Ask The Biologist

Rub Line Ruler

Rub Line Ruler

By Bob Humphrey

You can't always judge a buck by the size of the rub. QUESTION: Last hunting season before Christmas, I found some really big rubs between on trees between 4 and 7 inches in diameter. They were in a swampy area in a creek bottom, in standing water and paralleling the edge of the swamp. The rub line seemed like it was a couple hundred yards long. I... READ MORE

How Long Have I Got?

How Long Have I Got?

By Bob Humphrey

All the talk about whitetail age classes begs the question: What’s a normal life span for a deer? QUESTION: How long can a whitetail live? ANSWER: I like it; short and to the point. So I’ll give you an appropriately concise answer. Free-ranging white-tailed deer are exposed to a variety of dangers including disease, predation and hun... READ MORE

Tweak My Food Plot

Tweak My Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

If your food plot isn’t attracting deer like you want, change it. Test for fertilizer and lime use, add some fruit trees and vary plantings to create a deer cafeteria. QUESTION: I hunt in the Northeast, about 3 hours north of New York City. I have a 15-acre parcel of land that’s bordered by several hundred acres of woods on one side wi... READ MORE

On Their Own

On Their Own

By Bob Humphrey

What is the fate of most fawns whose mothers are taken during hunting season? QUESTION: If you take the mother during hunting season, will her fawns survive the winter? — Matthew N. ANSWER: Maybe. A lot depends on the age of the fawns. The older they are, the better their chances of survival. In most cases, fawns should be old enough to fend ... READ MORE

Why the Big Increase?

Why the Big Increase?

By Bob Humphrey

What’s up with increasing doe tags when the herd needs to recover? QUESTION: Where I live in Maine, the deer herd has been in rough shape for many years, mostly because of hard winters and coyotes. Last winter, we had a mild winter and now our state is proposing to increase the number of doe permits by quite a bit. My question is, why would t... READ MORE

Spring Scrapes

Spring Scrapes

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, we came across several places that looked like fresh deer scrapes. My hunting partner says they’re just turkey scratchings, but I deer hunt the same area and there are scrapes in these same locations in the fall. My question is, do deer scrape in the spring too? Why would they do this? — Thoma... READ MORE

Spikes ... Again!

Spikes ... Again!

By Bob Humphrey

Will we ever get a definitive answer on the question of shooting spikes? QUESTION: I have heard different opinions about spikes through the years. For example: “Once a spike always a spike,” “Shoot cow-horn spikes, let the straight spikes walk” (and the opposite). Is there a distinctive suggestion on what spikes to take out,... READ MORE

The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It

By Bob Humphrey

If you get a funny feeling when you make eye contact with a deer, you’re not alone. QUESTION: Do you think that face paint really helps to keep deer from seeing your shiny face, or do they get spooked when they see your shiny eyes? ANSWER: I love this question! The short answer is: I really don’t know, and it’s never as simple as ... READ MORE

Block Buster

Block Buster

By Bob Humphrey

Mineral blocks are great, but so is improving natural protein sources. QUESTION: Should I put out salt and/or a mineral block to help deer in a CWD area? I mix my own minerals and vitamins so deer are healthy to fight CWD. ANSWER: Blocks can be a beneficial means of providing deer with supplemental minerals and vitamins to improve their health, par... READ MORE

One Simple Rule

One Simple Rule

By Bob Humphrey

There are advantages to hunting certain locations at specific times of day. QUESTION: I have been told to hunt the bottoms in the mornings and the fields and field edges at dark. Is this true? ANSWER: It’s tough to give a concrete answer without more information about the region and habitat you hunt. However, I’ve hunted many areas wher... READ MORE

Better Safe than Sorry

Better Safe than Sorry

By Bob Humphrey

States take the cautious approach when it comes to bottled deer pee. QUESTION: Why is it illegal to use deer lure/scent in CWD areas when deer pee in the woods anyway? — John S. ANSWER: The short answer is, the people who are in charge of establishing such regulations and policies believe it is better to be safe than sorry. There’s stil... READ MORE

Deer Browse

Deer Browse

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: My friend and I are hoping you can settle a bet. Two years ago one of the areas we hunt was cut for firewood, and the stumps grew a bunch of suckers. This spring we noticed something has been chewing them. I say it’s deer, my friend says rabbits. Is there any way we can tell.  — Herman D. ANSWER: The suckers you’... READ MORE

Is a Barometer Magic?

Is a Barometer Magic?

By Bob Humphrey

Observing deer movement when barometric pressure changes is not a foolproof way to predict when deer will move again. QUESTION: I read a lot of articles and hear on many television shows that the best way to predict deer movement is to watch the barometer. But since atmospheric pressure always fluctuates up and down in very small increments, how m... READ MORE

The Hole Thing

The Hole Thing

By Bob Humphrey

We might think of deer as peaceful, but they can be tough on one another. QUESTION: These pictures are from a deer before and after I skinned it. It had this hole on its inner thigh. There was no smell of rotting flesh, but I have never seen anything like it my 15 years of hunting. Any idea what it is? — Robert M. ANSWER: One can never be sur... READ MORE

Early Birds

Early Birds

By Bob Humphrey

Although not common, it is normal to find a scrape outside of the fall. QUESTION: I have seen scrapes as early as late July. It was in same site as where a buck had made a scrape the year before. Would you say he or another deer cleaned out last year’s scrape? — Steve B. ANSWER: I would. While deer don’t necessarily make scrapes a... READ MORE

Early Dropout

Early Dropout

By Bob Humphrey

There are several reasons some bucks shed antlers earlier than others. QUESTION: Our muzzleloader season typically runs into the second week in December. This year a friend said he saw a buck without antlers on December 5. I sometimes see bucks still with their antlers in January. My question is, why did this buck drop its antlers so early. —... READ MORE

Too Many Deauxs

Too Many Deauxs

By Bob Humphrey

Don’t believe exaggerated tales about massively skewed doe-to-buck ratios. QUESTION: I live in northern Louisiana. Can you tell me the buck-to-doe ratio where I live? Also, is it okay to take one doe out of the area in the first week in December? — Jimmy S. ANSWER: Without contacting the state wildlife biologist responsible for the area... READ MORE

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

By Bob Humphrey

Cold and extreme cold temperatures affect how well deer detect scents and odors. Watch deer lick their noses to increase humidity and their scents-ability. QUESTION: While I tend to believe that sound travels better in the cold and allows a deer to hear an intruder/hunter sooner, does extreme cold — less than 32 degrees — affect how we... READ MORE

Bucks Are Tough, But...

Bucks Are Tough, But...

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can survive serious injuries, but some don’t leave much hope. QUESTION: Do you believe this buck will ever recover? My main concern is infection or damage to his brain. The buck has been injured approximately two weeks and is still active and feeding but I’m concerned this injury may cause him to decline. Any suggestions wou... READ MORE

Pine Plantation Predicament

Pine Plantation Predicament

By Bob Humphrey

Despite appearances, you can improve deer habitat on pine plantations. QUESTION: The area I lease in northwest Louisiana is mostly planted pine forest. I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to make the land more attractive to deer. ANSWER: Assuming the landowner uses this property for commercial pine plantations, food plots might n... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd