Ask The Biologist

Where’s the Bone?

Where’s the Bone?

By Bob Humphrey

It can be frustrating when bucks don’t grow the size antlers you think they should. QUESTION: I have several cameras out and have been watching the deer in my vicinity for several seasons. They just don’t seem to be growing the type of antlers I think they should. Do you think I should put out some minerals for them? What kind would you... 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

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

How Long Should You Wait?

How Long Should You Wait?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last fall I arrowed a deer in the paunch. We waited about four hours before looking for it, then we jumped it and it ran off. We returned the following day with a dog, and after about six hours eventually found my deer about a half mile away in a creek bed. My question is, how long should you wait before following up on a gut shot? &mdash... READ MORE

Need a Trim?

Need a Trim?

By Bob Humphrey

Cutting timber sounds simple, but start with a good plan. QUESTION: I recently purchased a woodlot for hunting and recreation, and we’re going to be cutting some firewood this year. Can you offer some tips on when/how to cut that will help the deer? ANSWER: It’s difficult to be too specific without more information, but I can offer some... 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

Where’s the Other Antler?

Where’s the Other Antler?

By Bob Humphrey

Studies show many half-rack bucks have suffered an injury to the skull or pedicel. QUESTION: What causes bucks to grow half-racks? — Trevor B. ANSWER: To some extent that depends on what you mean by half-racks. A buck growing only one antler could be the result of an injury or genetic mutation. An injury to the limbs often results in some sor... 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

Saltaholic

Saltaholic

By Bob Humphrey

Just like us, deer love salt, but it’s not really beneficial. QUESTION: CWD just expanded into where I live in south-central Pennsylvania. Is it okay to continue offering salt? I don’t want CWD to spread, but feel the deer still need it. I was wondering if offering salt might bring deer together and increase the chances of spreading the... READ MORE

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

By Bob Humphrey

Cold and extreme cold temperatures affect how well deer detect scents and odors. Watch deer lick their noses to increase humidity and their scents-ability. QUESTION: While I tend to believe that sound travels better in the cold and allows a deer to hear an intruder/hunter sooner, does extreme cold — less than 32 degrees — affect how we... READ MORE

Growth Spurt

Growth Spurt

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail antlers are the fastest-growing tissue known. QUESTION: I saw a buck the other day, and his antlers were already out to his ears. It’s not even July. How fast do antlers grow? ANSWER: Sometimes even scientists can’t see the forest for the trees. I consulted the two most authoritative books on white-tailed deer, both of which h... READ MORE

Thoughts for Food

Thoughts for Food

By Bob Humphrey

Select a protein feeder type based on your goals; each has advantages. QUESTION: I would like to know how you feel about feeding deer protein at a free-choice feeder verses a time-release system. — Joe S. ANSWER: You haven’t provided quite enough information to give you too much detail on which might be a better option in your situation... READ MORE

Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Late summer or early fall is the best time to plant a hunting food plot. QUESTION: When is the best time to plant a food plot in northern Mississippi for gun hunting in November? — Keith M. ANSWER: I could give you a long, drawn-out answer about developing a plan to provide proper year-round nutrition to attract and hold more and healthier de... READ MORE

Feathers, Guts and All

Feathers, Guts and All

By Bob Humphrey

Why do Southerners drag out their deer without field-dressing them first? QUESTION: I am from New York. Last year I did my first out-of-state hunt, in Alabama. The people I hunted with told me not to field dress my deer, but to bring it back to camp whole. At first I thought they were just kidding me, but they were serious. When I asked why, they j... 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

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

Hello Ladies!

Hello Ladies!

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We have an abundant supply of whitetails on our Kansas acreage and enjoy their company immensely. As expected, there appear to be far more does than bucks. Allowing for the fact that hunting regulations favor the harvesting of bucks, I can find no data on the likelihood of a doe giving birth to a male vs. female fawns. Is what I am witnes... READ MORE

Cull or Management Buck?

Cull or Management Buck?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I hear people use the terms “cull buck” and “management buck” but I don’t understand the difference. Can you shed some light on this? — B. Warren ANSWER: I’ll do the best I can, but there are no hard and fast definitions for either term. Much depends on specific management objectives of the landow... 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

Cradle Robbers

Cradle Robbers

By Bob Humphrey

Where are all these young deer coming from, and where are the giants? QUESTION: I have a 700-acre lease on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina that’s mostly thick cut-over — perfect bedding cover. This is the fourth year we have been attempting to let our deer get bigger but this year we were overrun with spikes, 3- and 4-pointers. We r... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd