Andrew French’s 24-pointer
Scorable Points: 24
Kill Date: Nov. 29, 2000
There are deer drives and then there is the rather unique story of how Andrew French wound up with a shot at a 24-point buck that scored 250 4/8 inches.
When it comes to handing out credit for French’s memorable kill on that windy Nov. 29 of 2000, a big share of thanks goes to his hunting buddy Brian Bard.
It was Bard, after all, who left his tree stand and walked toward the big buck that fateful day. Both Bard and French had seen the big buck earlier in the day prior to setting up on opposite ends of a bean field about 200 yards apart. Both knew the deer was in the area. Both knew this was no ordinary deer, particularly for Alexander County.
And Bard watched with binoculars as the big non-typical got within 50 yards of French before hanging up.
When it became clear the deer was not coming past either he or French before the close of legal shooting time, Bard took matters into his own hands. At one point, Bard actually walked to within 70 yards of the huge buck and waved his arms before the whitetail finally left the field where it was eating.
From there it was up to French, who had to make a full turn to shoot the buck at 18 yards as it walked through an opening. At first he worried the shot was a bit high in the buck’s back. Worry intensified after Bard, French and friend Tommy Woods found some blood that night but eventually lost the trail and decided to back out until morning. They started searching again on what just happened to be the first day of the second shotgun season. Not long after arriving, Bard found the buck.
The huge trophy made unlikely headlines for Alexander County, which according to writer Ron Willmore in North American Whitetail magazine had never before produced a buck that qualified for both the Pope and Young and Boone and Crockett clubs. French farms in that area of southern Illinois and in Missouri.