Perseverance, Determination Result In Record-Class Bow-Buck

Radiation treatment for a brain tumor took Alex Moore's dominant eye vision, but it didn't stop him.

Donny Karr | November 20, 2020

Alex Moore had been back in the woods and hunting just a few times after his last radiation treatment, and here he was face to face with his buck of a lifetime. With only seconds to react, he knew he would have to remain focused and go through the process of drawing his bow, anchoring in, and steadying himself for what would likely be the only opportunity he would have to harvest this Georgia buck with a rack undoubtably big enough to qualify for the all-time bowhunting record books. Alex drew the left-handed bow, lined up his left eye on the sight… only Alex was right-handed and right-eye dominant.

It was Nov. 16, just five days after his final radiation treatment. Alex, 30 years old, readied himself for the crucial shot as his breath drifted upward in the cool, crisp morning air. The buck was fast approaching his position, leaving no time to waste and no room for error. It only took a quick glimpse to determine this deer was a bonafide south Fulton brute that had— until this point—roamed the bottomlands and privet thickets near the Chattahoochee River unbeknownst to Alex.

That he was even in this situation was as remarkable as the sight of the mature buck inching closer to a clear bow shot.

It was only just a few months earlier when Alex, who lives in Cumming, was faced with a gut-wrenching dilemma that was the result of dealing with a large brain tumor that doctors first discovered in 2018. Following multiple surgeries, Alex was forced to resort to radiation treatment in order to stave off the tumor’s aggressive growth. With the vision in his right eye greatly diminished, possibly for good, he had the choice to either put his hunting efforts on hold, or to learn how to shoot with his opposite hand and eye.

“I knew it was going to be tough trying to learn to shoot a bow left-handed, but I really didn’t see any other option,” said Alex. “I was determined to continue hunting and would do whatever it takes to be back out in the woods after going through everything I did in the last few years.”

What a great south Fulton County bow-buck for Alex Moore, who had to learn how to shoot left-handed after radiation treatments for a brain tumor took this right eye vision.

The initial surgery three years ago was aimed at removing the large tumor that had formed in the front of his skull. Alex’s doctors believed the surgery was a success, but he began to develop severe headaches this summer. After more rounds of tests and scans, it was revealed that the tumor had in fact spread throughout his brain and was now threatening his right eye.

“They did another round of surgery, which wasn’t able to get all of (the tumor), so my doctors decided that I would need to undergo six weeks of radiation treatment,” says Alex. “They told me that it was unlikely that I’ll ever regain my vision in my right eye. Being right-handed and right-eye dominant, I was faced with either never hunting again, or learning to shoot all over again left-handed.”

So, Alex went to work. He began practicing shooting with a left-handed bow. Almost every spare minute of daylight he had was spent with that bow in hand, his left hand.

“I would go to the doctor’s office and have my radiation treatment, then go straight home and practice shooting to get ready for hunting season,” says Alex. “It was awkward and difficult at first, but over time, it became easier and felt more and more natural.”

Now, all of that practice and preparation had culminated in a heart-pounding moment in the middle of the Georgia rut when he laid eyes on the biggest buck he’d ever seen. Alex knew he could make the shot, as he had arrowed an 8-point buck just a few weeks earlier. However, the deer in front of him on this picturesque mid-November morning was no ordinary buck.

“I was sitting with my back to the river and looking into a thicket that’s growing around some large boulders,” says Alex. “I watched a doe walk along the path that the deer usually take along that section of riverside, and she was acting like she was trying to get away from something. That’s when I noticed a nice 8-point that was hot on her trail, following her up to where she was standing on the hill.”

Alex then utilized some grunting techniques he had thoroughly studied, sounding off a tending grunt that is supposed to mimic a buck that’s preparing to breed a doe while the two are in the peak of rutting activity. To his surprise, the doe began to head in Alex’s direction down the hill.

“She came to a really thick portion of the bottoms where I couldn’t get a good view on her,” said Alex. “That’s when I started to see a lot of the brush swaying and shaking back and forth, which I thought was very odd activity for a doe. I listened closely and could hear that there was something much larger than that doe inside the thicket. I hit my grunt call a couple more times. And then I saw it.”

Alex was shocked to see the big 9-point buck coming out of the briar thicket—the sun gleaming off its impressive rack.

“I tried my best to stay calm and go through my shooting motions so that I could make an ethical shot and get a quick kill on the animal,” said Alex. “The buck was coming in closer and closer, and at one point I honestly felt like I might fall forward out of my stand. It was at this point that I said a little prayer, thanking the Lord for giving me this opportunity to shoot this buck and asking that I take it in a humane way with one clean shot.”

He slowly exhaled and loosed the arrow. The shot sailed toward the buck, hitting him a bit higher than Alex would have liked.

Alex was then self-diagnosed with another condition: that old, unmistakable trembling sensation coupled with uncontainable, adrenaline-pumping excitement that gradually takes hold of a hunter’s entire body—buck fever.

The shot would turn out to be an effective one as the buck dropped a mere 50 yards away from where the arrow struck him.

Alex took the deer straight to the processor and taxidermist. No one has put a tape on the rack. Suffice to say it’s a beautiful deer, and a great bow-kill that will easily make the bowhunting record books. Alex says he’s not concerned as much about the numbers related to this particular animal.

Alex Moore said he isn’t interested in the score—the buck means so much more to him. But his 9-point buck from south Fulton County should easily break the 125-inch minimum to qualify for the all-time bowhunting record books.

“I’m still pinching myself, looking at the pictures,” Alex said. “It just means so much, kind of hard to describe how special this is to me.

“Everything really came to mind about how thankful I was to have been able to practice and re-learn how to shoot my bow effectively, and also to think of how grateful I was to be able to keep my composure and make a good shot on a buck like this,” says Alex. “I still can’t believe how it all went down. I’m so thankful for everything and I try not to take anything for granted.”

Alex now hopes to enjoy his health and continue to improve his shooting skills—now that he’s essentially a lefty.

“I hope other people can see this story and just know that if you never give up and keep going, good things will happen, and things will get better,” says Alex.


Fulton County All-Time Best Bow-Bucks

1213 4/8 (NT)Jay Maxwell2007FultonBowView 
2170 2/8 Dylan Wylie2018FultonBowView 
3193 7/8 (NT)Lee Ellis2017FultonBowView 
4167 1/8 Bob Coombs2020FultonBowView 
5166 1/8 Lee Ellis2014FultonBowView 
6162 5/8 Kendall Golightly2011FultonBowView 
7161 4/8 David Shepard2023FultonBowView 
8157 5/8 Tyler Brown2021FultonBowView 
9179 2/8 (NT)William Hudson2002FultonBowView 
10156 2/8 Brannan Southerland2016FultonBowView 

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