Ask The Biologist

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

If You Build It...

If You Build It...

By Bob Humphrey

Deer get used to permanent stands, but they also learn to avoid them. QUESTION: I put up a shooting house this fall in a location where I found several heavy trails crossing. Then I noticed during bow season that most of the deer I saw passed by some distance out of range. Do you think they are avoiding the stand, and should I move it? ANSWER: Ther... READ MORE

Got a Light?

Got a Light?

By Bob Humphrey

Does smoking in a deer stand really affect your success? QUESTION: I have shot many deer over the years, and generally every time I had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. However I have only shot does. My question is, does smoking really affect seeing deer? — Quentin B. ANSWER: That’s a good question. An acquaintance of mine, who is a... READ MORE

No Fleas on Me

No Fleas on Me

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in Alabama and have noticed ticks on just about every deer harvested, but I never see fleas. Weird? — Kenny L. ANSWER: I must admit I didn’t know the answer to this one, and it wasn’t easy to find. Several studies list common ectoparasites of deer as ticks, chigger mites, keds and both sucking and chewing lice - b... READ MORE

It’s Not About Size

It’s Not About Size

By Bob Humphrey

Even tiny antlers need to be gone when the next set starts to grow. QUESTION: During West Virginia’s rifle season this year I saw a little buck with half-inch spikes. I’m curious, will that buck shed those tiny nubs? It almost seems pointless. – Ken P. ANSWER: Such tiny, spikes could be the result of a buck fawn born early enough ... 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

Beach Buck Confusion

Beach Buck Confusion

By Bob Humphrey

Is Florida home to three different species of whitetails? QUESTION: I live in Florida and am hoping to be a better deer hunter. Florida has three subspecies of white-tailed deer. I’m familiar with the Key deer, but what is the difference between the Florida coastal whitetail (O. v. osceola) and the Florida whitetail (O. v. seminolus). &mdash... READ MORE

Solunar Tables

Solunar Tables

By Bob Humphrey

What does our Buckmasters biologist think of sun/moon charts for predicting deer activity? That’s the topic of this week’s Ask the Biologist question. What do you think? Do you pay attention to game activity charts? QUESTION: Do solunar tables really work? — Jim M. ANSWER: Marcus Lashley, a graduate student at North Carolina Sta... READ MORE

God Bless You!

God Bless You!

By Bob Humphrey

You’ve probably heard a deer blow-snort, but have you heard one sneeze? QUESTION: I have heard deer blow or snort many times, but this fall I heard a deer making a noise that sounded more like a person sneezing. I know it was a deer because I saw it doing this. It was much quieter than a snort, and the deer kept doing it. What is the signific... READ MORE

How High’s the Water?

How High’s the Water?

By Bob Humphrey

There are food plot crops that do well in moist soils, but it depends. QUESTION: We live in south-central Pennsylvania and have a very wet 20 acres that only has some wild grass and weeds in it. What could we plant to attract deer in our November to January hunting season? – Mike S. ANSWER: Much depends on what you mean by “very wet.&rd... READ MORE

Size Matters

Size Matters

By Bob Humphrey

Biologists aren’t exactly sure what antlers are for, but bigger seems to be better. QUESTION: It seems like it takes a lot of energy to grow a new set of antlers each year. Does a buck really gain anything from having bigger antlers? — Brian S. ANSWER: A clue to the answer actually lies within your question. It does indeed take a lot of... 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

Growth Spurt

Growth Spurt

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail antlers are the fastest-growing tissue known. QUESTION: I saw a buck the other day, and his antlers were already out to his ears. It’s not even July. How fast do antlers grow? ANSWER: Sometimes even scientists can’t see the forest for the trees. I consulted the two most authoritative books on white-tailed deer, both of which h... READ MORE

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s common for does to have milk in their udders in deer season. QUESTION: I had a friend tell me it’s impossible to shoot a doe that is lactating legally because it would be too late in the season in the fall. Another friend told me that if you shoot a doe that is lactating, the meat will taste bad. What are your thoughts? — Hen... READ MORE

To Wait or Not to Wait

To Wait or Not to Wait

By Bob Humphrey

It’s a tough call to decide how long to wait to track a bow-shot deer. QUESTION: I’d like to get a few deer in the freezer early in the archery season, but it’s really hot here in Alabama at that time. It can be in the 90s! How long is it safe to let a deer go after a shot? I want to give the deer time to expire, but I don’t... READ MORE

Play the Numbers

Play the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Doe groups will always draw bucks during the rut. QUESTION: They say you should hunt does during the rut because that’s where the bucks will be, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. My experience has been that does nearing estrus want to get away from other does. Am I on to something, and if so, where should I focus my rut hunt efforts... READ MORE

Deer Vampires

Deer Vampires

By Bob Humphrey

Is there anything we can do to help whitetails get rid of ticks? QUESTION: Why hasn't there been some form of treatment developed to put in our feeders to help deer with the severe tick problem we have down here in Florida and in many other locations? They have pills for dogs and cats that can be put in their food. It really pains me to see so many... 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

True Blood

True Blood

By Bob Humphrey

Exactly how much blood can a deer lose before it succumbs to its wounds? QUESTION: How much blood must a deer lose after being shot with a broadhead before it dies? — Joe R. ANSWER: I found several unscientific sources that claimed deer will die after losing between 2 ½ to 2 ¾ pints of blood. The Texas Bowhunter Ed course notes:... READ MORE

All in the Family

All in the Family

By Bob Humphrey

Don’t be surprised to see several generations of does together. QUESTION: Last fall while hunting over my food plot, I saw what I believe were the same does almost every night. There was obviously a big doe with three fawns, but there was also another doe that was smaller than the big one but bigger than the fawns. Could these deer be related... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd