Ask The Biologist

Standing Her Ground

Standing Her Ground

By Bob Humphrey

Brave doe was most likely protecting her fawns. QUESTION: Earlier this summer I was out hiking and looking for arrow heads when I came upon a doe standing in the corner of an overgrown field. She let me get quite close and kept stomping her feet and blowing at me rather than running away. Any idea why she would do this? It seemed strange. ANSWER: I... READ MORE

Less Is More

Less Is More

By Bob Humphrey

Most of us hunt from our favorite stand way too often. QUESTION: How often can I hunt out of my favorite stand before deer feel pressured? – Bill W. ANSWER: Much depends on circumstances and how you hunt it. A lot of folks, mostly gun hunters, hunt out of permanent shooting houses over greenfields and do quite well. I have a permanent ladder ... READ MORE

Fresh Start

Fresh Start

By Bob Humphrey

It’s hard to know where to start when accessing new hunting ground. QUESTION: I just acquired new hunting ground. I Got to hunt it during the last week of bow season and saw lots of does. It consists of 10 acres of fields and 190 acres of woods. It seems promising, but I’m not sure how to get started. Where should I start in getting mor... READ MORE

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

By Bob Humphrey

It helps to know when to start looking for the telltale signs of buck activity. QUESTION: When do bucks begin to rub trees and leave scrapes? – Will P. ANSWER: A better question might be: When do they stop? As most hunters know, deer behavior in general is ruled by photoperiodism, changes in the amount of daylight. As the days grow shorter, p... 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

Busted!

Busted!

By Bob Humphrey

So you spooked the buck you were after. What happens now? QUESTION: I have been hunting a big buck this season, and last night he finally came in. But before I could get a shot he caught me moving and ran off. My question is, should I give up on the spot or will he be back? How long should I wait before hunting there again? — Bill G. ANSWER: ... 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

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

Hint: It’s Not the Head

Hint: It’s Not the Head

By Bob Humphrey

You can’t go wrong aiming for the spine when bowhunting for turkeys. QUESTION: What is the best area to shoot at a turkey with an arrow? How well do they make it through deep snows in the winter months? ANSWER: Okay, this question isn’t about deer, but our submissions have been a little light lately, so what the heck. You have several o... 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

Hog Wild

Hog Wild

By Bob Humphrey

Sandy soil presents enough problems without having to contend with hogs, too. QUESTION: I have 500 acres that has a lot of sandy soil. I've planted stuff every year, and nothing seems to grow. The other thing is, I have hogs at the feed all the time. I have seen some really good bucks, but they won’t come to the feeder, so I'm trying to plan... READ MORE

Hair Club for Deer

Hair Club for Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can lose hair for a number of reasons, but this is one odd case. QUESTION: Reckon y’all can tell me about this bald spot? The deer was taken Dec. 30 in northeast Georgia. — Patrick T. ANSWER: I have seen deer with similar marks, although not as large or as distinctly hairless. My first thought is that it is the result of a ... READ MORE

Tick Tock

Tick Tock

By Bob Humphrey

Why biting insects are as big a concern for hunters as big-name viruses. QUESTION: Everybody is worried about Corona virus, but I’m getting ready to spend a lot of time away from everyone in the turkey woods. I’m more worried about Lyme disease. Are ticks as much of a problem in the spring as they are in the early bow seasons? What can ... READ MORE

The Rut Marches On

The Rut Marches On

By Bob Humphrey

Does will be bred no matter how long it takes. QUESTION: I live just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, and about an hour ago, which was 5:30 (Feb. 10), I looked out back in my yard and watched a big buck grunting and chasing a smaller doe. What’s up with that? – Mike W. ANSWER: Most, but not all does are bred sometime during the initial rut,... READ MORE

Too Many Deauxs

Too Many Deauxs

By Bob Humphrey

Don’t believe exaggerated tales about massively skewed doe-to-buck ratios. QUESTION: I live in northern Louisiana. Can you tell me the buck-to-doe ratio where I live? Also, is it okay to take one doe out of the area in the first week in December? — Jimmy S. ANSWER: Without contacting the state wildlife biologist responsible for the area... READ MORE

They’re Not Squeamish

They’re Not Squeamish

By Bob Humphrey

It’s okay to keep hunting an area where someone else has taken a deer. QUESTION: I’m a pretty new hunter and hear and read lots about deer and their fantastic noses. Will blood from a wounded deer keep other deer away from that area? If so, how long will they avoid the blooded area? – Bill F. ANSWER: The short answer is probably n... 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

The Answer My Friend...

The Answer My Friend...

By Bob Humphrey

Geography plays a role in how whitetails react to wind. QUESTION: I recently read somewhere that according to research, high winds don’t affect deer movement. How can this be true? — David W. ANSWER: I can’t answer directly without knowing the source, but I suspect the author might be over generalizing. I’ve read several stu... 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

Jumping the Gun

Jumping the Gun

By Bob Humphrey

Early buck sign has Alabama hunters curious about the rut. QUESTION: I am in northeast Alabama (Jackson County) and seeing very early signs of buck activity. We are seeing huge rubs and scrapes. We do not usually see this much buck sign until mid- to late-December. Does this indicate an early rut? – Mike P. ANSWER: First it’s helpful to... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd