Ask The Biologist

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

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

Nose Bugs

Nose Bugs

By Bob Humphrey

Just when you think you’ve seen every kind of strange deer malady... QUESTION: I shot a nice buck in Illinois this year, and while we were taking pictures, we noticed there was something in its nose. It turned out to be a big snail-looking thing. What is it, and is it safe to eat this deer? –Ryan ANSWER: This appears to be, and in all l... READ MORE

Can O’ Corn

Can O’ Corn

By Bob Humphrey

Corn isn’t necessarily a bad thing to put in deer feeders. QUESTION: I want to put out a few feeders to attract and hold deer in my area. I know corn will work, but I’ve read a few articles that said corn isn’t very beneficial to whitetails. What would you recommend? — Scott M. ANSWER: Much depends on where you live, but if ... READ MORE

Is It Better to Take Barren Does?

Is It Better to Take Barren Does?

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist explores another long-standing whitetail myth. QUESTION: Where I hunt, we try to remove a few does each year to keep the herd healthy. This fall, one of my buddies shot a particularly large doe and said she was a dry doe and it was better to remove her from the herd because she isn’t producing fawns. My question is, how can you ... READ MORE

The Hole Thing

The Hole Thing

By Bob Humphrey

We might think of deer as peaceful, but they can be tough on one another. QUESTION: These pictures are from a deer before and after I skinned it. It had this hole on its inner thigh. There was no smell of rotting flesh, but I have never seen anything like it my 15 years of hunting. Any idea what it is? — Robert M. ANSWER: One can never be sur... READ MORE

Feelin’ Foggy

Feelin’ Foggy

By Bob Humphrey

You have to be careful when searching the internet for deer hunting advice. QUESTION: My uncle and I were hunting in our blind one foggy morning, and I asked my uncle to look up on the internet about hunting in the fog. The answers on the web didn’t make much sense to us. One source said fog can be one of the best times to hunt, while another... 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

Gesundheit!

Gesundheit!

By Bob Humphrey

Yes, whitetails sneeze just like us, and often for the same reasons. QUESTION: I have heard deer make many different sounds, but this fall I had a deer come by me and it kept making this sound like it was sneezing. What does this mean? ANSWER: I could dazzle you with all kinds of possible explanations as to the deer’s exhalations, but what yo... READ MORE

Foot Fetish

Foot Fetish

By Bob Humphrey

Hoof abnormalities might mean your deer survived EHD. QUESTION: I hunted in a group this year, and three of the deer we harvested had hoof pads that where coming off as a single piece. We could see new pads under old ones. I’ve hunted 30 years and never saw this before. All the deer looked healthy. What causes this? — Sherry W. ANSWER: ... READ MORE

One Tough Myth

One Tough Myth

By Bob Humphrey

The spike question has more lives than Rasputin. QUESTION: Does a spike always remain a spike? Or next year could he become something more? It seems like people believe once a spike always a spike, but when I ask someone they all say that’s what I’ve been told. I don’t know who this person is, but he or she sure seems to know a lo... READ MORE

Anti-Deer Spray

Anti-Deer Spray

By Bob Humphrey

Put the lime in the field and watch the deer disappear? QUESTION: This year my landowner spread lime on his harvested fields. Up to that point, I observed the deer were feeding in them quite often, and I had trail cam pictures of them doing so, too. After the lime, I have not observed any deer in these fields or captured a single trail camera pictu... READ MORE

To Wait or Not to Wait

To Wait or Not to Wait

By Bob Humphrey

It’s a tough call to decide how long to wait to track a bow-shot deer. QUESTION: I’d like to get a few deer in the freezer early in the archery season, but it’s really hot here in Alabama at that time. It can be in the 90s! How long is it safe to let a deer go after a shot? I want to give the deer time to expire, but I don’t... READ MORE

Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks and does are just different, including in how they use food plots. QUESTION: This year I have had several different bucks of different ages coming through my food plot, but it seems like all they are doing is passing through. I have just a small number of does that visit the plot on a regular basis. Could the bucks be passing through, checkin... READ MORE

Melanistic Deer

Melanistic Deer

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I shot a melanistic 9-point buck on Nov.15, 2000. He dressed out at 174 pounds. Does anybody track or keep records of such rare animals? — Daniel S. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions and comments about odd deer, particularly color variations. Even in “normal” deer, pelage (fur color) can be highly variable, ranging fr... 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

Piebald Pandemonium

Piebald Pandemonium

By Bob Humphrey

Did the presence of a rare deer push other deer from this hunting property? QUESTION: Recently during Maryland's first week of gun season, about a half dozen folks I know hunted a small piece of property, about 80 acres, in Baltimore County immediately north of I-695, the Baltimore Beltway. During that week only one deer, a piebald, was seen severa... 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

It’s a Date!

It’s a Date!

By Bob Humphrey

Calendar-based baiting law has our biologist stumped. QUESTION: My state just enacted a ban on feeding deer that begins June 1 and ends Dec. 15. I’m a little confused as to why they would do this. Any ideas? — Travis E. ANSWER: It does seem a little strange, and there are multiple possibilities. There are about as many different baiting... READ MORE

Drop that Fur!

Drop that Fur!

By Bob Humphrey

Piles of deer hair leave turkey hunter wondering about predators. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I’ve been finding a lot of clumps of deer hair in the woods. I’ve heard that coyotes have become a bigger problem in my area and I’m wondering if this could be the reason. — Carroll D., Edgefield, S.C. ANSWER: Coyote... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd