Ask The Biologist

Cotton Is King

Cotton Is King

By Bob Humphrey

You don’t have to buy protein pellets to provide deer with supplemental food.QUESTION: We have heard that mixing cotton seed hull with our current feeding of corn and Antler Max is very beneficial for white-tailed deer. Is that true? Also, we have gathered lots of oak acorns and plan to add them to the mix this year. This is stuff we put in our gra... READ MORE

You Heard What?

You Heard What?

By Bob Humphrey

Even if bleach worked for creating salt licks, there are much better things to use. QUESTION: I've heard a couple of people talking about pouring bleach on stumps and creating a salt lick that deer love. Is there any validity to this? I would think the bleach would be harmful to the deer and other wildlife. — Ronny H. ANSWER: I must admit tha... READ MORE

They’re Ugly, But ...

They’re Ugly, But ...

By Bob Humphrey

Abnormal skin growths are not always a serious problem QUESTION: I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and we have a deer that comes into our yard quite often. She is nice and fat but has terrible looking growths. It started with just one clump, and now they are huge. I would like to know if these tumors can be spread to other deer. ANSWER: The growths p... READ MORE

Hunting Pressure

Hunting Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

If every place gets hunted, where do they go? QUESTION: The area I hunt gets a fair amount of hunting pressure, and it seems like the deer disappear once gun season starts. But if every place gets hunted, where do they go? — Brent W. ANSWER: Believe it or not, they’re probably still there. Recent research on mature bucks fitted with ... READ MORE

All in the Head

All in the Head

By Bob Humphrey

Once again our expert is called upon to settle a friendly debate. QUESTION: A friend and I got into a heated argument and I’m hoping you can settle it. My question is: Could psychology be considered a part of biology? ANSWER: I’d love to hear how that ties in to whitetails but the answer is yes. Biology is the study of living things and... READ MORE

Jousting with One Antler

Jousting with One Antler

By Bob Humphrey

No need to cull Spike on One Side (SOS or SOOS) deer. Researchers assign pedicle or early skull trauma as root causes of the phenomenon, not genetics. Question:  Two years ago we noticed some type of defect within our deer population when a guest shot a buck that had antler growth on only one side.  The other side had nothing, not even a... READ MORE

Vanilla Question

Vanilla Question

By Bob Humphrey

Vanilla as in the flavor, not as a generic question. QUESTION: My local sporting goods store had a bottle of deer attractant that smells like vanilla. That’s not a natural scent anywhere I hunt. How can it possibly work on deer? ANSWER: Good question. It really shouldn’t, because it’s a foreign odor, but deer are attracted by diff... 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

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re going to shoot that deer, at least buy him a drink first. QUESTION: My wife works for a micro-brewery. Can I feed the deer the cooked hops from the beer? ANSWER: That’s a darned good question. I didn’t know the answer (had never even considered it) so I went to the most reliable source I could find. Finding no reference ... READ MORE

Unbearable

Unbearable

By Bob Humphrey

There are lots of predators in the woods, and most like venison. QUESTION: I was checking trail camera photos and had lots of fawns. I also noticed more bear pictures than I’ve seen before. That got me to wondering if bears prey on deer, especially fawns. –Joe D. ANSWER: Bears are omnivorous, meaning their diet includes both meat and pl... READ MORE

Cold Spell

Cold Spell

By Bob Humphrey

Temperature definitely affects deer movement, but how it does so is determined by location. QUESTION: I have heard that deer will lay up until temperatures get above freezing. Is this true, and at what temperature will they start moving? — Glenn E. ANSWER: How temperature affects deer depends, to a certain extent, on location. Ask any Saskatc... READ MORE

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow

By Bob Humphrey

Kansas newcomer wonders if the rut will impact gun season. QUESTION: I’m new to east Kansas and would like to know when the rut happens in Miami County. The gun season for whitetails starts the 6th of December this year. – Bill ANSWER: I recently completed a revision of the Buckmasters Rut Calendar, which gives rut dates for all states ... 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

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

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

Backyard Biologist

Backyard Biologist

By Bob Humphrey

Could trail cameras be used to track fawn birth and calculate the conception dates? QUESTION: Do you think I could use my trail cameras to tell when the rut occurred in my area? If I see pregnant does at my camera one week, and the next week they’re skinny again, could I back-date to determine conception? — Ken P. ANSWER: Well, I suppos... 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

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

Rub Line Ruler

Rub Line Ruler

By Bob Humphrey

You can't always judge a buck by the size of the rub. QUESTION: Last hunting season before Christmas, I found some really big rubs between on trees between 4 and 7 inches in diameter. They were in a swampy area in a creek bottom, in standing water and paralleling the edge of the swamp. The rub line seemed like it was a couple hundred yards long. I... READ MORE

Not a Licking Branch!

Not a Licking Branch!

By Bob Humphrey

Not all rut interaction by bucks is violent, and it’s likely more significant than you think. QUESTION: Last fall during the rut, I saw two bucks approach each other in a greenfield. Rather than fighting, they licked each other’s ears and face. Why would they do this? — Kevin M. ANSWER: The behavior you observed is not all that un... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd