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204-Inch Bow-Buck Returned To 17-Year-Old Hunter

Ragan Paramore paid a $237 fine for hunting without a license and went home with the rack.

Daryl Kirby | December 14, 2018

The saga of a massive Worth County buck taken with a bow by a 17-year-old hunter, later confiscated by DNR because the teen didn’t have a valid hunting license, has concluded with the young hunter paying a fine and the rack being returned.

“We paid the fine, and we got the horns,” said Jeff Paramore, father of 17-year-old Ragan Paramore, who killed the buck on Nov. 10.

Jeff said the total fine was $237.

DNR Law Enforcement confiscated the Worth County, 204-inch bow-kill on Thursday, Nov. 15. Ragan was given tickets for not having a big-game license and not having a hunting license, although he tried multiple times to purchase a hunting, big game and harvest record on the afternoon before killing his buck. Ragan had checked his trail camera on Saturday morning, Nov. 10 and discovered the giant buck named “Chester,” well-known in the area but never before on their land, and decided to go hunting. (For the full hunt-story and later updates, click here.)

GON spoke with Ragan about the license issue on the morning of Nov. 19.

“I got the picture, and I told daddy about it, and he said, ‘You better get in the stand pretty early,’” said Ragan.

Ragan said this was the first time he’d been hunting during the 2018-19 deer hunting season, and he was aware that his hunting licenses had expired in early September 2018. His dad, Jeff, had purchased his licenses the year before, so Jeff sent Ragan his DNR online account information so that the 17-year-old could purchase them on his phone.

“I logged in and went to purchase my license,” said Ragan. “It just sat there and loaded and loaded and loaded. I probably tried three or four times. I tried on WiFi and LTE. There’s just a little thing that was spinning on the phone.”

Ragan said he believed his license purchases went through after multiple attempts, and he went hunting and ended up killing the buck of a lifetime. Ragan was hunting on his grandmother’s land, the family farm.

“I thought my license had gone through until I went to tag the deer that afternoon on my phone, and it (Game Check) wasn’t there,” said Ragan. “After I tried to tag the buck, I told daddy about it.”

After realizing the license purchases did not go through on Ragan’s phone earlier that afternoon, his dad went to purchase his son’s licenses on his phone.

“Daddy said it wasn’t working on his phone,” said Ragan. “He tried it five or six times. We were on WiFi, and we were thinking the WiFi wasn’t working, so he went and got three bars of LTE, and it still didn’t work.”

Jeff did end up getting Ragan’s licenses after about an hour of trying and multiple attempts.

Jeff Paramore said that they originally had a court date for Ragan’s charges, but they got a phone call.

“They said we didn’t have to appear. All he had to do was pay the fine, and the horns would be awarded back to him,” Jeff said.

“It was a God honest mistake. There was never any intent to do anything wrong,” Jeff said. “This kid was heartbroken.”

 

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8 Comments

  1. Dewey on December 30, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    I just don’t get it. I don’t care if it was a doe, a yearling, a spike, or a 300” buck… why would he get the deer back? Because he’s 17? Because it was a 204” buck? Because he claims the app didn’t work for him? I wouldn’t even WANT the mount if I knew I killed it illegally, and I think most ethical hunters would agree.

    Bad decision in my opinion to give the deer back. The kid and his dad both admitted it was killed illegally, (and somehow GON was contacted to do an article on it?) having no hunting license. There are plenty of places to get a hunting license other than on your smart phone.. people have been buying them at Walmart with no issues for DECADES before smart phones came out. The fine was not that big of a deal, but enough to make a point IF the deer was consfiscated and kept. What good does it do to give the deer back? That just shows him AND everybody else in Georgia that even if you break the law and kill illegally, you might just pay a small fine a get your illegal kill back!!!

    Its a great deer and I hate that the kid didn’t play by the rules like every by else, but I’m not jealous one bit of the deer because of the way it was killed and the stink around it. I just think this sets a really bad example and now every other poacher or person that negligently kills game in Georgia is going to want their buck, bear hide, hog head, bass, wood duck, given back to them. What will the DNR say to them??? Sorry yours wasn’t 204”, or you’re not 17, or you didn’t have issues with the app??? Blows my mind. The kid would have been fine without getting the buck back and would have learned a lesson and it would reiterate to all of the others out there thinking of breaking the law that it doesn’t matter what you do, how big the deer is, etc… if you don’t play by the rules you will suffer the consequences in GA. Just speaking my mind.. Would love to hear what some of the Law Enforcement has to say.

  2. rgb1077 on December 26, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Lawful vs unlawful. The deer was not Iegally taken game. No license equals illegal hunting. This outcome is not law. No law equals lawlessness. When law is arbitrarily enforced the legitimacy of
    law is equivalent to a Judge having authority to do as he pleases. How many antlers have been conficated and not returned because of the rule of. Law? The rule of law was not applied here. Law must be enforced. We are supposedly all equal under law. Confiscation was reversed. Paying a fine was penalty. Giving back the antlers was the reward. What has the DNR BECOME?

    • jblackj on January 9, 2019 at 9:07 am

      I agree with you We Are a Nation of Laws! I guess if you shoot from a road or night hunt and you pay your fine you get your head/rack back, correct?

  3. Jeffdurden on December 20, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Give the kid a break – glad u got your buck back bro ! Lots of jealous hunters out there – DNR made the right decision

  4. nealboggs24 on December 20, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Why would you give him anything, he hunted without a license. I’m sure this is going to open a can of worms that they will regret. Is this going to be the new policy going forward?

  5. Hooksetter on December 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I don’t believe for one minute that a 17 year old is not tech savvy enough to know that he didn’t purchase a license. He broke the law and should have had to suffer the consequences. Some strings were pulled for this outcome. If he had to pay a fine he was at fault. Double standard!

  6. SaltySoutherner on December 18, 2018 at 11:23 am

    So glad to see that common sense was applied to this situation and the trophy was returned to Reagan Paramore after payment of the fine.

    • greg strickland on December 18, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Well, regardless of whether he tried to purchase the license just before hunting, you do not hunt unless you have purchased a license. The young man was lucky and should show much gratitude to DNR.

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