Ask The Biologist

Ol’ Tripod

Ol’ Tripod

By Bob Humphrey

What would cause it, and can a deer survive with only three legs? QUESTION: I got this picture on my trail camera. What could cause this deer to only have three legs, and do you think it will survive? – Bob H. ANSWER: Possible reasons are numerous and varied. As there appears to be a bare spot and possible scarring, I would say it is likely t... READ MORE

Thin Is NOT In

Thin Is NOT In

By Bob Humphrey

Reclaimed mining property offers challenges for food plot growers. QUESTION: I have a 155-acre farm leased. It was previously mining property, and the soil is very poor with a very thin top layer. I am trying to get food plots started, but don’t have the equipment or the time and money to prepare the soil properly. I have read about throw-and... READ MORE

The Rut Marches On

The Rut Marches On

By Bob Humphrey

Does will be bred no matter how long it takes. QUESTION: I live just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, and about an hour ago, which was 5:30 (Feb. 10), I looked out back in my yard and watched a big buck grunting and chasing a smaller doe. What’s up with that? – Mike W. ANSWER: Most, but not all does are bred sometime during the initial rut,... READ MORE

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

By Bob Humphrey

What is the cause of light blood sign where deer congregate? QUESTION: For many years now I have noticed blood where deer have concentrated heavily and remained in one spot for long periods of time to feed in winter months. I only notice this when there is snow on the ground, probably because it stands out so much then. I am sure it is from a deer.... READ MORE

The Path Logs Traveled

The Path Logs Traveled

By Bob Humphrey

Logging trails can provide a variety of hunting benefits. QUESTION: I have 100 acres of forest property in upstate New York. Hunting there has been good. I recently had the property logged, and there are a lot of trails crisscrossing the property. Should I continue to leave all the trails open, or should I block them up and let them grow back into ... READ MORE

This Is Your Lungs On ...

This Is Your Lungs On ...

By Bob Humphrey

Here’s another example of a strange and interesting deer oddity. QUESTION: I recently harvested a white-tailed deer that had dark spots on its lungs, but otherwise appeared healthy. Do you have any thoughts on the cause? –Tim S. ANSWER: My first instinct on hearing “spots on the lungs” is TB (bovine tuberculosis). However, a... READ MORE

How High’s the Water?

How High’s the Water?

By Bob Humphrey

There are food plot crops that do well in moist soils, but it depends. QUESTION: We live in south-central Pennsylvania and have a very wet 20 acres that only has some wild grass and weeds in it. What could we plant to attract deer in our November to January hunting season? – Mike S. ANSWER: Much depends on what you mean by “very wet.&rd... READ MORE

It’s Not About Size

It’s Not About Size

By Bob Humphrey

Even tiny antlers need to be gone when the next set starts to grow. QUESTION: During West Virginia’s rifle season this year I saw a little buck with half-inch spikes. I’m curious, will that buck shed those tiny nubs? It almost seems pointless. – Ken P. ANSWER: Such tiny, spikes could be the result of a buck fawn born early enough ... READ MORE

Pine Plantation Predicament

Pine Plantation Predicament

By Bob Humphrey

Despite appearances, you can improve deer habitat on pine plantations. QUESTION: The area I lease in northwest Louisiana is mostly planted pine forest. I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to make the land more attractive to deer. ANSWER: Assuming the landowner uses this property for commercial pine plantations, food plots might n... READ MORE

Mix It Up

Mix It Up

By Bob Humphrey

When you have the luxury of a larger food plot, go with a variety of plants. QUESTION: I have a 5-acre field on 20 acres, and I would like to make a food plot. I was thinking of 2 acres of corn and something else on the remaining 3 acres. My property is in west-central Minnesota. What would you recommend to plant that would attract the deer and hel... READ MORE

Vanishing Act

Vanishing Act

By Bob Humphrey

What does it mean when traditional activity sites go dormant? QUESTION: I have been hunting this small woodlot surrounded by agriculture. There are many farms with similar small wooded areas attached where deer travel. My question is: I have hunted this small bush where there has been a scrape line for the past 12 years. I have always had multiple ... READ MORE

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

You can sometimes tell a lot about a shot by the way a deer reacts. QUESTION: Recently I shot a deer, I thought, in the chest. Immediately after the shot, the deer bucked and kicked out both rear legs and ran off, seemingly hit hard and with its tail down. I took another shot while it was running off. I waited about 15 minutes and went to the site ... 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

Tracking Bucks

Tracking Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist says you can’t identify a deer by a single track. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle an argument for me. Is there any way to tell the difference between a buck track and a doe track? –Harold B. ANSWER: Ah, yes, this is one of those classic deer camp debates that will probably go on forever. It is not possible to tel... READ MORE

Jumping the Gun

Jumping the Gun

By Bob Humphrey

Early buck sign has Alabama hunters curious about the rut. QUESTION: I am in northeast Alabama (Jackson County) and seeing very early signs of buck activity. We are seeing huge rubs and scrapes. We do not usually see this much buck sign until mid- to late-December. Does this indicate an early rut? – Mike P. ANSWER: First it’s helpful to... READ MORE

Okay To Be Different

Okay To Be Different

By Bob Humphrey

Whatever the cause, irregular antlers can be awesome! QUESTION: When I was a kid and through all the years of my life, I have been told by folks that non-typical bucks are a result of inbreeding among the deer population. Does that hold water? ANSWER: There are many possible reasons for bucks having irregular antlers. According to Kip Adams of the ... READ MORE

Not Like Wine

Not Like Wine

By Bob Humphrey

How long can you leave a deer it the woods before it spoils? QUESTION: I constantly see TV hunting shows where someone shoots a deer and then waits until the next day to find it. How long is the meat good when someone shoots the deer and finds it the next day? My belief is that once the heart stops, the blood is no longer circulating, which will cr... READ MORE

The Infamous Perfect Shot

The Infamous Perfect Shot

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a spot in a deer’s chest where an arrow wouldn’t strike vital organs? QUESTION: While bowhunting recently, I shot a buck and made what I thought was a perfect broadside shot. We found blood and tracked for some time, but after several hours the blood ran out and we were not able to find the buck. I have heard there is a spot in... READ MORE

Somebody Should Write That Article

Somebody Should Write That Article

By Bob Humphrey

Do you feel bad or resist the urge to take a doe that has yearlings with her? QUESTION: I took my son out for youth day, and all we saw was a doe with two fawns. I remembered someone telling me that if you shoot the doe and the fawns were too young, they would not be able to survive the harsh winter. He chose not to shoot, but now I wonder if he ma... READ MORE

Book Smart

Book Smart

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter’s problem is a lot more common than most would admit. QUESTION: As a young hunter, I often get frustrated hunting bucks at our property in Alabama. I feel like they are almost impossible to pattern in the mix of pine thickets/deep hardwood draws/creek bottom habitat. Are there any books out there that would be worth reading? I&rsq... READ MORE

Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd