by: club boone and crockett
more than 100 deer seasons have passed since james jordan pulled the trigger on a gigantic whitetail that would become one of the best-known trophies of all time, and it remains the largest typical deer ever caught in the ee uu.
On November 20, 1914, 22-year-old Jordan hunted with a friend along the Yellow River near Danbury, Wisconsin. Jordan killed a doe on that hunt. His friend agreed to take the doe home while Jordan continued to hunt. excited by the doe, jordan gleefully followed a deer to a patch of tall grass near a railroad track.
minutes later, a large amount of dollars was thrown by an approaching train. Jordan fired a shot towards the giant whitetail. then he followed the wounded animal. a second shot finally dropped the deer as he crossed to the opposite side of the river. Shocked, locals estimated the deer’s weight at approximately 400 pounds.
upon hearing about the giant deer, a local taxidermist, george van castle of webster, wisconsin, later offered to mount the head for $5. Jordan agreed. the problem? van castle took the frame and hid in his house to work on it, but soon moved to hinckley, minnesota, after his wife died. Jordan later heard that Van Castle had relocated to Florida, making a trip to Hinckley to retrieve his missing coin, though Jordan himself moved to Hinckley in his later life. When Van Castle moved to Florida, he left Jordan’s mounted stag head in the house he had occupied. Apparently, he then collected dust in a corner of the attic until he was purchased in 1964 at a $3 rummage sale by Robert Ludwig.
years passed. And, in 1964, a distant relative of Jordan’s bought a huge (but crude) deer mount at a flea market in Sandstone, Minnesota, for just $3. Jordan was sure it was his money lost from him a long time ago. The new owner requested an official score from Boone and Crockett. the club noted the antlers at 206 5/8 inches and confirmed it as the new world record for typical whitetail. That being said, they were unable to verify Jordan’s story, listing the hunter as unknown and the hunting area as sandstone, minnesota.
When James Jordan first saw the massive deer rack owned by Robert Ludwig (a distant relative), he knew it was the same deer he had hunted all those years ago. For over a decade, Jordan would be frustrated in his quest to be recognized as the hunter of this deer in the record books.
several more years passed and the rack was sold to an antler collector in new hampshire for $1500. the trophy was then remounted with a new coating. Then, in 1977, after following outdoor writer Ron Schara’s story about the dollar in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Boone and Crockett Club reopened the investigation into Jordan’s claim that it was, in fact, his dollar. . The Boone and Crockett Club officially confirmed the story a year later, officially recognizing Jordan as the hunter and Burnett County, Wisconsin as the place taken. sadly, jordan passed away two months before that happened.
After 29 years at the top of Boone’s and Crockett’s records, the Jordan Buck was finally surpassed by Milo Hanson’s 213 5/8-inch Buck from Western Saskatchewan, Canada. The Jordan Buck frame is now owned by Bass Pro Shops and is now seen by thousands of athletes as part of a traveling trophy collection.
editor’s note: the boone & crockett club has long been a conservation organization that advocates and strives for the preservation and welfare of all large game animals, but especially white-tailed deer. As America’s most popular game species, it has a storied history and a promising future.
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