Ask The Biologist

Why the Big Increase?

Why the Big Increase?

By Bob Humphrey

What’s up with increasing doe tags when the herd needs to recover? QUESTION: Where I live in Maine, the deer herd has been in rough shape for many years, mostly because of hard winters and coyotes. Last winter, we had a mild winter and now our state is proposing to increase the number of doe permits by quite a bit. My question is, why would t... READ MORE

Same But Different

Same But Different

By Bob Humphrey

Why mature bucks in some locations can look like night and day. QUESTION: How many species of white-tailed deer are there in the state of Texas? I’m wondering because I have been hunting the same county for years and have noticed that there are two different types of deer, maybe more. Some of these deer are mature, and you could not stretch 1... READ MORE

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

By Bob Humphrey

Outside of bait, what’s the best way to get deer to stop in front of a trail camera? QUESTION: I hunt state forest lands in Pennsylvania. We are not allowed to bait. What kind of scent products do you recommend to attract deer to my trail cameras to give me an idea of what kind of deer I might expect to see. — Joe R ANSWER: Almost any ... READ MORE

Uh Oh!

Uh Oh!

By Bob Humphrey

So you got pictures of hogs on your property. Now what? QUESTION: My hunting partners and I were working on some stands over the weekend, and we got this picture on one of our trail cameras. We have never had pigs on our ground before, and some of the guys are worried. This wasn’t the only picture, and we know for sure there is at least one l... READ MORE

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

By Bob Humphrey

Like all whitetail behavior, scrape activity is unpredictable. QUESTION: Last season I found several fresh scrapes and spent several days hunting over them, but I never saw any deer. A friend said I was wasting my time because bucks only scrape at night. Is that true? — Mike H. ANSWER: When it comes to whitetail behavior, two words you should... 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

Spring Scrapes

Spring Scrapes

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, we came across several places that looked like fresh deer scrapes. My hunting partner says they’re just turkey scratchings, but I deer hunt the same area and there are scrapes in these same locations in the fall. My question is, do deer scrape in the spring too? Why would they do this? — Thoma... READ MORE

On Their Own

On Their Own

By Bob Humphrey

What is the fate of most fawns whose mothers are taken during hunting season? QUESTION: If you take the mother during hunting season, will her fawns survive the winter? — Matthew N. ANSWER: Maybe. A lot depends on the age of the fawns. The older they are, the better their chances of survival. In most cases, fawns should be old enough to fend ... READ MORE

Which Seed?

Which Seed?

By Bob Humphrey

What to plant in your food plot depends on your goals and circumstances. QUESTION: I live in northwest Indiana and have room for a 1-acre food plot. What should I plant? – Jim E. ANSWER: A lot depends on your objective. Given that you have room for only one plot, you can probably rule out year-round nutrition or warm-season feeding plots. Tha... READ MORE

Hair Club for Deer

Hair Club for Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can lose hair for a number of reasons, but this is one odd case. QUESTION: Reckon y’all can tell me about this bald spot? The deer was taken Dec. 30 in northeast Georgia. — Patrick T. ANSWER: I have seen deer with similar marks, although not as large or as distinctly hairless. My first thought is that it is the result of a ... 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

Worst Ever Athlete’s Foot

Worst Ever Athlete’s Foot

By Bob Humphrey

Strange foot malady has hunter and our biologist stumped. QUESTION: I am a life member of Buckmasters and multiple other hunting organizations. For 15 years I have had a hunting lease in the middle of Iowa. Over the last several years, I have noted, with some anxiety, that several deer we harvested have the same physical issue. They have extremely ... READ MORE

Where’s the Venison?

Where’s the Venison?

By Bob Humphrey

Get to know the nutrition facts about venison so you can share with your friends. QUESTION: I know wild game is better for you than red meat from the store, but are there some numbers on how much better and why? I’d like to tell my non-hunting friends about it. – Larry A. ANSWER: Both beef and venison lack carbohydrates and are comple... READ MORE

Wretched Excess

Wretched Excess

By Bob Humphrey

Why a bumper acorn crop doesn’t make for the best hunting conditions. QUESTION: The place where I hunt has a lot of oak trees, and this year’s there’s a ton of acorns but I’m not seeing as many deer. Is the population down, or should I just hunt somewhere else? — William A. ANSWER: A bumper acorn crop can be a double-e... READ MORE

Little Slice of Heaven

Little Slice of Heaven

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter with a sweet-sounding little lease wants to know what to plant. QUESTION: I am a disabled hunter who has just leased 50 acres for deer hunting. This piece of ground backs up against a 150-acre nature preserve and is bordered on each side by farm ground with the front side being a road. I am wanting to put in a 2- to 3-acre food plot next to ... READ MORE

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I was on a guided hunt last fall in Texas and killed a buck that I thought was around 3 years old. My guide stuck his fingers in the deer’s mouth to feel it’s teeth and declared it was 5 years old. Can you offer some tips on how to easily tell a deer’s age after it’s been harvested? — Jamie W. Answer:  A... 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

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

What’s the Magic Number?

What’s the Magic Number?

By Bob Humphrey

When hunting small parcels, much depends on your neighbors. QUESTION: How many deer can be harvested in a season off a 10 acre piece of land? It has not been hunted in 10 years and is in Texas. — Chris F. ANSWER: I can’t give you a definitive answer without considerably more information. That fact that it hasn’t been hunted is a g... 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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd