Ask The Biologist

Whitetail Rodeo

Whitetail Rodeo

By Bob Humphrey

How big is my herd? Let me count all the bucks and does. QUESTION: In a story in the October, 2016 issue, the topic was what kind of social structure exists in whitetail herds. I would like to know how big a herd can be that includes all the groups of bucks and does within a herd’s territory. — Ricky W. ANSWER: I’m not sure there ... READ MORE

Makin’ It Through

Makin’ It Through

By Bob Humphrey

It’s hard to imagine deer making it through a brutal winter, but some always do. QUESTION: We’ve had over 100 inches of snow this winter where I live. How well will the deer survive? — Steve R. ANSWER: Without more information, I can’t offer specifics, but I can provide some generalities. For starters, they’ve been doi... READ MORE

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

By Bob Humphrey

Like an old dog, it’s just about impossible to get a big old buck to change his ways. QUESTION: How can I change the pattern of big bucks traveling at night? — Gary from N.J. ANSWER: My knee-jerk reaction would be to put something in their way so they have to go around it, but I suspect that’s not the answer you’re looking f... READ MORE

You Can’t Do That Here

You Can’t Do That Here

By Bob Humphrey

Why does calling work so well on TV, but not in my neck of the woods? QUESTION: What (and when) are the best calls for New England deer? I watch TV, and they are always hunting somewhere that deer are plentiful. They use rattles, bleats and grunts, and it seems like deer just come running in from all over the place. What are the best techniques for... READ MORE

Your Buck Is Different, Mr. Gump

Your Buck Is Different, Mr. Gump

By Bob Humphrey

Why you might not be seeing 4.5-year-old deer on your trail cameras. QUESTION: I’ve asked to several seasoned deer hunters this question, and none have been able to give much insight. I hunt in Plantersville, Ala. (20 minutes north of Selma), and run several game cameras. Over the course of two years of running cameras over feeders during the... READ MORE

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

By Bob Humphrey

Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to this doe’s ear disfiguration. QUESTION: I recently saw a doe that had the tips of both ears eaten away. Do you know what might have done this? I also have seen a lot of babies this year with scratches on their noses. — J. Ellis ANSWER: The best I can do, which isn’t very good, is spec... 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

Foot Fetish

Foot Fetish

By Bob Humphrey

Hoof abnormalities might mean your deer survived EHD. QUESTION: I hunted in a group this year, and three of the deer we harvested had hoof pads that where coming off as a single piece. We could see new pads under old ones. I’ve hunted 30 years and never saw this before. All the deer looked healthy. What causes this? — Sherry W. ANSWER: ... 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

Piebald Pandemonium

Piebald Pandemonium

By Bob Humphrey

Did the presence of a rare deer push other deer from this hunting property? QUESTION: Recently during Maryland's first week of gun season, about a half dozen folks I know hunted a small piece of property, about 80 acres, in Baltimore County immediately north of I-695, the Baltimore Beltway. During that week only one deer, a piebald, was seen severa... READ MORE

Early Dropout

Early Dropout

By Bob Humphrey

There are several reasons some bucks shed antlers earlier than others. QUESTION: Our muzzleloader season typically runs into the second week in December. This year a friend said he saw a buck without antlers on December 5. I sometimes see bucks still with their antlers in January. My question is, why did this buck drop its antlers so early. —... READ MORE

Can I See Your ID?

Can I See Your ID?

By Bob Humphrey

The best way to determine the age of a deer depends on where it is. QUESTION: What is the best way to age a deer? — Richard E. ANSWER: Well, that depends on what you mean by “aging a deer.” If you mean determining how old it is, the answer depends on whether the deer is dead at your feet or alive in the field. The quickest and eas... READ MORE

Anti-Deer Spray

Anti-Deer Spray

By Bob Humphrey

Put the lime in the field and watch the deer disappear? QUESTION: This year my landowner spread lime on his harvested fields. Up to that point, I observed the deer were feeding in them quite often, and I had trail cam pictures of them doing so, too. After the lime, I have not observed any deer in these fields or captured a single trail camera pictu... READ MORE

Better Safe than Sorry

Better Safe than Sorry

By Bob Humphrey

States take the cautious approach when it comes to bottled deer pee. QUESTION: Why is it illegal to use deer lure/scent in CWD areas when deer pee in the woods anyway? — John S. ANSWER: The short answer is, the people who are in charge of establishing such regulations and policies believe it is better to be safe than sorry. There’s stil... READ MORE

The Energizer Camera

The Energizer Camera

By Bob Humphrey

Does it make sense to put out food if deer are already coming to an area? QUESTION: I been hunting a 100-acre lease for several years. Last December, I turned my game camera on, filled my 6-gallon feeder up and hunted it for the last time that year. A couple days ago, my wife and I revisited the treestand and pulled the camera I had left behind to ... READ MORE

You Can’t Get There from Here

You Can’t Get There from Here

By Bob Humphrey

If you want to know how many does to harvest, you have to know how many deer you have. QUESTION: How many does should you harvest per 100 acres to increase your total deer population? Also to decrease or keep the population the same? — Eugene W. ANSWER: I’m afraid you might not like my answer, but a friend of mine once said, “You ... READ MORE

Seeing Spots

Seeing Spots

By Bob Humphrey

Several factors make the Southern rut a confusing, drawn-out process. QUESTION: I live and hunt in central Louisiana, Area 6. October starts our bow season, and every doe I see has spotted fawns with her. Even during my hunt on Nov. 2, the does still had spotted fawns. If a deer carries a fetus 200 days and these fawns are a month or so old, does t... READ MORE

Twisted Tops

Twisted Tops

By Bob Humphrey

It’s difficult to pin down the cause of misshapen racks. QUESTION: What causes bent-over racks? Is it aggressiveness by this young deer when it starts growing antlers in the spring? A head injury? I have seen five or six like this over the past 10 years. Maybe genetics? How can I tell for sure? My friends and I have been wondering. — Bi... READ MORE

Blow Myth Blown

Blow Myth Blown

By Bob Humphrey

Can you tell the sex of a deer by whether it snorts at danger? QUESTION: One of my hunting buddies was telling how he had a buck blowing at him repeatedly. When I asked him how big it was, he said he didn’t know because he never saw it. Then I asked how he knew it was a buck, he said because it was blowing. I’ve heard several other peop... 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

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd