You never forget the first. Mine was opening day. My uncle and I had scouted all summer long, patterning a group of whitetails feeding out into the alfalfa. I had my sights set on one young buck which had earned the nickname “precisely” because he was on the trail cam everyday half an hour before dark. As we parked the truck I quickly jumped out and grabbed my gear which included a doe decoy. For the entire 200 yards across the field my uncle would not stop giving me a hard time about bringing “that useless thing”. As he made his way up the tree stand I quickly paced off 20 yards and set up the decoy. With everything in place it was time to sit and wait. The hours drug on as we patiently waited for precisely. With no deer activity whatsoever I was beginning to lose hope. While tossing around the idea of getting down and trying to spot and stalk I noticed movement about 150 yards down the tree line. A large deer was slowly making its way out into the field and even at that distance I could tell it had antlers. He only made it about 20 yards into the field only to do a 180 and quickly disappear back into the bottom. This brief interaction boosted my confidence but as the sun sank lower into the sky so did my perfect plan. Crack. One twig broke about 10 yards behind my tree causing me to freeze. The buck had cautiously worked his way down the tree line in order to come check out this doe. As I caught sight of those white antlers my heart began beating faster and faster. It was so audible I was sure he would spook. Drawing my new 45# Mandarin Duck hunting bow I waited for him to get past my tree and out into the open. After what seemed like an eternity he slowly emerged into my shooting lane. At 15 yards I put my pin right behind the front shoulder. This was it, the moment I had anticipated for so long. I let the arrow fly and watched as the buck jumped into the air and hurried back into the bush. The area was instantly silent again until I was able to quit shaking enough to get down out of the stand. I slowly made my way up to where I had thought the buck was standing. Red bubbly fletching was sticking straight up in the soft dirt with a heavy trail leading into the timber. Barely 50 yards into the woods a white belly stood out against the dark forest. As we approached the body seem much larger than the 2.5 year old dear we were expecting. Getting closer we realized this buck wasn’t precisely. Rather it was a mature, gnarly 4 point. The rest of the night was spent processing the deer and retelling this story to anyone who would listen. Although it was many years ago and we have taken many deer together since then, this one will always stand out in my mind.