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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


By Mike Handley

Billy W. JordanIn this David-and-Goliath story, nobody wins because the slingshot was too small.

Most states with rifle seasons for deer spell out which calibers are acceptable by imposing a minimum. The same goes for other game animals like waterfowl and turkeys, though it's shot size vs. bullet caliber.

In Louisiana, the smallest rifle ammo sanctioned for deer is a centerfire cartridge in the .22 family. This does not include the rimfires used for plinking and toppling squirrels.

Billy W. Jordan, 54, of Winnsboro, La., learned that lesson the hard way last month when officers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries knocked on his door. Jordan allegedly admitted he used a rifle chambered for the .204 Ruger to take a giant whitetail on Dec. 28 that set tongues wagging well beyond Catahoula Parish, where he shot it, and his hometown in Franklin Parish.

The fine for such a violation ranges from $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail. Also, any animal harvested by illegal means usually becomes the property of the state.

Jordan's troubles might have ended there had he not entered the nearly 25-inch-wide 15-pointer in four big buck contests. That he claimed to have shot the deer legally, even if he thought he had, is also considered "contest fraud," which also carries a fine of up to $3,000 and up to a year in jail per count. Plus, he will be assessed civil restitution of $2,033 for the value of the deer, according to the LDWF.

The 290-pound buck's antlers were measured by Cecil Reddick of Rayville, the BTR's regional director for Louisiana and Mississippi. It carries a composite (true gross) score of 228 7/8, nearly 27 inches of which are from irregular growth.

Unless Jordan fights and beats the charges or a judge orders the return of the antlers to him, the deer will be listed in our record book with the LDWF as owner.

The .204 Ruger, developed in 2004 through a partnership between Ruger and Hornady, is considered a varmint cartridge. A necked-down version of the .222 Rem Mag, it achieves more than 4,200 fps, sort of the missing link between the .17 HMR and the .22-caliber family of rounds (i.e. the .22-250 and .220). From the bench and stoked with 30- to 40-grain loads, it'll stay on zero for 270 yards.

Regardless of how well a bullet performs, how fast or far it flies, or what your buddies say, however, it's best to know the rules before you squeeze the trigger.

Dates to Remember

March 16-18: If you're interested in becoming a Buckmasters scorer, the next measuring class will be held during Circle M Auctions' 11th Annual Whitetail Classic Sport Show and Antler Auction in Dubuque, Iowa's Grand River Center. You'll have to pre-register for the class. This rare opportunity aside, the show attracts truckloads of antlers and serious collectors. For information about the class and to download the pre-registration forms, click HERE.

Tristan Scudder Jimmy Bryant Tim Marble Todd Lowe Mike Newman Gaylen Dean BTR

Post Rating


Mitch Barkett
# Mitch Barkett
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:18 AM
What a crock of crap. They ought give him a medal for thinning out the herd. The states should be fined every time there is deer-auto collision for not thinning out the herd by increased limits. To ruin a guys life by breaking him with fines is typical unfriendly government at it's best. After all, deer are so plentiful they're almost pest status. Let the government get involved and you have more lost freedom and screw-ups. Fish and Wildlife is also the bunch of idiots that allowed Asian carp to be put in ponds in a flood plain and now they are ruining fresh-water sport fishing all over middle America. If I were their boss they would be doing nothing but cleaning up that nasty mess they created. They would be netting til kingdom come.
Terry L
# Terry L
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:44 AM
Yes, it sucks. But on the other hand I read the rule book before hunting. They are "plentiful" so the heck with the rules? Shoot, lets hunt deer year round and at night with the headlights regardless of the rules.
At least if I understand that is what you are suggesting Mitch.
Big Roxie
# Big Roxie
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:48 PM
I personally think this is a little over the top myself, an example of "justice tempered with "no" mercy". I do believe in having rules and abiding by them. We need them. We have all been guilty of bending a few of them and hoping to get by and when we are caught red handed we would appreciate some mercy and a chance to say to ourselves, "whew! I'll not do that again". First thing I'd like to know is did Billy Boy know the .204 was an illegal round? Now don't go telling me he should have known. That may be true but every time I take to the field here in Ga. I first pull out the reg's and start reading and searching for any info I can find to help me stay legal...there is so much to know and it's all so wearisome. With information overload it's easy to miss something. Now in Mr. Jordan's case I'd vote for some sort of punishment but not real sure just what. It probably would not be much unless you could prove Mr. Billy had a criminal heart/spirit in him which I highly doubt. I'll shut up with this one thing. As I grow older I find myself reminiscing more and more for the yesterdays when we had more honest men and less government regulation.
John Wiles
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:25 PM
While I don't advocate some formula of 22's as legal for deer hunting, I think the article is a travesty of 'justice'. The guy shot a world class deer with a rifle that is obviously capable of the task, but was left out of the law since its development was in 2004. So the LDFW gets the right to confiscate it and claim it. I think this kind of 'legalistic' thinking is characteristic of the idiots we have in polotics and apparently in wildlife enforcement today. Where is the 'common sense' in this? Did anybody there ever have an 'intelligent' conversation with the hunter, explain the problem, give him a chance to withdraw from the contests (if he wanted to), slap him on the wrist with a small fine, and say "Don't do this again?" Why doesn't the LDFW spend more time catching the real bad guys, night hunters, poachers, over the limit, unplugged gun carriers, and things of that nature, instead of stiffing a guy who probably made an 'honest' mistake? This kind of mentality on the part of government and its workers is the reason the relationship between hunters and wardens is always bad - no common sense.
Charlie W
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:31 PM
I don't know how many of you reload, but to give you an example you can take a 308 cartridge and neck it down to a 243, but the case is still a 30 cal, so if the 204 is a necked down 222, according to their law, he was legal because the case was originally a 22 cal and would fall into the 22 cal family, if they wanted to specify a bullet they should have said so, not saying a center fire cartridge in the 22 family. They should have stated a center fire cartridge with a minimum diameter 22 cal bullet.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:29 PM
It's hell to be stupid
# wolf3349
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:53 PM
If you get caught doing anything wrong--game wardens have you. You get a small booklet of their rules--but if you get stopped and checked by them--they have a BIGbook of rules --that the average hunter doesn,t even know about. They could write you a ticket for about anything they want to if they so choose.
# Terry
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:28 PM
It's a shame. I agree with Mitch on the auto nonsense that goes on. How many drunks wreck their car and say the next day it was a deer and the driver is suppose to have CONTROLE of the car at all times. The insurance compies should have to pay for every reported car animal hit. The other thing is there ought to be conservation in the schools. The police have a day where they go through the schools teaching the perpos of there jobs as does the fire department. Why not the GC to educate the public on why we have a hunting session and the importance of it. They should be payed by the state not the sale of licenses and fines. This whole concept is self detrimental. We are suppose to have a working relationship with the GCOs not this animosity between most hunters and them which they created by fining the he'll out of every single person they stop. Have you ever herd of a warning. Not the GC it's rule with an iron fist and a closed mind. Thus the reason my state. PA has a devastated deer heard. It's a shame and I hope one day someone with enough balls will set it streight put it behind us and start doing what is best for our animals which they say they are protecting when in actuality they are destroying.
MIke SMith
# MIke SMith
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:44 PM
I hope the Judge will look at all the facts and cut him some slack, yea he used a round that the LDWF had no faith in but a dead deer just the same, plus more usable meat than say a "legal" 7mm mag front sholder shot. The LDWF help promote big buck contests to get more people out there hunting, I'm sure the second place guy will still take the prize,no need to give the goverement 3k. Some record books have car kills in them....oops you didn't meet the 14" tire minumum now your big buck is public domain. I don't want to see the conservation officer hang the antlers in his office, that is if his boss does not take em for his office. One thing is for sure Mr. Billy W. Jordan was the man when he walked up on that big old buck, it may be tainted now but he was on cloud 9 then and that's the feeling we all are after when we hunt.
Bill Plambeck
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 7:43 PM
I think the kill is no different with a small cartridge or a big cartridge just like when your fishing with a light line and land a lunker if you have permission and have a lic and a tag who cares what cartridge you use, Hell of a deer great job nice kill and give the guy his deer back its just like" the man" always wanting to take something that they couldn't get there self. Let the guy enjoy a once in a lifetime experience thats what Bill deserves ........ Next time show the whole deer.
Jack Childress
# Jack Childress
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:04 PM
The reason we have bullet size and weight restrictions is so we will not wound deer. Who in there right mind would want to use a 22 or smaller round on a deer size animal! Sure he killed the buck, but he was lucky he didn't hit bone. Use a bullet that will put the animal down no matter where you hit it. I personaly would never use a varmit round on a deer.
# kip
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:40 PM
That is a heck of a deer. If you are a good marksman then hunt with what you want. Personally I hunt with 25/06 or 220 swift and have killed several deer dead in their tracks. So read your facts LDFW a 204 is a necked down 22 cal. I honestly think ol boy thought he was legal as he could be. Give him his deer and write your warning and let him and everyone else that can shoot enjoy the thing they love. Shot placement is key when hunting with a wildcat cartridge like the 22 family. Personally I pride myself in being able to kill an animal at 500 yds and know when I squeeze it off I was on the money and he's going to the promise land. Good job Bill. Don't let your head down..
# ricky
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:32 PM
I believe he should get a small fine be forced to not enter/withdraw from the contest. He clearly had no intentions of killing this brute illegally he could have spotlighted it, lied about the caliber or many other things to skate by but he did nothing of such it was a mistake on his part using a smaller caliber for a larger animal but it did its part, he had the tags he did the proper paperwork and he did everything right and by the book, everything but use a bigger bore... C,mon
Monday, February 27, 2012 11:07 AM
I see it liek this....they had to enforce it for two reasons:

#1 The lawyer for next guy to break the law by killing a deer with a .22 or .17 would refernce this kill and get off.

#2 Would you really want * by one of the largest deer ever killed in the state of Louisiana? No, you want it to be as legal as it gets.

You've got to be stern, but fair in cases like this. i'm sure the LDWF didn't WANT to do it, but they had to. It's their job to enforce the rules to the fullest extent and it's his lawyers job to get them reduced.
Wanda davis
# Wanda davis
Friday, March 23, 2012 11:13 PM
It is a sad day in Louisiana when a country boy farmer cannot protect his own crop from in this case a trophy deer from eating up his crop! It's true Billy W Jordan is just a home grown hard working country boy! Growing up he had to help his Father farm so education took back burner, so reading a rule book is not possible for some people. He truly did not know he was doing anything wrong when he shot this deer! It is very sad that he is not the one posing in the pictures and getting to brag about his deer that he killed! ( like a sportsman is suppose to be able to do since we live in the "sportsman" state! But instead the LDWF is posing with his deer and trying to ruin his life! Because of some jealous people in a small town! I say this is all very wrong! Give his deer back! If you shot and intruder in your home it would be self defense, but the Law would not pose with the intruder! He shot a deer eating up his crop in his own field and LDWF is going around braging and posing! Just not right it is a deer for GOD Sakes!

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