Rack Report: Bill Jordan Tags the Fire Station Buck

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Bill Jordan finally connects with the South Georgia 10-pointer he's been after for two seasons

Rack Report Details
Buck: 165 1/8-inch gross typical
Time of Year: Sept. 22, 2014
Place: South Georgia / Realtree Farms
Weapon: Hoyt Carbon Spyder

Bill Jordan Fire Station Buck

Filming hunts for Realtree would seem to be a dream job for many. Johnny Carter certainly enjoys it. He’s filmed quite a few hunts since 2009, and for the past two years, many of those hunts have been with the man himself—Bill Jordan—on Realtree Farms. Bill has been focused on one buck in particular. The deer, nicknamed Fire Station, was a beast of a South Georgia 10-pointer with an unmistakable forked G2.

“We’ve gotten 150-plus of him this summer,” Bill says. “And I had a chance at him last season, in January. But he had a doe with him that spooked, and he got away.”

But over the summer, the buck settled into a fairly predictable routine. He was using a ¾-acre food plot planted with an Evolved Harvest clover / chicory mixture. “He was living within 250 to 300 yards of the plot,” Bill says. “There’s water nearby, and a mixture of pines and hardwoods. It’s perfect habitat.”

“This buck was special,” Johnny says. “Bill and I have been making trips to the farm all summer to get velvet footage of him and trail camera photos. In fact, just about every trip Bill has made to the farm over the past two years has been related to this buck in one way or another.”

Bill was so focused on Fire Station that in the days leading up to season, he had three cameras going on the plot at once to learn every detail he could about the buck’s routine. The Georgia bow season opened Sept. 13, and Bill hunted the buck a few different afternoons before heading to Wyoming on an elk hunt.

“The elk hunt was a fast one,” he laughed. “We hunted just three days, but Tyler and I both shot nice bulls. Still, we were back on Monday morning, and Johnny and I were in the stand after Fire Station by that afternoon.”

The evening was about perfect as early-season evenings go. A stout cold front—at least for South Georgia in September—had blown through early that morning. The temperature was around 80 degrees with minimal humidity. As early afternoon melted into prime time, deer poured into the food plot, including a couple of the regulars that had been in Fire Station’s summertime bachelor group.

“We felt like he was going to show up, and we were discussing the details of where to shoot him in order to get the best video,” Johnny says. “I knew that if he came from one particular direction and got too close, I would have to move the camera around Bill’s head in order to get the shot.”

That particular direction, of course, is precisely where the buck appeared, just 30 minutes before the end of camera light.

“The buck was coming right to us,” Bill says. “I waited until he cleared a little limb, and I came to full draw. He stopped broadside, I got ready to shoot, and all at once, Johnny hissed, ‘No, no, no!’ It was just a bit too loud. And deer scattered everywhere.”

When asked about scaring away the buck Bill had been chasing for two years—when the boss was at full-draw, no less—Johnny solemnly said, “Yeah, it was a little nerve-wrecking.”

But Bill only laughed about it … at least, when re-telling the story the next day. “I don’t get mad about things like that,” he says. “Johnny had a job to do, and that’s get the buck on video. It just so happened that when I got ready to shoot, my head was blocking his view.”

But the evening wasn’t over. The deer had heard something, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what the danger was. Fire Station simply trotted to the far side of the plot and stopped. Soon enough, a couple does resumed feeding—and the buck again made a beeline right back to Bill’s tree. This time, when he stopped in nearly the same spot, Johnny was ready. Bill settled his pin and made the easy shot. Fire Station didn’t make it out of the field.

“People ask me all the time what it’s like to hunt with Bill Jordan,” Johnny says. “Truth is, it’s just like hunting with my uncle or my dad. Yeah, we’re out there to get video and get a job done, but it’s still hunting. We’re out there to have fun, too. And sometimes, things just happen.”

Indeed. Bad luck can turn into good luck in a matter of seconds. Bill estimated Fire Station at 5 ½ years old and green-scored him at 165 1/8—a great buck anywhere, but a true giant for South Georgia. Johnny Carter's buddies have been urging him to buy a lottery ticket.

Have a big-buck story you want to share? E-mail us at rackreport@realtree.com.