Facebook: Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors

Why Passing This 180-Inch Deer Was the Right Thing to Do

Don Higgins passes a giant buck he named Smokey in 2016. You might think he's insane, but not so fast.

It's common knowledge in the deer hunting world: if you want to kill absolutely giant bucks, you'll have to pass great bucks. And, as you've seen in another article of ours, Don Higgins recently tagged a buck he called Smokey during the 2017 Illinois archery season. Not just any buck, but the buck of a lifetime.

Many people don't know the history Don has with this 200-plus Illinois giant. He passed this buck many times in 2016, and Smokey was no slouch. This deer was probably a 180-inch deer then, but Don knew the potential it had with another year of development.

Along with knowing its potential, Don had this buck dialed in. He knew its personality, its favorite bedding area and its favorite place to feed. Therefore, he was extremely confident he would be able to get another crack at him the next year.

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Here's a video of one of the hunts when Higgins passed Smokey. Would I be able to do it? Absolutely not at this point in my hunting career! But do I think he's an idiot like most hunters screamed? Absolutely not! I admire the man for his discipline, as well as his knowledge and expertise in the woods. And if a hunter has the abilities to let a deer walk like that, more power to him.

Here is the video, check this out!

As you can see, this is an incredible buck for any bowhunter. When Don posted this video on his social media pages, it was followed with mixed opinions. Some praised him and many said he was a fool because the deer was at full potential.

But Don was able to silence the haters this year when he harvested Smokey just like he thought he would. A whopping 207 inches of Illinois bone later, Don had harvested his second 200-inch Illinois whitetail.

Well done, Don. I just can't get over this video and also what Smokey turned into this hunting season.