Late start leads to monster Stanly County 9-point buck

Stanly County 9-point buck

It was still in time for the Stanly County 9-point buck

Brandon Alley of Norwood, N.C. killed a monster Stanly County 9-point buck on Oct. 4. It’s the biggest deer of his life. The buck has been green-scored at around 140 inches.

He must be thinking ‘better late than never.’

Alley, 24, had busted some does from under his stand when he walked in during the pre-dawn hours that morning. And when crappie fishing with his grandfather that afternoon, he admitted he was afraid a big buck he’d been targeting might have been close by and also spooked. 

“My grandfather said, ‘Don’t worry about that, he’ll be back.’”

Alley left later than he planned that afternoon. He admitted, “I debated going at all.” But he got up in his climbing stand, 15 feet up in a pine tree.

“I decided to take a chance,” he said. “I left late and got in my stand at 6 o’clock. As I was climbing, I heard something behind me, and I could see eight or 10 does coming up. I got situated in the stand and they were out in front of me, eating acorns and some corn I had out. I was just watching those deer and here he came out.”

Buck was consistent, but still elusive

Alley had trail-camera photos of the buck since well before the season. But the buck had disappeared around the first of September. He showed back up at the beginning of the season, but Alley had trouble making a connection.

“I don’t get off during the week until 5 (in the afternoon). So I mostly hunt on the weekends, and it was during the week when he was showing up on camera,” he said. “I had him on camera, coming in and out, and I started to get hopeful. But I was just never there when he was there.”

Until he was, among oaks that were dropping acorns, in an area where Alley had been putting out corn.

“He started eating at 20 yards. And he stood there about 10 minutes. He was broadside, but he was standing between two small oak trees,” Alley said. “The does were onto me, constantly looking up, but they couldn’t pinpoint me. He never acknowledged there was anything out of normal. The whole while, I had the buck-fever shakes. My rangefinder was showing 19.9 yards. I was going nuts.

“He finally turned away from me and took a couple of steps like he was going back down the trail. But at the last second, he turned and gave me a perfect broadside shot.”

Big buck had a 17-inch inside spread

Alley had hunted with a compound bow for several seasons but had bought a Barnett Whitetail Pro STR crossbow before the season. He put the sights on the buck’s shoulders, squeezed the trigger and sent a 100-grain Rage broadhead through the buck’s boiler room.

“It was a through and through,” Alley said. “I heard him crash going over top of the hill. I waited about 30 minutes, got down, and I had good blood on the arrow and good blood on the ground. So I waited a little while, then I went straight to him. He went about 80 yards.”

When Alley found the buck, he was standing over the biggest whitetail he’s ever killed — and his first crossbow buck. The 4×5 main-frame rack had a 17-inch inside spread, main beams measuring 23 and 24 inches, bases that were 4 1/2 inches in circumference, and longest tines measuring 11 and 9 1/2 inches.

Scott Lowder at Lowder’s Wildgame Taxidermy & Deer Processing put a tape measure on the buck three days after Alley killed it and agreed that the buck would gross about 140 inches. “It is a really nice one,” he said.


Congratulations to Alley, who is now entered in our Bag-A-Buck contest, making him eligible for a number of great prizes, including the grand prize which includes a 2-day, two-man hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge. Click here to view the Bag-A-Buck gallery or to enter the contest yourself.

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Dan Kibler
About Dan Kibler 846 Articles
Dan Kibler is managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

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