Clarksdale resident Alcorn Russell has been at a disadvantage for several years, but that did not stop him from winning the 2018 Magnolia Mississippi Chapter of Safari Club International Greg Kitchens Outstanding Hunter Award.
Russell, who received the award at the Hilton hotel in Jackson in front of approximately 80 hunters, won the award by killing four African and one North American trophy in 2018. He is not able to hunt the way most people can.
“I am a handgun hunter,” Russell said. “The reason is very simple. I have a bad right shoulder and I am right-handed. I cannot shoot anything over rimfire on my right shoulder. I tried to convert to left shoulder, but my left index finger is too dumb to be a trigger finger.”
Russell, now age 65, has been shooting since he was 5 and started hunting at age 6. His mother, Nan, died in 2015, and his father, James, died in 2017.
“I, of course, thanked my parents who were both hunters and some other people that were very influential in me becoming interested and becoming a handgun-only hunter,” Russell said. “It’s interesting to know that I beat out all the rifle hunters.”
Looking back on his achievements in 2018, Russell said he was most proud of killing the cape buffalo.
“The cape buffalo’s nickname is black death,” Russell said. “He is one of the big five. They’re all dangerous animals. They will kill you. A cape buffalo kills two to 10 people a year. It’s always the same. You wanted him, he goes to the bush. You’ve got to go and dig him out when you can get 20 to 40 yards from you. He comes at you wide open 30 miles an hour 1,800 pounds.”
Russell said the cape buffalo is not aggressive unless wounded.
He killed the cape buffalo in South Africa and got closer in a Toyota Land Cruiser.
“We’re tipping along slowly in the Toyota Land Cruiser,” Russell said. “The guy that’s driving in the tractor and the secondary driver are in the high seat behind the cap and the tractor taps on the cap.”
After driving up and getting closer, he and others were able to get out of the vehicle. He shot the cape buffalo with a machine gun three times to kill it.
Russell said he travels to South Africa for eight days during the spring. It is the fall in South Africa when Russell goes. He will be traveling to South Africa later this month.
“I really enjoy being outdoors, seeing my name in the record book,” Russell said.
“I love to hunt. It’s about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”
Russell has owned Russell Racing & Repair since 2007. He builds race cars, repairs production vehicles and does work on pickups.
He also started Russell Pecans three years ago. He has 12 acres of trees that are 99 years old where he harvests and sells pecans.
Russell will always be a hands-on worker.
“I have two desks at work, but I spend most of my time bent over in the engine compartment in the car,” he said. “I’m very hands-on. I use my hands every day. I’m an amateur machinist, amateur gunsmith. I like repairing things. I always have and always will.
“If I had a desk job, after about two hours, I’d take the d—n thing, throw it on the floor and leave.”