Ask The Biologist

Short in the Tooth

Short in the Tooth

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails in the wild usually have a short and dangerous life. QUESTION: I got a deer last fall, and while caping it out I noticed the teeth were very worn. Someone told me that means it’s a very old deer. My question is, how old do deer get? — J.T. ANSWER: Much depends on where they live. In captivity, whitetails can live 20 years or ... READ MORE

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

By Bob Humphrey

Can tracking a wounded deer run all the other deer off a property? QUESTION: A friend was bowhunting on my property in southern Maryland this year, and he arrowed an 8-pointer with his recurve. We tracked it through a few coveted bedding areas and pretty much covered a good portion of my 150 acres of hunting land. Two weeks later, I’m still n... READ MORE

Holdin’ On

Holdin’ On

By Bob Humphrey

Do late-dropping antlers affect next year’s rack? QUESTION: I have noticed several bucks in the last two years near the New York/Pennsylvania border area hanging onto their antlers into March and April. Knowing that deer in our area start antler growth sometime around May, I wonder if it has any impact on their antler growth for the upcoming ... READ MORE

Typhoid Whitetails

Typhoid Whitetails

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails carry brain worms that can be fatal to moose. QUESTION: I live in southern Maine, and someone told me the reason we don’t have more moose where I live is because they get a brain worm from deer. If that’s true, why doesn’t it kill deer too?  — Todd H. ANSWER: What you’re referring to is a parasitic nema... READ MORE

Long Live the King

Long Live the King

By Bob Humphrey

Why do some bucks keep their racks so far into winter? QUESTION: I run trail cameras on my feeders, and in the last week of February I’m still getting pictures of a mature buck with antlers. My question is, when do bucks shed their antlers? — Bruce W. ANSWER: Antlers serve several purposes. Bucks use them as offensive and defensive weap... READ MORE

Lay Off the Juice!

Lay Off the Juice!

By Bob Humphrey

What could be the cause of this buck’s abnormal thickness? QUESTION: Any idea what’s wrong with this buck? — Layton S. ANSWER: I once observed a Saskatchewan buck with a similar, although less severe, condition. He looked like a 50-gallon barrel on a sawbuck. The best I can do is speculate, based on what we know about whitetails. ... READ MORE

Cradle Robbers

Cradle Robbers

By Bob Humphrey

Where are all these young deer coming from, and where are the giants? QUESTION: I have a 700-acre lease on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina that’s mostly thick cut-over — perfect bedding cover. This is the fourth year we have been attempting to let our deer get bigger but this year we were overrun with spikes, 3- and 4-pointers. We r... READ MORE

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many bucks during the late summer and then none in the fall? QUESTION: I hunt my farm in Kentucky. It has a clover field, wheat and oat fields and in a good season we’ll have turnips and no hunting pressure. I have many pictures of big bucks during the summer, but they soon disappear. There are plenty of does. Wha... READ MORE

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

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd