The Tom Alford Buck

By Josh SturgillJune 26, 2013

LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015

Date: October 26, 2012, Time of day: Evening, Location: Illinois, Weather: Sunny and Cold

Q: Tell me what happened when you killed the buck?
It was an excellent hunt, as you can see on Bowhunt or Die, Episode 16; “Lights Out”. I had scouted a few days earlier and decided to hang a new stand right in the heart of a heavily traveled transition area. This area was unique because of the way the bucks were funneling in and out of heavy cover to check their scrapes and feed on the standing corn.  I knew that the deer were bedding within one hundred yards of my stand location and I would not dare get any closer for fear of spooking the big buck I wanted. Within a few days of checking the weather channel and waiting for the perfect wind, it was finally time to hunt! I loaded up the truck with high anticipation and headed out.


A lot of hard work and effort went into taking this buck; not to mention the difficulty of getting over a previously “botched” shot.

It was a painstaking trek to my stand that evening, due to the drought here in the Midwest. Every step sounded as if I was walking through a field of Cap’n Crunch Cereal©. Luckily for me, the wind that was only supposed to be 5-10 MPH had turned into 15-25MPH; which really helped cover the noise that I made getting to my set-up.  I was not in the stand very long before I noticed two turkeys easing their way down the edge of the cornfield. I pulled back slowly, took aim, and to my surprise, watched as the arrow sailed directly over my target’s back. While I listened to the alarm putts disappear into the distance, I refocused myself on the task at hand.


In this screen shot, Tom’s arrow can be seen heading straight toward his trophy. The complete hunt can be seen on Bowhunt Or Die; Episode 16.

The wind had finally started to calm down, and with an hour of daylight left, I knew it was getting closer to the “magic” hour. I sat patiently until I knew I only had about 30 minutes of daylight left and I decided it was time to break out the rattling horns. Within 30 seconds of my first rattling sequence, I could hear the bruiser making his way through the woods. He cautiously stepped out of the thicket and headed directly for a scrape. I watched him raise his majestic head up to the licking branch, in order to leave his warning to any possible intruders. Then without warning, he started to head back to the thicket. I slowly drew back, with the uneasy thought of the earlier missed turkey still on my mind. I quickly pushed that thought away and slowly squeezed the release. I watched as the lighted knock nestled itself right behind the shoulder, and my prize disappeared back into the thicket with a bright red trail to follow. It was a perfect ending to a lot of hard work and patience.

Q: What were the major factors that helped you kill this buck:
A: Best advice I can give, is to be mobile and the first time you sit in a stand is always the best.

Q: Is there anyone you would like to thank for their help with this hunt?
A:  I would like to thank the land owner for giving me exclusive rights to hunt 178 acres of private land.

Equipment Summary:
Bow:  Mathews Z9
Broadheads: NAP Killzone 100 Grains
Arrows: Carbon Express Maxima 350 CE
Camouflage: Lost Camo
Tree stand: Lone Wolf Alpha Hang On
Scents:  Tink’s B-Tech

Josh Sturgill
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