Ask The Biologist

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

Little Slice of Heaven

Little Slice of Heaven

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter with a sweet-sounding little lease wants to know what to plant. QUESTION: I am a disabled hunter who has just leased 50 acres for deer hunting. This piece of ground backs up against a 150-acre nature preserve and is bordered on each side by farm ground with the front side being a road. I am wanting to put in a 2- to 3-acre food plot next to ... READ MORE

Is Cotton King?

Is Cotton King?

By Bob Humphrey

There are many types of deer feed, but each has its drawbacks. QUESTION: I’ve been reading about feeding cotton seed for deer protein and the qualities of this feed. It’s waterproof, reasonably priced and feeders or not required. But some believe it reduces fawn production and say you should stop feeding the seed from September through ... READ MORE

Head & Shoulders

Head & Shoulders

By Bob Humphrey

Hair clumps in spring don’t necessarily mean a dead deer. QUESTION: While out turkey hunting this spring I came upon several areas where I found patches of deer hair. We looked all over the area and never found any bones or other parts. There are lots of coyotes in my area and I’m wondering if that’s what got the deer. How far wil... 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

Sandbox Food Plot

Sandbox Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Although it takes some time, you can improve the soil of a sandy food plot. QUESTION: I’m currently part of a lease with a good group of guys, and we’re trying to do things right. We want to shoot mature deer, and we’re planting food plots for nutrition and to keep them in the area. We have one big problem, though: the soil on our... 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

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

Doe Dilemma

Doe Dilemma

By Bob Humphrey

Antlerless deer are the key to managing population numbers. QUESTION: My state recently announced that they are giving out a lot more doe tags this year than they did last year. I have not harvested a deer in three years and am hoping that getting a doe tag will make it easier. However, I’m also concerned that if hunters harvest too many does... READ MORE

Bachelor Party

Bachelor Party

By Bob Humphrey

There are multiple benefits to bucks hanging out together. QUESTION: I know that bucks group together in bachelor herds, and I was wondering why. – Todd S. ANSWER: Everything happens for a reason, right? Bachelor herds or groups are loose social aggregations of males that form as early as spring, but typically become larger, more coalesced an... READ MORE

Has the rut kicked in?

Has the rut kicked in?

By Bob Humphrey

Peak rut and peak breeding times are not universal; they’re consistent and vary by location. Observation and effort will make you a true student of the whitetail rut. Question:  I'm new to deer hunting and I’m wondering how I can tell in my area when the rut is kicking in. I’m finding all kind of buck sign but I haven’... READ MORE

Fawn Shortage

Fawn Shortage

By Bob Humphrey

Is it getting more common to see adult does with only one fawn? QUESTION: It seems like does in my area have been having fewer fawns over the past few years. We used to see them mostly with twins, but now they just have one, and sometimes none. Can you tell me why? — Will W. ANSWER: I can’t say for sure, but I can offer a few possibilit... READ MORE

Yellow Turkey Legs

Yellow Turkey Legs

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: In the spring of 2014, I was in Minnesota and shot a wild turkey that had yellow legs. There was a very light pinkish hue to them. What would cause this? Was it a mutation, a released raised bird or a dietary problem? — Craig K. ANSWER: It’s difficult to say without more information, but any of the causes you listed are possi... READ MORE

Yard Work

Yard Work

By Bob Humphrey

How you can help whitetails in areas that experience severe winters. QUESTION: What is being done to reestablish and protect the deer yards? I know it has been a big problem in Vermont. Many deer yards are overgrown, and the deer are having a hard time reaching the food. Old growth is too high and needs to be cut back for new plants to grow. ANSWER... READ MORE

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to be in the woods is whenever you can get out there. QUESTION: As a Life Member of Buckmasters, I constantly read articles about lunar effect on deer movement and behavior. I have seen articles that emphasize the Lunar Wheel to hit the nail on the head in predicting the best times, the worst times, and the don’t-get-out-of-bed ... READ MORE

Down But Not Out

Down But Not Out

By Bob Humphrey

Deer are tough – there’s just no other way to put it. QUESTION: This winter, I shot a buck and knocked it right down, but then it got up and ran away. We tracked it for a long way and found two large puddles of blood but did not find the deer. Then we brought in tracking dogs and jumped the deer, but it ran away and we did not recover i... 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

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: We in Virginia are going through what some say is hemorrhagic disease. We had suffered a decrease in deer population and see sickly deer with split, fallen-off hoofs and so forth. I was wondering if you could shed any light as to what we can expect in our future. The VDGIF website has given us some information. Answer:  The VDGIF we... 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

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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd