Ask The Biologist

Ticked Off

Ticked Off

By Bob Humphrey

Take steps to repel ticks in the spring and the fall. QUESTION: I like to bowhunt early in the season, but the ticks have gotten really bad where I live. Someone told me regular insect repellent will work, but I’m afraid the smell will scare away deer. Is there something else I can use? –Kyle G. ANSWER: I, too, have heard that conventio... 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

Just Ask Alice

Just Ask Alice

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered about the white mushrooms you see in the woods? QUESTION: I’ve seen deer eating white mushrooms in the pine forest. Are those mushrooms good for human consumption? — Duane F. ANSWER: I’m going to offer a vague answer. The reason is that some mushrooms are edible, while others are not. More important, some ar... 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

Hog Hell

Hog Hell

By Bob Humphrey

There isn’t any good news when it comes to wild pigs on your deer lease. QUESTION: I hunt on a lease in northwest Florida. A few years ago, the wild pig population was tolerable, but now it’s out of control. You cannot go anywhere without seeing pig sign. And if you put out corn, they take over the area. I have three questions:1) Can yo... 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

Bachelor Party

Bachelor Party

By Bob Humphrey

There are multiple benefits to bucks hanging out together. QUESTION: I know that bucks group together in bachelor herds, and I was wondering why. – Todd S. ANSWER: Everything happens for a reason, right? Bachelor herds or groups are loose social aggregations of males that form as early as spring, but typically become larger, more coalesced an... READ MORE

Down But Not Out

Down But Not Out

By Bob Humphrey

Deer are tough – there’s just no other way to put it. QUESTION: This winter, I shot a buck and knocked it right down, but then it got up and ran away. We tracked it for a long way and found two large puddles of blood but did not find the deer. Then we brought in tracking dogs and jumped the deer, but it ran away and we did not recover i... READ MORE

I’ll Have a Salad

I’ll Have a Salad

By Bob Humphrey

Cattle farmer asks if whitetails exhibit the same diet shift as his cows. QUESTION: Female livestock that are healthy and mature enough to breed go through a process of preparing their bodies for the breeding during a period called flushing, where cows will feed on high quality forage to meet this need. I have witnessed a significant change in the ... READ MORE

Yikes!

Yikes!

By Bob Humphrey

Cringe-worthy growths likely not nearly as bad as they look. QUESTION: I recently saw a video of a deer covered with tumors. Do deer get the bubonic plague? ANSWER: Bubonic plague, sometimes called the black death killed more than 20 million people in Europe (a third of the continent’s population) in roughly five years in the 1300s. Fortunate... 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

Play the Numbers

Play the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Doe groups will always draw bucks during the rut. QUESTION: They say you should hunt does during the rut because that’s where the bucks will be, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. My experience has been that does nearing estrus want to get away from other does. Am I on to something, and if so, where should I focus my rut hunt efforts... READ MORE

Fired Up

Fired Up

By Bob Humphrey

Will the fire that swept through my property help or hurt the hunting? QUESTION: We had a fire on the land we hunt in Georgia, near the Alabama border. How will this affect our deer’s lives and behavior? ANSWER: It’s really difficult to say without more specific information, but I can offer some generalities. Fire is not necessarily a b... READ MORE

They Start Young

They Start Young

By Bob Humphrey

How soon a doe breeds depends largely on habitat. QUESTION: Do yearling does go into heat and breed their first year? — Gary K. ANSWER: I suspect by the way you’ve worded your question, you are misusing the term yearling. A deer becomes a yearling after passing its first birthday. By the time breeding season rolls around, a yearling doe... READ MORE

Early Birds

Early Birds

By Bob Humphrey

Although not common, it is normal to find a scrape outside of the fall. QUESTION: I have seen scrapes as early as late July. It was in same site as where a buck had made a scrape the year before. Would you say he or another deer cleaned out last year’s scrape? — Steve B. ANSWER: I would. While deer don’t necessarily make scrapes a... READ MORE

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s not as strange as you think that does nurse fawns into hunting season. QUESTION: I was bowhunting last October when a doe and fawn came by my stand. I was about to shoot the doe when the fawn came up, and I swear it started to nurse. Isn’t this late in the season? What would the fawn’s chances of survival be if I shot the doe... READ MORE

Pelletized or Powdered?

Pelletized or Powdered?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What’s the big difference between fast acting lime and regular aglime or ground lime. — Duane F. Answer:  Lime comes in two forms, pelletized and powder. Pelletized lime is easier to handle because it typically comes in bags. It’s also easier to apply because it can be spread by most gravity fed spreaders. It takes ... READ MORE

While the Iron is Hot

While the Iron is Hot

By Bob Humphrey

The clock is always ticking on early season bachelor buck groups. QUESTION: I’ve been watching a small group of velvet bucks visit the same field almost every evening. Our bow season is still a month away. Will these bucks still be here when the season opens? There’s a couple good ones, and I’d like to get a crack at one. — ... 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

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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd