Ask The Biologist

Food Plots or Pelletized Protein?

Food Plots or Pelletized Protein?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I have a ranch in west Texas where my family hunts deer, turkeys and doves. My question centers around feeding protein to my deer. I lease my ranch to a local cattle rancher who pays me for a grass lease. I’m looking for a good way to feed the dear year-round with good protein, not corn. Is a gravity protein feeder my best option, o... READ MORE

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: We in Virginia are going through what some say is hemorrhagic disease. We had suffered a decrease in deer population and see sickly deer with split, fallen-off hoofs and so forth. I was wondering if you could shed any light as to what we can expect in our future. The VDGIF website has given us some information. Answer:  The VDGIF we... READ MORE

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Last year, my son shot a 6-point buck with his shotgun. He claims he waited at least 30 minutes and didn’t push the deer. We finally found some blood about 30 yards from the spot of the shot and tracked the deer with a very slight blood trail for well over 3/4 of a mile before we finally lost it. At the end of the trail, the blood ... READ MORE

Can I Avoid Ticks and Chiggers?

Can I Avoid Ticks and Chiggers?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What do you do to limit attacks from pesky ticks and chiggers? — Charles H. Answer:  You can use common DEET-based insect repellents that are sold under a variety of trade names like REPEL 100, Deep Woods OFF and Ben’s 100. However, their effectiveness is temporary. They do have odor, and although they are approved by th... READ MORE

Why Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?

Why Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: When do bucks shed their antlers, and why? — Riley O. Answer:  Antlers are fascinating works of nature’s art, and one of their most interesting characteristics is that, like leaves on a hardwood tree, they are deciduous. Each year a new set is grown then cast off. Photoperiodism plays an important role in this process. ... READ MORE

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

By Bob Humphrey

Question: The deer food where I live is mostly acorns and leaves. Is it all right to just feed deer corn, or do they need something else? — Pery R. Answer:  The short answer to both questions is, “Yes.” Now for the long answer. You didn’t say where you live, but I suspect there is a lot more around for deer to eat. Th... READ MORE

Pelletized or Powdered?

Pelletized or Powdered?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What’s the big difference between fast acting lime and regular aglime or ground lime. — Duane F. Answer:  Lime comes in two forms, pelletized and powder. Pelletized lime is easier to handle because it typically comes in bags. It’s also easier to apply because it can be spread by most gravity fed spreaders. It takes ... READ MORE

How Rare Is a Piebald?

How Rare Is a Piebald?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I saw a piebald buck last year, however I did not get a shot at him. This year I got him with my crossbow. My question is, how likely is it that I will ever see another piebald deer on my property? — Ronnie Plumlee Answer:  Piebald deer are certainly a curiosity, and we get a lot of questions about them. This aberrant colorati... READ MORE

What Could This Be?

What Could This Be?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: In early November, I shot a 2- or 3-year-old 7-pointer on my property. I noticed his hip bones were visible and his spine could be felt fairly easily. The other strange thing I noticed while gutting him was a white/yellow mucous I was pulling out in handfuls from his chest cavity. Any answers or ideas would be great. Maybe pneumonia? Mayb... READ MORE

Whitetails React Strongly To Hunting Pressure

Whitetails React Strongly To Hunting Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I’m from New York and have a good amount of property with food plots and the whole nine yards. The properties around me are highly pressured during gun season. During archery season I see deer all day, but during gun season they disappear. They’re not in plots or travel corridors. Any ideas why this might be? — Jon A. A... READ MORE

What’s The Difference?

What’s The Difference?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Can white-tailed deer tell the difference between deer urine and human urine? I have been on a deer ranch, and the owner said they can’t and that you could freshen a scrape with human urine. — Charlie M. Answer:  I, too, have heard this claim and believe that it, like bland vegetables, should be taken with a liberal dose... READ MORE

The Gray Nose Deer

The Gray Nose Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Question:  My son recently harvested a 9-pointer in northeastern Maryland. The buck had a light grey colored nose. We’re curious, has this ever been seen before? — David M. Answer:  White-tailed deer are remarkable creatures, and the more I study them, the more I realize just how diverse they can be. Most folks are familiar w... READ MORE

How Old?

How Old?

By Bob Humphrey

How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? Question:  In late July a mature doe was killed on the highway near my property. Since then I have observed a doe fawn alone around my house. I saw it in mid-September, and it runs from our movement and the dog and seems skittish. How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? &mdas... READ MORE

Where Have The Ears Gone?

Where Have The Ears Gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Do you have any idea what happened to its ears? Question:  This doe has been coming into a guy’s yard in the DuBois area. Do you have any idea what happened to its ears? Maybe the buck flies just ate the heck out of them this past summer. I’ve seen deer with their ears bleeding terribly from buck fly bites. — Ken M. Answer:... READ MORE

Oh where have they gone?

Oh where have they gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Disappearing deer are looking for the same thing—bedding cover, high calorie leftovers and love. Question:  I hunt on Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., and there is food, water and cover everywhere. Where are the deer traveling in early December? To cover or to food? —John T. Answer:  Though your question is geogra... READ MORE

Jousting with One Antler

Jousting with One Antler

By Bob Humphrey

No need to cull Spike on One Side (SOS or SOOS) deer. Researchers assign pedicle or early skull trauma as root causes of the phenomenon, not genetics. Question:  Two years ago we noticed some type of defect within our deer population when a guest shot a buck that had antler growth on only one side.  The other side had nothing, not even a... READ MORE

Has the rut kicked in?

Has the rut kicked in?

By Bob Humphrey

Peak rut and peak breeding times are not universal; they’re consistent and vary by location. Observation and effort will make you a true student of the whitetail rut. Question:  I'm new to deer hunting and I’m wondering how I can tell in my area when the rut is kicking in. I’m finding all kind of buck sign but I haven’... READ MORE

A Twofer for Triplets

A Twofer for Triplets

By Bob Humphrey

Combine exceptional nutrition with good genes and you’ve got the ideal mix to see a doe produce fawn triplets more than once. Question:  I saw a doe with three fawns last year around the farm, and now again this summer I’ve noticed a doe with three fawns. I would guess it is the same doe, and she’s had triplets two years in ... READ MORE

The ABCs of QDM

The ABCs of QDM

By Bob Humphrey

Take the long view to start a QDM program, and look at year-round nutrition, sex ratios, habitat components, nutritional needs and finally, food plots. QUESTION: I have been in my club for four years and am not happy with deer we are seeing. There are lots of deer on the property, but no big bucks. I know they’re around; the meat processing ... READ MORE

Solunar Tables

Solunar Tables

By Bob Humphrey

What does our Buckmasters biologist think of sun/moon charts for predicting deer activity? That’s the topic of this week’s Ask the Biologist question. What do you think? Do you pay attention to game activity charts? QUESTION: Do solunar tables really work? — Jim M. ANSWER: Marcus Lashley, a graduate student at North Carolina Sta... READ MORE

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd