Ask The Biologist

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

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

The ABCs of QDM

The ABCs of QDM

By Bob Humphrey

Take the long view to start a QDM program, and look at year-round nutrition, sex ratios, habitat components, nutritional needs and finally, food plots. QUESTION: I have been in my club for four years and am not happy with deer we are seeing. There are lots of deer on the property, but no big bucks. I know they’re around; the meat processing ... READ MORE

Mow ‘Em Down?

Mow ‘Em Down?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I grow a food plot every year. This year I planted rye, turnips and clover. This is my first experience with turnips, and I need to know if I should mow it. It’s really getting tall, and I need to know if I need to do anything to keep it under control. — Ryan ANSWER: That’s an interesting combination since each plant has... 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

How Rare Is a Piebald?

How Rare Is a Piebald?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I saw a piebald buck last year, however I did not get a shot at him. This year I got him with my crossbow. My question is, how likely is it that I will ever see another piebald deer on my property? — Ronnie Plumlee Answer:  Piebald deer are certainly a curiosity, and we get a lot of questions about them. This aberrant colorati... READ MORE

What Could This Be?

What Could This Be?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: In early November, I shot a 2- or 3-year-old 7-pointer on my property. I noticed his hip bones were visible and his spine could be felt fairly easily. The other strange thing I noticed while gutting him was a white/yellow mucous I was pulling out in handfuls from his chest cavity. Any answers or ideas would be great. Maybe pneumonia? Mayb... 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

It’s a Game of Percentages

It’s a Game of Percentages

By Bob Humphrey

Deer might be curious, but caution trumps curiosity in most cases. QUESTION: I read in a Buckmasters article recently that deer were drawn to scrapes doctored with new car scent just as much as they were to scrapes freshened with doe pee. If that’s the case, does it matter what kind of scent I use? –Brad F. ANSWER: I’m aware of se... 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

All Busted Up

All Busted Up

By Bob Humphrey

Why do so many bucks on our property have broken tines? QUESTION: Bob, we have a lease in Alabama, and over the years we've noticed virtually all our racked bucks seem to have broken tines. I realize that during the rut bucks are pursuing does and might have occasional fight, but it would seem that every now and then we'd take one without a broken... READ MORE

Bucks are Selfish!

Bucks are Selfish!

By Bob Humphrey

The deer you hear is not likely the deer you’re after. QUESTION: Last fall when hunting a farm in Kansas, I was approaching a thicket when a buck began to snort at me. Several minutes later, three does ran out. I waited awhile longer, but the buck never came out, and when I went in to investigate, the buck was not there. Is it possible one of... READ MORE

Just Like Clockwork

Just Like Clockwork

By Bob Humphrey

When using a feeder for hunting, it matters when the food is available. QUESTION: What times should I set my deer feeder to go off during this season? I’m in Oklahoma.— Michael Q. ANSWER: Seeing you’re in Oklahoma, I’d recommend you set it for Central Time. (Just kidding) Let’s look at this logically. You’re tryi... 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

Early Birds

Early Birds

By Bob Humphrey

Although not common, it is normal to find a scrape outside of the fall. QUESTION: I have seen scrapes as early as late July. It was in same site as where a buck had made a scrape the year before. Would you say he or another deer cleaned out last year’s scrape? — Steve B. ANSWER: I would. While deer don’t necessarily make scrapes a... 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

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to take does depends on your goals. QUESTION: If my goal is to take a doe, when is the best time? Should I fill doe tags early in archery season or later in firearms season? – Daniel B. ANSWER: It depends, to some extent, on why you want to take that doe. If your objective is largely to fill the freezer, the best time to take a ... READ MORE

Deer By the Numbers

Deer By the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Is there an easy and inexpensive way to determine buck-to-doe ratios on my hunting property? QUESTION: I manage a 4,000-acre ranch in west-central Texas. We had a hard drought in 2001-2011 and lost several does. The buck population is thriving, and there are more does than there were when I took over management in 2012. My question is, how do I fi... READ MORE

Bros Before Does

Bros Before Does

By Bob Humphrey

There might be survival advantages to bucks forming bachelor groups. QUESTION: I’ve been observing and getting trail camera shots of several bucks together on my food plots this summer. I know that it is common for bucks to form bachelor herds, but I’ve always wondered why they do this. — Dan S. ANSWER: Much is known and much has ... READ MORE

Lay Off the Juice!

Lay Off the Juice!

By Bob Humphrey

What could be the cause of this buck’s abnormal thickness? QUESTION: Any idea what’s wrong with this buck? — Layton S. ANSWER: I once observed a Saskatchewan buck with a similar, although less severe, condition. He looked like a 50-gallon barrel on a sawbuck. The best I can do is speculate, based on what we know about whitetails. ... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd