Ask The Biologist

Lay Off the Juice!

Lay Off the Juice!

By Bob Humphrey

What could be the cause of this buck’s abnormal thickness? QUESTION: Any idea what’s wrong with this buck? — Layton S. ANSWER: I once observed a Saskatchewan buck with a similar, although less severe, condition. He looked like a 50-gallon barrel on a sawbuck. The best I can do is speculate, based on what we know about whitetails. ... 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

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many bucks during the late summer and then none in the fall? QUESTION: I hunt my farm in Kentucky. It has a clover field, wheat and oat fields and in a good season we’ll have turnips and no hunting pressure. I have many pictures of big bucks during the summer, but they soon disappear. There are plenty of does. Wha... READ MORE

Better Late than Ever

Better Late than Ever

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a reason so many big, mature bucks are taken in the late seasons? QUESTION: Over the past few years, I've noticed that we've shot more big bucks in the late-season hunts, early and mid-January, in northwest Illinois. What might account for this? ANSWER: Late season is indeed one of the best times to kill bucks, particularly older, bigger o... 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

Good Intentions

Good Intentions

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer in winter seems like a good idea, but it has serious consequences. QUESTION: I recently purchased a home in the Gettysburg/Littlestown, Pa. area on 2.74 wooded acres. There are many deer in this area and I have been feeding them shelled corn. I have not been hunting them. I wish to maintain their health and growth through the winter mo... 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

Fawns Gone

Fawns Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered what happens to yearling deer when the mother doe goes into estrus? QUESTION: I am of the understanding that does will run their fawns off as they come into estrus. If this is true, when do they let their fawns return after they have been bred? I have heard right away, and I have heard maybe not at all. From seeing so many do... READ MORE

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

By Bob Humphrey

Love them or hate them, antler restrictions are a common component of many management plans. QUESTION: I live in Pennsylvania, and we have antler restrictions that I do not agree with. I don't feel we have more bigger bucks than we did before, and I know if you let a deer go, you’re letting him grow. But we are getting overrun with small buck... READ MORE

More About Spikes

More About Spikes

By Bob Humphrey

Does it matter if a spike has a certain length, or are spikes all the same? QUESTION: My hunting lease in East Texas (Saratoga) has a rule that you can’t shoot a spike unless it’s 10 inches long. Will that rule help or hurt our management goals? — Jeffrey W. ANSWER: The more we learn about whitetails, the more informed and effec... READ MORE

Deer By the Numbers

Deer By the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Is there an easy and inexpensive way to determine buck-to-doe ratios on my hunting property? QUESTION: I manage a 4,000-acre ranch in west-central Texas. We had a hard drought in 2001-2011 and lost several does. The buck population is thriving, and there are more does than there were when I took over management in 2012. My question is, how do I fi... READ MORE

Hole in the Head Buck

Hole in the Head Buck

By Bob Humphrey

Antler shedding and skull injuries are serious business for whitetail bucks. QUESTION: I was out shed hunting recently and found an antler that at first I thought was a shed but when I looked closer it had part of the skull still attached. My question is, is this a shed or was it broken off in a fight? Also, will this deer survive? — Will M.... 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

Got a Light?

Got a Light?

By Bob Humphrey

Does smoking in a deer stand really affect your success? QUESTION: I have shot many deer over the years, and generally every time I had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. However I have only shot does. My question is, does smoking really affect seeing deer? — Quentin B. ANSWER: That’s a good question. An acquaintance of mine, who is a... READ MORE

Ghost Deer

Ghost Deer

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many tracks without seeing the deer that made them? QUESTION: Please, please help. I have been hunting for 20 years and I have just received permission to bowhunt two properties in northern Ohio. Both are small properties: 5 acres and 10 acres. I was more excited than I had ever been about deer hunting. They are in sub... READ MORE

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd