Steven Streletz, New Jersey- I first found this buck on a trail camera that I had out for scouting bears on October 17, 2019. More pictures rolled in but unfortunately he seemed to be mostly nocturnal, nonetheless I knew he was a buck I wanted to target.
Although the author had several trail camera pictures of the deer, they were usually all outside of legal shooting time
The first night I hunted for him, I was getting out of my tree after not seeing anything when things got interesting. I reached the ground and was packing my gear up when I heard a deer come into work the mock scrape where my camera was.
Needless to say, we met for the first time that night in person standing face to face 20 yards away staring at each other for 10 minutes. Once he had seen enough, he moved off and I immediately grabbed the SD card and sure enough it was him!
I thought to myself, "What are the chances of that happening?" I figured I'd never see him again so the next day I made a new set up about 200 yards away and let things quiet down, within a few days he was on it.
I hunted some scattered evenings after work without any luck and with no sign of him, as he only seemed to come through my area about once a week. He finally day-lighted on camera for the first time October 28th at 11:09 a.m. and was in the area all day.
The New Jersey bruiser finally a made a day light showing on October 28th, allowing the author to make a move
After seeing this I decided to move in on him hard, I hunted November 1st and 2nd from dark to dark. I had shot opportunities at other respectable deer that I passed on, but not him. I entered the woods super early on November 3rd with plans to stay all day as I had to go back to work the next day.
Despite the temps being in the mid 20's to start that morning, deer action was hot! In the morning I ended up passing on a nice 125-130'' younger 8 point. Around 12:00 p.m., the clouds rolled in and the temps started to drop further, but the action was dead.
At 2:05, I heard a stick snap to my left coming from the deepest part of the giant woods I was hunting. I glanced over to see his massive antlers and grey snout coming through the jagged rock and mountain laurel. He was already at 60 yards, moving at a slow pace and grunting as he came.
I was so amazed at him that I kind of froze for a second before getting my bow ready. I was at full draw as he entered my shooting lane at just 27 yards and stopped. I touched off the shot and watched my 100g Muzzy and lumenock melt threw his vitals, I knew the shot was perfect.
He ran about 30 yards before stopping and turning around to look back at what had just happened. He stared at me for a few seconds before crashing in his tracks. I sure did put a lot of work in for him but its what I live for and it had all paid off!
The author is all smiles while posing with his public land giant!
He scored 149 6/8", my biggest deer ever and most memorable hunt to date. This hunt took place in northern New Jersey on public land. The giants are out there, you just gotta find them! I appreciate everyone reading this story and hope you enjoyed!
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