So I was lucky and blessed enough to get my first buck on opening day. This is my third year hunting, and I could not be in better spirits about this season so far. While I was turkey hunting this past May with my cousin, we came across a pretty active deer trail that goes down into some thick stuff on the side of a hill. I had a camera in my bag in case I found a good spot to put it out. We did i quick check around the area, put the camera out, and left. I didn't go back to check it for a month, but was happy to see some bucks showing up on a regular basis. Two bucks in particular stood out as regulars who would go to and from the thick brush, or just bed in front of the camera. These were also the only two bucks who would show up regularly on camera. I didn't want to disturb the area too much, so I went in every few weeks to a month. But every time I went, this guy was on camera. I finally went one lest time to check my camera the Sunday before opening day, and he wasn't the biggest I had on camera, but he was now the only buck showing up regularly. I guessed by the shape of his body that he was 3 1/2. Fast forward a few days to Oct. 1st and I am heading to my stand by 5am. It's about a mile walk and I wanted to make sure I was there well before daylight. I spooked two deer on the way in, one of which was bedded about 50 yards before my stand. I was concerned that I may have ruined my morning, but figured there was still going to be activity because of how regularly deer were showing up on camera. First thing I notice when I get in my stand is that I hung my bow hanger crooked and my bow won't actually stay on it. So i wait until light to adjust it. Once it becomes light enough out I start to fiddle with it. While I am in the middle of doing that, I look up and there is a buck about 40 yards away through the brush. I didn't recognize him from my pics but he had a big body and I knew I would not hesitate if he gave me a shot. Unfortunately he never did and just went down the hill towards what I assume is their bedding area. About ten minutes after he leaves I hear some crashing through the leaves, so I get ready again...nope. Here comes doe and a fawn. I hung my bow back up because I won't shoot a doe in front of her fawn and I really wanted a buck. They hung around for about a half hour, with the fawn smelling everything around my tree, right down to my climbing sticks. When neither of them ever spooked I knew I was doing something right, so I sat back down and started playing on my phone. A little while later I heard a little movement behind me, but I have been fooled so many times that I said to myself that I wasn't turning around for a squirrel. So of course out of the corner of my eye I see antler poke out from behind a tree. Boy did I snap to complete attention to what was going go. He came in from behind me and worked over to my right. So i grabbed my bow and waiting for him to give me an opportunity. He got to about 20 yards and turned broadside, so I tried in a nervous tone to give him a subtle stop (which I still can't believe worked) and let the arrow go. I saw it hit him, he gave a mule kick, and ran right down the hill bouncing off of a few trees. I called my cousin to let him know so he could bring the quad over and waited about a half hour before climbing down. I walked over and found kicked up leaves, but no blood. Now I am going nuts thinking i missed him, even though i know I saw the arrow hit him. Then it dawns on me...the arrow! If I missed him, where is there arrow? And then I saw blood, and it looked good lol. I wanted to wait for my cousin because I felt he needed to be there with me because it is thanks to him that I was able to get into hunting. So I climb up the hill to wait for him and try to get out of the area just in case he wasn't down yet. My cousin showed up a few minutes later with a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and orange juice for me. I got about half way through it and could wait any longer. We headed down then hill and were only finding a few drops for the first 15 yards and I couldn't understand why. Then we crested a little flat in the hill and it looked like a paint can was being poured out. And there he was, 50 yards from where I shot him. Apparently he ran out of sight and took a dive straight down. He was probably dead by the time I texted my cousin. After a few years of tough times and disappointment, I could not be happier. Now comes the long wait to get him back from the taxidermist, but it's going to be worth it.