Ask The Biologist

Split Personalities

Split Personalities

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter wants to know why deer in his area exhibit a sudden mood swing. QUESTION: I deer hunt in northern Minnesota in the Grand Rapids area. There are a few hay fields in the area, but other than that it’s brush country. During the spring and summer, deer like to feed on new growth in the wide ditches and to escape the constant mosquitoes and... READ MORE

How Old?

How Old?

By Bob Humphrey

How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? Question:  In late July a mature doe was killed on the highway near my property. Since then I have observed a doe fawn alone around my house. I saw it in mid-September, and it runs from our movement and the dog and seems skittish. How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? &mdas... READ MORE

All They Can Eat

All They Can Eat

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer isn’t as simple as dumping out bags of protein. QUESTION: I’ve started feeding deer store-bought protein feed, but I’m looking to cut down the cost. I’m wanting to mix my own feed, but I’m not sure what is best to mix and how to calculate the nutritional factors. What would you suggest? I know genetics pla... READ MORE

That Theory Stinks

That Theory Stinks

By Bob Humphrey

New hunters take note: Don’t judge a deer by its droppings. QUESTION: I’m still new to deer hunting, but some of the more experienced guys I hunt with claim they can tell the sex of a deer from its droppings. They say small pellets are from does and fawns while large clumps are from a buck. Is there any truth to this? ANSWER: No. The shape and cons... READ MORE

Feed or Seed?

Feed or Seed?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s tough to decide between a feed program and food plots. QUESTION: I have 480 Acres leased in Butler County, Alabama close to Fort Deposit. I have 10 small food plots mostly in the half acre range. I also have two feeders situated in different locations near the center of my property. Would the deer herd in my area benefit more from summer... 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

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

Control What You Can

Control What You Can

By Bob Humphrey

There’s not much you can do about genetics in free-ranging deer. QUESTION: I’ve noticed many of the bucks taken in my area have short tines. Is this a sign of inbreeding? Is there anything we can do to improve antler size? –Thomas P. ANSWER: As most folks know, it takes three things to make big antlers: age, genetics and nutrition... READ MORE

Velvet Mystery

Velvet Mystery

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever seen ticks on a velvet buck’s antlers? QUESTION: How come when you're looking at dear you see ticks on the back of their ears, their face and their neck but never on velvet antlers? You would think with all that blood in the antlers they would be covered up. — Duane F. ANSWER: That’s a good question, and my investiga... READ MORE

Gesundheit!

Gesundheit!

By Bob Humphrey

Yes, whitetails sneeze just like us, and often for the same reasons. QUESTION: I have heard deer make many different sounds, but this fall I had a deer come by me and it kept making this sound like it was sneezing. What does this mean? ANSWER: I could dazzle you with all kinds of possible explanations as to the deer’s exhalations, but what yo... READ MORE

Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, nor do you need a lot of equipment. QUESTION: I have property to hunt in Chadds Ford, Pa. My question is, what type of food plot do you suggest for a shady area? — Darren ANSWER: That’s really tough to answer without a lot more information. In order to give you accurate advice I’d need to k... 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

Outstanding in Their Field

Outstanding in Their Field

By Bob Humphrey

Is there any explanation why deer sometimes feed in the open in broad daylight? QUESTION: I was driving home the other day and saw several deer feeding in a field. It was the middle of the day, and they were just standing out in plain sight. I’ve never seen this before. Is it unusual? What would cause deer to act like this? The place is hunte... READ MORE

It’s Not a Tumor!

It’s Not a Tumor!

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist takes a stab at identifying yet another deer anomoly. QUESTION: What do you think this is? — Jeff M. ANSWER: It’s weird, that’s what it is. I can’t say for sure without putting my hands on it, which I wouldn’t want to do anyway, but I’d say it is very likely a fibroma. Fibromas are essentially exce... READ MORE

Viral Minerals

Viral Minerals

By Bob Humphrey

It’s amazing how fast word gets around in the deer community. QUESTION: Everyone writes about the importance of mineral sites, but nobody gives ideas of what to use to attract deer to new mineral sites. I know they will eventually find them, but how do you attract them to one for first time? ANSWER: A lot of our ATB questions require long, co... 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

What's Up With the G?

What's Up With the G?

By Bob Humphrey

Did you ever wonder what the mysterious “G” stood for when you were reading about a buck’s antler points? QUESTION: Last year, after more than 50 years in the woods as an outdoorsman, I stumbled upon the shed of a 16-point buck ... and the rest is history. Shed hunting is my new hobby! It just makes me nuts to find a trophy side a... READ MORE

Yikes!

Yikes!

By Bob Humphrey

Cringe-worthy growths likely not nearly as bad as they look. QUESTION: I recently saw a video of a deer covered with tumors. Do deer get the bubonic plague? ANSWER: Bubonic plague, sometimes called the black death killed more than 20 million people in Europe (a third of the continent’s population) in roughly five years in the 1300s. Fortunate... READ MORE

The Infamous Perfect Shot

The Infamous Perfect Shot

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a spot in a deer’s chest where an arrow wouldn’t strike vital organs? QUESTION: While bowhunting recently, I shot a buck and made what I thought was a perfect broadside shot. We found blood and tracked for some time, but after several hours the blood ran out and we were not able to find the buck. I have heard there is a spot in... 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

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd