Ask The Biologist

Entries for October 2014

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

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

Bug Problems

Bug Problems

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in the middle of the coast range in Oregon. I have always given my dogs brewers yeast with garlic and never had fleas or ticks. This year we have had both deer and elk in our yard almost every night. My dog now has fleas. Is this from the deer and elk? Both my dog and I have had deer ticks on us that we have removed. What can I do ... READ MORE

Hello Ladies!

Hello Ladies!

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We have an abundant supply of whitetails on our Kansas acreage and enjoy their company immensely. As expected, there appear to be far more does than bucks. Allowing for the fact that hunting regulations favor the harvesting of bucks, I can find no data on the likelihood of a doe giving birth to a male vs. female fawns. Is what I am witnes... READ MORE

Therein Lies the Rub

Therein Lies the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks rub their antlers to remove velvet and mark territory, but understanding rub messages depends on when and where the buck made them. QUESTION: On my property in the Catskills region of New York, we see a few rubs in late September and early October, but the majority of rubs do not appear until early November. I want to know if buck rubs are p... READ MORE

Burned by Brassicas?

Burned by Brassicas?

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots can be frustrating, especially if your crop looks great and the deer don’t seem to be interested. Have patience. It takes time for deer to learn a new food source, and brassicas also require some freezing temperatures. QUESTION: I planted winter turnips last September and they grew nicely. As we began to get cold temperatures, the... 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

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

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

What A Difference A Day Makes

What A Difference A Day Makes

By Bob Humphrey

It’s true. In most cases, a doe’s peak release of hormones, indicating her willingness to breed, only lasts one day. QUESTION: Is it true a white-tailed deer is only in heat for a brief 24 hours? — Linda C. ANSWER: In most cases that’s fairly accurate. In order to conceive, a doe must be ready, willing and able.  Heat... READ MORE

Kill 'Em All

Kill 'Em All

By Bob Humphrey

Left unchecked, weeds can choke out your food plot and waste a lot of effort and time. You can get rid of them, but it takes more of that effort/time combination QUESTION: I like to plant food plots using clover, rape and chicory. Everyone talks about killing the weeds, but no one gives the name of a good product that won’t kill my food plot.... READ MORE

Were Having Triplets!

Were Having Triplets!

By Bob Humphrey

It’s pretty common to see a doe with two fawns, but how often do they have triplets, and can you predict what sex they’ll be? QUESTION: I shot a white-tailed doe on Dec. 26 in Middle Tennessee. She had three button bucks with her, and I would guess they were hers by the way they acted traveling with her. While field-dressing her, I di... 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

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

By Bob Humphrey

You can buy generic food plot seed, but do you really want to grow something not developed just for deer? QUESTION: Is any pea or soybean variety okay for a food plot, or are there specific types deer eat or avoid? ANSWER: Peas, soybeans, clover and alfalfa are all classified as legumes, and there are many varieties of each. Some, like soybeans ... READ MORE

What's Up With the G?

What's Up With the G?

By Bob Humphrey

Did you ever wonder what the mysterious “G” stood for when you were reading about a buck’s antler points? QUESTION: Last year, after more than 50 years in the woods as an outdoorsman, I stumbled upon the shed of a 16-point buck ... and the rest is history. Shed hunting is my new hobby! It just makes me nuts to find a trophy side a... 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

What's a Noob To Do?

What's a Noob To Do?

By Bob Humphrey

A majority of us were taught how to hunt when we were little, but what if you didn’t come from a hunting family? QUESTION: What books or resources about deer movement would you recommend for someone new to hunting. — Jack ANSWER: Why do I feel like you’re setting me up with this question? First, if you’re not already a membe... READ MORE

In-Woods Plot Plants

In-Woods Plot Plants

By Bob Humphrey

Last week we had the most common food plot question. This week we feature the second most posed query. QUESTION: What seed do you recommend for planting in shaded woods for spring, summer & fall? I can’t get a tractor to the plot, and it is only about 20x30. — Jim D. ANSWER: I suggest you go one of two ways: The easiest would be t... READ MORE

What Should I Plant?

What Should I Plant?

By Bob Humphrey

This is by far the most common food plot question. Unfortunately, there is no one correct answer. QUESTION: I live in eastern Massachusetts. I was curious what the best food sources would be to set up a food plot. I know the deer are around the local cornfields but is there anything else I could use on my plot for a bit more diversity to help attr... READ MORE

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd