Ask The Biologist

Dine In or Take Out?

Dine In or Take Out?

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist discusses the advantages of on-demand and time-release features. QUESTION: I would like to know how you feel about feeding deer protein at a free-choice feeder verses a time-release system. — Joe S. ANSWER: I could give you all kinds of technical information about the whitetail’s nutritional needs, how they change througho... READ MORE

Which Seed?

Which Seed?

By Bob Humphrey

What to plant in your food plot depends on your goals and circumstances. QUESTION: I live in northwest Indiana and have room for a 1-acre food plot. What should I plant? – Jim E. ANSWER: A lot depends on your objective. Given that you have room for only one plot, you can probably rule out year-round nutrition or warm-season feeding plots. Tha... READ MORE

The Maine Issue

The Maine Issue

By Bob Humphrey

Rumor says deer numbers in Maine are shockingly low. Is that true? QUESTION: An outfitter in Maine recently reported that the deer herd numbers were so low they were not booking any deer hunts and they were not sure when they might be doing so in the future. Does that sound correct to you that Maine herd numbers are low? If so, what would it take f... READ MORE

No Set Date

No Set Date

By Bob Humphrey

There are many factors dictating when a buck drops its antlers. QUESTION: It’s March 20, the first day of spring, so why are so many bucks still seen with antlers? ANSWER: While seasonal changes in deer physiology and behavior are prompted largely by photoperiodism (changes in the amount of daylight), it is not a precise mechanism, and there ... READ MORE

All Busted Up

All Busted Up

By Bob Humphrey

Why do so many bucks on our property have broken tines? QUESTION: Bob, we have a lease in Alabama, and over the years we've noticed virtually all our racked bucks seem to have broken tines. I realize that during the rut bucks are pursuing does and might have occasional fight, but it would seem that every now and then we'd take one without a broken... READ MORE

Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Late summer or early fall is the best time to plant a hunting food plot. QUESTION: When is the best time to plant a food plot in northern Mississippi for gun hunting in November? — Keith M. ANSWER: I could give you a long, drawn-out answer about developing a plan to provide proper year-round nutrition to attract and hold more and healthier de... 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

When In Rome

When In Rome

By Bob Humphrey

If you try to manage deer on a lease, sooner or later you’ll run across a slightly abnormal whitetail. What should you do? QUESTION: Is a short bridgeline a recessive genetic defect, and should a buck with this trait be allowed to breed? — Ron Dahlseid ANSWER: Indeed, a short, bowed or Roman nose is usually the result of a recessive g... 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

What’s the Magic Number?

What’s the Magic Number?

By Bob Humphrey

When hunting small parcels, much depends on your neighbors. QUESTION: How many deer can be harvested in a season off a 10 acre piece of land? It has not been hunted in 10 years and is in Texas. — Chris F. ANSWER: I can’t give you a definitive answer without considerably more information. That fact that it hasn’t been hunted is a g... 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

Backyard Biologist

Backyard Biologist

By Bob Humphrey

Could trail cameras be used to track fawn birth and calculate the conception dates? QUESTION: Do you think I could use my trail cameras to tell when the rut occurred in my area? If I see pregnant does at my camera one week, and the next week they’re skinny again, could I back-date to determine conception? — Ken P. ANSWER: Well, I suppos... READ MORE

Can I See Your ID?

Can I See Your ID?

By Bob Humphrey

The best way to determine the age of a deer depends on where it is. QUESTION: What is the best way to age a deer? — Richard E. ANSWER: Well, that depends on what you mean by “aging a deer.” If you mean determining how old it is, the answer depends on whether the deer is dead at your feet or alive in the field. The quickest and eas... 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

Head & Shoulders

Head & Shoulders

By Bob Humphrey

Hair clumps in spring don’t necessarily mean a dead deer. QUESTION: While out turkey hunting this spring I came upon several areas where I found patches of deer hair. We looked all over the area and never found any bones or other parts. There are lots of coyotes in my area and I’m wondering if that’s what got the deer. How far wil... READ MORE

Here’s the Rub

Here’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Find rub, set up stand, shoot deer, right? QUESTION: I found some fresh rubs, so I set up a stand nearby. I am very careful about scent control and I hunt the wind, but I have not seen any deer there in a week. What am I doing wrong? — John S. ANSWER: There are at least a dozen possible reasons for why your stand isn’t working out, many of wh... READ MORE

Outstanding in Their Field

Outstanding in Their Field

By Bob Humphrey

Is there any explanation why deer sometimes feed in the open in broad daylight? QUESTION: I was driving home the other day and saw several deer feeding in a field. It was the middle of the day, and they were just standing out in plain sight. I’ve never seen this before. Is it unusual? What would cause deer to act like this? The place is hunte... READ MORE

Load of Bull

Load of Bull

By Bob Humphrey

No, no and no, you cannot do this. QUESTION: Is it true that you can tell the sex of a deer by their droppings? – Buster M. ANSWER: No. Some folks might like to believe you can, but the size, shape and consistency of deer poop is determined largely by diet. When feeding on their normal diet, which consists largely of coarse, woody browse, dro... READ MORE

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day

By Bob Humphrey

A whitetail’s coat doesn’t always look pretty during transition phases. QUESTION: I was checking my trail camera while turkey scouting and noticed this photo. Does this doe’s fur look normal? – Ken P. ANSWER: If you had sent just a regular photo it might at first seem a bit odd but I would likely still come to the same concl... READ MORE

Spot On

Spot On

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I have been reading “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The writer says several times that the pattern of a fawn’s spots is an indicator of a whitetail’s sex, spots being aligned for males and more random for females. Is that truth or myth? — Nicky ANSWER: Like the book itself, the concept that you ca... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd