own.
It was speculated that Trump Jr (seen with his family and Secret Service agents) had ditched his protection because he might flee the country during the ongoing Russia investigation
Its reporter eventually tracked down the presidential offspring on his return to Whitehorse airport, carrying what appeared to be a case for a hunting bow.
When asked if he’d killed anything, Trump Jr replied: ‘I can’t really tell you that. Let’s just say it was a good hunt.’
It was indeed a good hunt, the Times said – he had bagged a ‘big one’.
Then again, you might hope so – hunting in the Yukon for 10 days can cost a base sum of $10,000.
The guides can then tack on additional fees for killing an animal – from $100 for a wolf to $10,000 for a sheep.
According to Bass Pro Shops, a trip to hunt a moose in the Yukon can cost as much as $18,000.
Trump Jr was apparently pleased with the coverage, sharing a grab of the headline – ‘Donald Trump Jr.’s Great Escape’ – on his Instagram.
‘Thanks, The NY Times called me handsome, polite, is surprised that I fly comercial [sic] like everyone else, and cleared up nonsense speculation as to why I was quiet for a few days… I’ll take it,’ he wrote.
‘Checking outside for flying pigs. Shockingly, I guess I’m less of an international man of mystery than others would have you believe.’
However, the New York Times revealed he had just gone hunting; something that he said on Instagram pleased him (left). Trump Jr has been hunting for years, and has killed many animals
He has since reinstated his Secret Service detail, it was revealed on Monday.
Trump Jr is an avid hunting fan; in July, a photo of him holding an elephant’s severed tail led to Hugh Grant calling him a ‘w****r’ on Twitter.
The photo, taken in 2010, resurfaced in 2015, when Mia Farrow shared a photo taken on the same trip of Trump Jr and brother Eric Trump holding up a dead leopard.
She added the caption: ‘What sort of person could kill this beautiful animal? Trump sons could.’
At the time the hunting pictures were first made public, Trump Jr defended his enthusiasm for hunting, writing: ‘Not a pr move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I hunt and eat game.’
He added: ‘I hunt it all. Just love to be outdoors with a gun or bow .’
Hunting Legends, the company that organised the Trumps’ trip has said their hunt was ‘completely legal’.
In 2015 this photo of Trump Jr and brother Eric with a dead leopard horrified Mia Farrow, who slammed him for killing the ‘beautiful creature’. Trump Jr was unrepentant