Ask The Biologist

Better Late than Ever

Better Late than Ever

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a reason so many big, mature bucks are taken in the late seasons? QUESTION: Over the past few years, I've noticed that we've shot more big bucks in the late-season hunts, early and mid-January, in northwest Illinois. What might account for this? ANSWER: Late season is indeed one of the best times to kill bucks, particularly older, bigger o... READ MORE

Hatch a Plot

Hatch a Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, but it’s important to plant even small ones properly. QUESTION: I live in southeast Illinois and want to create a small food plot, about 50x50 feet. It will be in the shade and in a flat creek bottom. The soil is yellow clay with fescue grass growing on it. Can you tell me what type of seeds I should pla... READ MORE

Good Intentions

Good Intentions

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer in winter seems like a good idea, but it has serious consequences. QUESTION: I recently purchased a home in the Gettysburg/Littlestown, Pa. area on 2.74 wooded acres. There are many deer in this area and I have been feeding them shelled corn. I have not been hunting them. I wish to maintain their health and growth through the winter mo... READ MORE

Where’s the Other Antler?

Where’s the Other Antler?

By Bob Humphrey

Studies show many half-rack bucks have suffered an injury to the skull or pedicel. QUESTION: What causes bucks to grow half-racks? — Trevor B. ANSWER: To some extent that depends on what you mean by half-racks. A buck growing only one antler could be the result of an injury or genetic mutation. An injury to the limbs often results in some sor... READ MORE

Fawns Gone

Fawns Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered what happens to yearling deer when the mother doe goes into estrus? QUESTION: I am of the understanding that does will run their fawns off as they come into estrus. If this is true, when do they let their fawns return after they have been bred? I have heard right away, and I have heard maybe not at all. From seeing so many do... READ MORE

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

By Bob Humphrey

Love them or hate them, antler restrictions are a common component of many management plans. QUESTION: I live in Pennsylvania, and we have antler restrictions that I do not agree with. I don't feel we have more bigger bucks than we did before, and I know if you let a deer go, you’re letting him grow. But we are getting overrun with small buck... READ MORE

More About Spikes

More About Spikes

By Bob Humphrey

Does it matter if a spike has a certain length, or are spikes all the same? QUESTION: My hunting lease in East Texas (Saratoga) has a rule that you can’t shoot a spike unless it’s 10 inches long. Will that rule help or hurt our management goals? — Jeffrey W. ANSWER: The more we learn about whitetails, the more informed and effec... READ MORE

Deer By the Numbers

Deer By the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Is there an easy and inexpensive way to determine buck-to-doe ratios on my hunting property? QUESTION: I manage a 4,000-acre ranch in west-central Texas. We had a hard drought in 2001-2011 and lost several does. The buck population is thriving, and there are more does than there were when I took over management in 2012. My question is, how do I fi... READ MORE

Hole in the Head Buck

Hole in the Head Buck

By Bob Humphrey

Antler shedding and skull injuries are serious business for whitetail bucks. QUESTION: I was out shed hunting recently and found an antler that at first I thought was a shed but when I looked closer it had part of the skull still attached. My question is, is this a shed or was it broken off in a fight? Also, will this deer survive? — Will M.... READ MORE

The Energizer Whitetail

The Energizer Whitetail

By Bob Humphrey

How long can a deer survive a single-lung shot from a bow and arrow? QUESTION: I recently shot a buck with my bow, and it was a complete pass-through. Upon retrieving my arrow, the blood on it was light red and there were a few bubbles on the Blood Ring. The first spots of any blood were 10 yards away where he stopped, but after that I tracked the ... READ MORE

Got a Light?

Got a Light?

By Bob Humphrey

Does smoking in a deer stand really affect your success? QUESTION: I have shot many deer over the years, and generally every time I had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. However I have only shot does. My question is, does smoking really affect seeing deer? — Quentin B. ANSWER: That’s a good question. An acquaintance of mine, who is a... READ MORE

Ghost Deer

Ghost Deer

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many tracks without seeing the deer that made them? QUESTION: Please, please help. I have been hunting for 20 years and I have just received permission to bowhunt two properties in northern Ohio. Both are small properties: 5 acres and 10 acres. I was more excited than I had ever been about deer hunting. They are in sub... READ MORE

The Night Owl

The Night Owl

By Bob Humphrey

A mature buck is often nocturnal. Be patient and hope he makes a mistake. QUESTION: I’m getting pictures of a big buck on my trail camera, but only at night. Lately it’s been every night, but I never see him during the day. What can I do? — Adam P. ANSWER: I The short answer is be patient — and careful. If you’re consi... 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

Cotton Is King

Cotton Is King

By Bob Humphrey

You don’t have to buy protein pellets to provide deer with supplemental food.QUESTION: We have heard that mixing cotton seed hull with our current feeding of corn and Antler Max is very beneficial for white-tailed deer. Is that true? Also, we have gathered lots of oak acorns and plan to add them to the mix this year. This is stuff we put in our gra... READ MORE

Find the Food

Find the Food

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter might be new, but he’s asking the right kind of questions. QUESTION: I am new to hunting (my second year) although I'm 52 years old and a disabled veteran. I’m limited to hunting public land in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. While scouting, I have found wild grape vines on some of the public lands and was wondering i... READ MORE

Where Are The Big Bucks?

Where Are The Big Bucks?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We never see big bucks in the area we hunt, even on our cameras. Even deer we shoot with bigger bodies seem to have small basket racks. What can we do to change this situation? — Ellis C. ANSWER: As you’re probably aware, the three main factors that influence antler growth are age, nutrition and genetics. Let’s look at ... READ MORE

A Buck Named Lola

A Buck Named Lola

By Bob Humphrey

Can a doe really have antlers, and if so, how? QUESTION: Last year a guy in our town shot a doe with antlers. It was in late November and they were still covered in velvet. How is this possible? — Trent H. ANSWER: From a very young age we’re taught there is a difference between boys and girls, whether it be humans or deer. The truth o... READ MORE

Gut Shots Happen

Gut Shots Happen

By Bob Humphrey

The key to recovering paunch-shot deer is to back out quietly and wait. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle an argument. A friend told me that he would not hesitate to gut-shoot a deer if it was the only shot he had because he knows he’ll recover it. I say it’s a poor shot choice due to the high probability of not recovering the ... READ MORE

Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, nor do you need a lot of equipment. QUESTION: I have property to hunt in Chadds Ford, Pa. My question is, what type of food plot do you suggest for a shady area? — Darren ANSWER: That’s really tough to answer without a lot more information. In order to give you accurate advice I’d need to k... READ MORE

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd