Ask The Biologist

Okay To Be Different

Okay To Be Different

By Bob Humphrey

Whatever the cause, irregular antlers can be awesome! QUESTION: When I was a kid and through all the years of my life, I have been told by folks that non-typical bucks are a result of inbreeding among the deer population. Does that hold water? ANSWER: There are many possible reasons for bucks having irregular antlers. According to Kip Adams of the ... READ MORE

All in the Head

All in the Head

By Bob Humphrey

Once again our expert is called upon to settle a friendly debate. QUESTION: A friend and I got into a heated argument and I’m hoping you can settle it. My question is: Could psychology be considered a part of biology? ANSWER: I’d love to hear how that ties in to whitetails but the answer is yes. Biology is the study of living things and... READ MORE

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

By Bob Humphrey

They do things a little differently in the South, and that includes gutting deer. QUESTION: I am from the Northeast and went down South last year to hunt for the first time. The guys I hunted with told me if I shoot a deer I should drag it out whole and not gut it in the woods. I thought they were pulling my leg at first, but they were serious. The... READ MORE

Ticked Off

Ticked Off

By Bob Humphrey

Take steps to repel ticks in the spring and the fall. QUESTION: I like to bowhunt early in the season, but the ticks have gotten really bad where I live. Someone told me regular insect repellent will work, but I’m afraid the smell will scare away deer. Is there something else I can use? –Kyle G. ANSWER: I, too, have heard that conventio... READ MORE

This Is Your Lungs On ...

This Is Your Lungs On ...

By Bob Humphrey

Here’s another example of a strange and interesting deer oddity. QUESTION: I recently harvested a white-tailed deer that had dark spots on its lungs, but otherwise appeared healthy. Do you have any thoughts on the cause? –Tim S. ANSWER: My first instinct on hearing “spots on the lungs” is TB (bovine tuberculosis). However, a... 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

Is a Barometer Magic?

Is a Barometer Magic?

By Bob Humphrey

Observing deer movement when barometric pressure changes is not a foolproof way to predict when deer will move again. QUESTION: I read a lot of articles and hear on many television shows that the best way to predict deer movement is to watch the barometer. But since atmospheric pressure always fluctuates up and down in very small increments, how m... READ MORE

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

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow

By Bob Humphrey

Kansas newcomer wonders if the rut will impact gun season. QUESTION: I’m new to east Kansas and would like to know when the rut happens in Miami County. The gun season for whitetails starts the 6th of December this year. – Bill ANSWER: I recently completed a revision of the Buckmasters Rut Calendar, which gives rut dates for all states ... READ MORE

A Twofer for Triplets

A Twofer for Triplets

By Bob Humphrey

Combine exceptional nutrition with good genes and you’ve got the ideal mix to see a doe produce fawn triplets more than once. Question:  I saw a doe with three fawns last year around the farm, and now again this summer I’ve noticed a doe with three fawns. I would guess it is the same doe, and she’s had triplets two years in ... READ MORE

Deer Browse

Deer Browse

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: My friend and I are hoping you can settle a bet. Two years ago one of the areas we hunt was cut for firewood, and the stumps grew a bunch of suckers. This spring we noticed something has been chewing them. I say it’s deer, my friend says rabbits. Is there any way we can tell.  — Herman D. ANSWER: The suckers you’... READ MORE

Find the Food

Find the Food

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter might be new, but he’s asking the right kind of questions. QUESTION: I am new to hunting (my second year) although I'm 52 years old and a disabled veteran. I’m limited to hunting public land in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. While scouting, I have found wild grape vines on some of the public lands and was wondering i... READ MORE

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing Tobacco

By Bob Humphrey

Could deer actually be interested in a chaw? QUESTION: I'm a tobacco chewer, and three times this season I witnessed a buck stop and stick his nose right into a spot where I'd dumped a spit cup. I also watched two young bucks lick and paw the ground, then start fighting over it! I couldn't believe it when a mature buck also licked and pawed the sp... 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

Growing Like a Weed

Growing Like a Weed

By Bob Humphrey

Left unchecked, weeds can take over your food plot. QUESTION: I need a good herbicide to kill grass and broadleaf weeds in my clover. One of the big name brands has performed poorly. Is there anything else? — Larry L. ANSWER: Without more detail, like what region of the country you live in, what type of plants you’re trying to eliminate... READ MORE

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

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

All In the Family

All In the Family

By Bob Humphrey

How deer, elk, moose and caribou are related, at least according to biologists. QUESTION: Are elk a subspecies of deer or a separate species? Are elk related to domestic cattle? To moose? Why are they called bulls, cows and calves while deer are bucks, does and fawns? ANSWER: I should be able to answer the first two questions fairly easily. The las... READ MORE

The Gray Nose Deer

The Gray Nose Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Question:  My son recently harvested a 9-pointer in northeastern Maryland. The buck had a light grey colored nose. We’re curious, has this ever been seen before? — David M. Answer:  White-tailed deer are remarkable creatures, and the more I study them, the more I realize just how diverse they can be. Most folks are familiar w... READ MORE

Now You See Him...

Now You See Him...

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I have a question on the eyesight of deer and other wild animals concerning the lack of camouflage. You see outfitters wearing blue jeans while the hunter is completely covered in camo. Other times you see hunters with bright, shiny chrome rifle barrels and scopes. Deer must surely know by now that a shiny barrel or scope means danger. It... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd