Chris Higgins – Missouri

 I bought a farm last year in late August. The place had some soybeans planted but the beans and the entire property was overgrown with weeds and was just a mess. With no time to spare, I called my brother-in-law Roger in Iowa to come and help me figure out what to do to the place as I wanted to try and turn it into a buck sanctuary.
My own trophy farm. He had done wonders with a farm he bought up there in a couple of years. Roger came down and we went to work. “We need some strategic food plots here, here, and here,” he said. With no hesitation, he recommended we start with Whitetail Institute Winter-Greens and some Tall Tine Tubers. “We will want to plant some Imperial Whitetail Cover as well,” he said. After a short discussion, I wasn’t about to argue with success.

The second week of September, I had two tractors there with bush hogs and a tiller, and we started to work. On the opening day of rifle season, my dad shot a big 9-point off a Winter-Greens plot that I had trail camera photos of. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find him. It was a few days after Christmas, and the muzzleloader season was open. I headed to the farm to set on the beans I left standing, hoping to catch one of these big guys feeding before dark. I had a few deer come to the beans but no bucks. The next evening, I thought I would sit at one of my Winter-Greens food plots to see if the deer were still using them. As I walked to the food plot I noticed that the deer had been pounding the plot. I climbed into my stand and settled in. Within 30 minutes I had two does and two bucks come into the far end of the food plot. It was like a magnet to them. Before long, there were five bucks in the food plot and one really good heavy 8 pointer. I watched him for a while trying to see if I knew which deer this was. He looked old enough but would only score in the upper 130s. I had never seen this buck before.

It was still early in the evening, so I decided to wait and see what else might show up. All the bucks were pouring into the far end of the food plot. Now there were eight of them. I was so focused on them I didn't even see the buck standing right in front of me. Where did he come from? That's the big nine pointer. I slowly pulled up and waited for him to clear one tree branch. He was so engrossed on eating the Winter-Greens that he never heard me pull the hammer back on the muzzleloader. When the smoke cleared, I saw him pile up in the creek just 80 yards away. My trophy was on the ground, and I can share a great story with my dad of a buck we both shot in the same year. Dad's bullet had gone in under the shoulder blade and came out the neck on the same side never touching any vitals or breaking any bones. The 9-pointer scored 159 inches. The bucks preferred the Winter-Greens over the soybeans I left. You can bet that from now on, I will be planting the Winter-Greens and Tall Tine Tubers food plots every year. Thanks, Whitetail Institute.