Ask The Biologist

Twisted Tops

Twisted Tops

By Bob Humphrey

It’s difficult to pin down the cause of misshapen racks. QUESTION: What causes bent-over racks? Is it aggressiveness by this young deer when it starts growing antlers in the spring? A head injury? I have seen five or six like this over the past 10 years. Maybe genetics? How can I tell for sure? My friends and I have been wondering. — Bi... READ MORE

It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail digestion isn’t rocket science, but it’s close. QUESTION: Someone recently told me that deer have four stomachs. Is this true? ANSWER: No. Like all mammals, deer have one stomach. However, like all ruminants, theirs consists of four chambers: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. A large portion of a whitetail’s diet is... 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

Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Late summer or early fall is the best time to plant a hunting food plot. QUESTION: When is the best time to plant a food plot in northern Mississippi for gun hunting in November? — Keith M. ANSWER: I could give you a long, drawn-out answer about developing a plan to provide proper year-round nutrition to attract and hold more and healthier de... READ MORE

Too Much Wild Turkey

Too Much Wild Turkey

By Bob Humphrey

Have no fear, turkeys and deer get along just fine. QUESTION: This summer I’ve been noticing more turkeys on my property than I’ve seen in the past, and they’re spending a lot of time in my food plots. My neighbor says I should drive them off or they will keep the deer away in the fall. Is this true, and what is the best way to ke... READ MORE

Hunting Pressure

Hunting Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

If every place gets hunted, where do they go? QUESTION: The area I hunt gets a fair amount of hunting pressure, and it seems like the deer disappear once gun season starts. But if every place gets hunted, where do they go? — Brent W. ANSWER: Believe it or not, they’re probably still there. Recent research on mature bucks fitted with ... 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

One Tough Myth

One Tough Myth

By Bob Humphrey

The spike question has more lives than Rasputin. QUESTION: Does a spike always remain a spike? Or next year could he become something more? It seems like people believe once a spike always a spike, but when I ask someone they all say that’s what I’ve been told. I don’t know who this person is, but he or she sure seems to know a lo... READ MORE

Is It Better to Take Barren Does?

Is It Better to Take Barren Does?

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist explores another long-standing whitetail myth. QUESTION: Where I hunt, we try to remove a few does each year to keep the herd healthy. This fall, one of my buddies shot a particularly large doe and said she was a dry doe and it was better to remove her from the herd because she isn’t producing fawns. My question is, how can you ... READ MORE

The Night Owls

The Night Owls

By Bob Humphrey

Is there anything you can do to get deer to visit a feeder during daylight? QUESTION: I have a Deer lease in Montague County, Texas. This past fall, I got numerous photos of many different deer, all at night. Not a single deer showed up at my corn feeder during daylight hours during the entire season. I am thinking perhaps a fall food plot might ch... READ MORE

Cull or Management Buck?

Cull or Management Buck?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I hear people use the terms “cull buck” and “management buck” but I don’t understand the difference. Can you shed some light on this? — B. Warren ANSWER: I’ll do the best I can, but there are no hard and fast definitions for either term. Much depends on specific management objectives of the landow... 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

Turkey Invaders

Turkey Invaders

By Bob Humphrey

Contrary to the myth, deer and turkeys do quite well together. QUESTION: I live in Maine, and the state started transplanting turkeys into my area about 10 years ago. Now we have lots of turkeys and fewer deer. The turkeys seem to be outcompeting deer for things like acorns and possibly causing more disturbance to them. What do you think? — K... 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

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

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

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

Spikes ... Again!

Spikes ... Again!

By Bob Humphrey

Will we ever get a definitive answer on the question of shooting spikes? QUESTION: I have heard different opinions about spikes through the years. For example: “Once a spike always a spike,” “Shoot cow-horn spikes, let the straight spikes walk” (and the opposite). Is there a distinctive suggestion on what spikes to take out,... READ MORE

A Little Help from my Friends

A Little Help from my Friends

By Bob Humphrey

Your buddies might be right about food plots, but they might not be. QUESTION: I have a small 20-acre tract on the Edwards Plateau around Harper, Texas. I would like to create a food plot but don’t know what to use, where to buy it, and if everything I’ve heard about food plots is accurate. I know where feed stores are, but I would appr... READ MORE

Once in a Red Moon

Once in a Red Moon

By Bob Humphrey

There are many moon theories out there, but here’s another to add to the list. QUESTION: What is a red moon, and when does it happen? I hear this all the time: “Hunt the red moon.” My calendar doesn’t have a red moon on it, and it’s a deer hunting yearly calendar. — Mike Z. ANSWER: I’ve heard all sorts of t... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd