So, what is it about being a 16-year-old at North Stokes High School in Danbury, N.C., that makes big bucks try and run over you?
Alek Knight, a 16-year-old senior, arrowed an enormous buck on Monday, Sept. 24, that could rank among the 10 biggest ever killed by a bowhunter in North Carolina. His buck has been green-scored at 175 6/8 inches gross and 165 3/8 inches net. He would be the second North Stokes student to occupy an impressive space in the record books.
On Nov. 30, 2002, Buddie Adkins, a 16-year-old sophomore at North Stokes from Westfield, N.C., took the fifth-largest buck ever killed in North Carolina, a 173 6/8-inch whitetail that qualified for the Boone & Crockett Club’s record book.
Weighed on a set of tobacco scales, Knight’s buck weighed 240 pounds on the hoof. A main-frame 6x6 with four sticker points, the buck had an inside spread of 18 6/8 inches, three tines longer than 9 inches, one more longer than eight and two more longer than seven. As impressive was the rack’s mass. It was 6 and 5 6/8 inches in circumference at the bases, and two more circumference measurements at 5 inches and four more at 4 6/8 inches each. Main beams were 25 and 25 5/8 inches.
Knight had trail-camera photos of the buck for four years, but mostly in November and December — “never during bow season,” he said. “But last year, we planted all our food plots in clover, and I put out a bait pile, and I had photos of him for several days before I killed him, most of them at night.
“I’ve got a trail camera that sends photos to my computer, and I got one at 6 a.m. on Sunday — it was the earliest I’ve had one. So I talked my mom into letting me lay out of school on Monday morning.
Knight was 40 feet up in a tree, in a climbing stand, looking at his corn pile, just on the edge of a clover patch, long before dawn on Monday.
“I was in my stand by 5 a.m. so I woudn’t spook him. Right at daylight, I had a basket 8-pointer come in — he had been in the photos with the big buck — and then the big buck followed him in. I shot him before he got to the bait pile.
“I ranged him at 30 to 32 yards and shot him for 30,” said Knight, who was shooting a Mathews Halon bow and arrows with 4-bladed Muzzy broadheads. “I was shaking so hard, but I did the best I could.”
Knight said his shot was a little high, and the buck took off. He gave him some time, then began trailing.
“It was a double lung shot, but the arrow didn’t go all the way through him,” Knight said. “I found it in the woods; I guess it backed out of him. Tracking him was a little rough; you could see where the leaves were kicked up, and there were some spots of blood, but it was no painted trail. I found him 150 yards away.”
The buck was completely clean of velvet, not a scrap left. Knight said trail-cam photos showed the buck had rubbed his velvet off the first week of the season.
Knight said the buck might have scored even more in 2017, going by trail-cam photos.
“He was a main-frame 10 the first three years, with two stickers on the back of his beams,” Knight said. “Last year was probably his peak year, as far as tine length. His tines weren’t as long this year, but he was much heavier; he had more mass.”