With each passing season more whitetail hunters are making their sport of choice a year ‘round venture by either buying or leasing a hunting property and managing it for the best deer hunting possible.
By Don Higgins
This just happens to be a subject I am not only passionate about but also one that I make my living doing. My experiences in this endeavor have been broad and varied, and through this blog I hope to share some advice to help you get the most from your efforts. Since this is my first blog entry I want to share my “resume” with you to help gain your trust as you realize I am not throwing out unproven theories but instead will base my blog entries on real world experiences.
I killed my first whitetail buck in 1979 at the age of 16. On that day, the Lord lit a fire in my heart for whitetails, and particularly big bucks, that burns hotter with each passing season. I have owned my own hunting property for more than 20 years, always striving to make it the very best it could possibly be. The results have far surpassed the wildest dreams I ever imagined when I started down this path.
As my real world experience in creating prime whitetail habitat and tagging mature bucks increased and became somewhat known, I began getting requests for advice and offers for work helping others improve their own habitat and hunting success. More than a decade ago I was blessed with the opportunity to quit my “real” job and make a business out of my whitetail passion. It was a decision that literally changed my life.
Over the years I have planted literally millions of trees and shrubs on thousands of acres enrolled in a variety of conservation projects such as CRP, WRP, CReP and WHIP, as well as projects I personally designed for landowners in numerous states. I have planted hundreds of acres of warm season native grasses in multiple states and more food plots than I could possibly remember. My efforts at testing and comparing various plant species to have the very best food plots and habitat on my own property even led me to co-found Real World Wildlife Seed Company with a couple of partners.
If all of this wasn’t enough to keep me busy, I also do whitetail habitat and hunting consultations with landowners in several states each year. I am the only consultant in business who has killed a wild whitetail buck scoring more than 200 inches and who also has a client who has killed a buck more than 200 inches after my visit.
While my experiences in creating whitetail habitat are probably more extensive than anyone in the hunting industry, I never stop being a student in the whitetail classroom. I don’t claim to know it all but I do see through a lot of the hype being spewed within the hunting industry as some seek to profit from the lack of knowledge many hunters possess in regard to food plots and habitat. My lessons didn’t come from reading a textbook but were learned in the real world.
Those are the lessons I will be sharing with you through this blog. I hope you check in often and look forward to hearing from many of you. Thank you.
Don Higgins has gained a respected reputation for his knowledge about hunting mature whitetail bucks and for his work in creating quality whitetail habitat. His weekly blog posts, Real World Whitetail Management with Don Higgins, will appear each Wednesday. Higgins can be reached through his website: www.higginsoutdoors.com