well finally finding the time to make this post. I've been MIA for a while now and didn't even get to hunt a day last year and it killed me. missed it so much. fast forward to this summer and i was really excited for season to start. i started shooting a recurve back in may and dove in head first. i absolutely fell in love with traditional archery. i went all in and don't even own a compound anymore. i was shooting every day getting ready for season and was at every 3d shoot within 2 hours for the whole summer. with season fast approaching i was feeling very comfortable even out to 25 yards but had a 20 yard limit for myself. i had been planning to hunt this heavily pressured piece of public ground not too far from me. i was able to locate a killer spot way back in this fairly large area. most of the parking lots had 4-5 cars in them every time i passed them and this one was tucked away and still to this day haven't seen another car there. i found a great spot on a ridge line surrounded by oaks and in close proximity to a bedding area. it was very obvious no one had hunted this section in a while and the deer felt very comfortable. every sit i had in this area was very productive with multiple deer in range every sit. for about the first month of our season in NJ its antlerless only until you get a doe and then you can shoot a buck. i had multiple close calls with a bunch of small bucks including an absolute stud of an 8 broadside at 15 yards ( i had yet to get a doe at this point, so i watched him browse through hopelessly). fast forward to my fifth sit (saturday 9/29), when the requirement to first shoot a doe no longer applied. i was feeling very excited that i wouldn't have to pass any shot opportunities anymore (i was not gonna be picky for my first trad deer). i got into my stand around 3 and an hour later i heard a twig snap under me. i looked straight down and saw a huge bodied, wide 8 point (not the same one a had in front of me earlier in the season) right under my platform browsing. i slowly stand up and grab my bow, the whole time thinking this was too good to be true. i looked down one more time and we made eye contact and this wise old buck knew something was up and slowly backed out and trotted off. i sat back down dejected and began waiting again. around 6 i look to my left and saw through the thick cover what appeared to be a deer heading to the clearing. i slowly stood up, grabbed my longbow and rested the tip on my boot. it took maybe 5 minutes to confirm it was in fact a small four point browsing super slowly on acorns. but the trail he was on would put him perfectly broadside at 16 yards. after 15 minutes his head is showing into the clearing and hes about to step into my shooting lane. i catch more movement to my left and a spike starts browsing in much quicker right between me and the 4 point. they both step out slowly and the spike clears the bush first and stands broadside at 13 yards. as soon as he turned his head back i was at full draw and settled in. i felt everything line up perfectly and watched my arrow fly straight threw him and disappear behind his shoulder. sparks flew behind him as my broadhead struck a rock and he mule kicked and hopped 10 yards. he stopped and started slowly walking and collapsed in front of me 15 yards later. hes not the biggest but i couldn't be happier with how it played out. i've still got two more chances at a buck with a bow in NJ so as soon as the rut rolls around i'll be back after those two big 8s i had close calls with. sorry for the book and thanks for reading!