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Keys to a Great Mature Buck Property - Don Higgins Seminar Takeaways from the Iowa Deer Classic

There are only a handful of hunters that I have followed over the years as I continue to educate myself to become a better hunter. One of those guys is Don Higgins.

I’ve been following Don’s writings and articles since I was in middle school, back then he mainly just wrote a few magazine articles or made article posts in popular whitetail hunting forums. Definitely not making much money off of it, not a hunting TV star, and not really all that well known...but what he said seemed simple enough to understand and he wasn’t telling you that this or that product was the “key” to all the big bucks he kills.

Today he’s definitely more well known because of all those articles he put out over those years, the bucks he’s killed during that time, his consulting business, and his food plot seed company.

So when I heard he was coming to speak at the 2021 Iowa Deer Classic I decided I had to make the 4 hr drive to see what else I could learn from him...and of course see what the Iowa Deer Classic was all about since I’d never been there before.

I took a seat extra early near the front of the seminar room (guy in ASAT pictured below) and proceeded to stay there most of the day through all of Don’s seminars, a seminar from Barry Wensel and the guys from the Whitetail Adrenaline show. I left the show late that night with pages of notes on my phone. I'm glad I got there early with a front row seat because I had the opportunity to ask Don a ton of questions during that seminar that I hope helped others gain more knowledge from the answers, I know I did.

Those seminars and the notes I took there are what this blog article series will be about. Taking what Don said and adding some of my own personal observations (if I have any).

Keys to a great mature buck property (in this order)

  • 1) No Pressure/Human intrusion - if you have too much disturbance on your property you will never have great hunting regardless of how great your cover and food are. Sometimes doing too many improvements to your property can actually hurt you because you are always disturbing the deer to implement them.

  • 2) Great access - you can’t let deer see or smell you enter and leave the property/stands, screen/conceal everything, and use access routes that don’t cross the deer’s intended travel route if at all possible

  • 3) Create great cover - getting deer to bed on your property is #1 so after pressure and access is addressed you need to create as much thick nasty bedding cover as possible

  • 4) Food Plots - planting food plots is a tremendous draw, having 365 day food is important and will bring more deer onto your property once the first 3 keys are addressed

Simple and effective principles but not always easy to implement.

Hope you enjoyed and took something away from Article #1!

There are more articles coming in this series based on what I took away from Don's seminars so keep an eye out for our weekly blog articles that come out each Wednesday.

If you learned something or think others could benefit from this article please share it!

- Brandon Urmanski