Ask The Biologist

What’s The Difference?

What’s The Difference?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Can white-tailed deer tell the difference between deer urine and human urine? I have been on a deer ranch, and the owner said they can’t and that you could freshen a scrape with human urine. — Charlie M. Answer:  I, too, have heard this claim and believe that it, like bland vegetables, should be taken with a liberal dose... READ MORE

Boomer Sooner

Boomer Sooner

By Bob Humphrey

Okie wants to know what to plant this fall. QUESTION: What’s the best food plot to plant in Oklahoma? ANSWER: The answer depends partly on your objective. If you’re looking to plant cool-season (fall/winter plots) hunting plots, crops like wheat, rye and barley are probably your best option as they’re relatively inexpensive, may d... READ MORE

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

By Bob Humphrey

Like an old dog, it’s just about impossible to get a big old buck to change his ways. QUESTION: How can I change the pattern of big bucks traveling at night? — Gary from N.J. ANSWER: My knee-jerk reaction would be to put something in their way so they have to go around it, but I suspect that’s not the answer you’re looking f... READ MORE

Spot On

Spot On

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I have been reading “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The writer says several times that the pattern of a fawn’s spots is an indicator of a whitetail’s sex, spots being aligned for males and more random for females. Is that truth or myth? — Nicky ANSWER: Like the book itself, the concept that you ca... READ MORE

Better Late than Ever

Better Late than Ever

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a reason so many big, mature bucks are taken in the late seasons? QUESTION: Over the past few years, I've noticed that we've shot more big bucks in the late-season hunts, early and mid-January, in northwest Illinois. What might account for this? ANSWER: Late season is indeed one of the best times to kill bucks, particularly older, bigger o... 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

Long Live the King

Long Live the King

By Bob Humphrey

Why do some bucks keep their racks so far into winter? QUESTION: I run trail cameras on my feeders, and in the last week of February I’m still getting pictures of a mature buck with antlers. My question is, when do bucks shed their antlers? — Bruce W. ANSWER: Antlers serve several purposes. Bucks use them as offensive and defensive weap... 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

What A Difference A Day Makes

What A Difference A Day Makes

By Bob Humphrey

It’s true. In most cases, a doe’s peak release of hormones, indicating her willingness to breed, only lasts one day. QUESTION: Is it true a white-tailed deer is only in heat for a brief 24 hours? — Linda C. ANSWER: In most cases that’s fairly accurate. In order to conceive, a doe must be ready, willing and able.  Heat... 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

Therein Lies the Rub

Therein Lies the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks rub their antlers to remove velvet and mark territory, but understanding rub messages depends on when and where the buck made them. QUESTION: On my property in the Catskills region of New York, we see a few rubs in late September and early October, but the majority of rubs do not appear until early November. I want to know if buck rubs are p... READ MORE

A Buck Named Lola

A Buck Named Lola

By Bob Humphrey

Can a doe really have antlers, and if so, how? QUESTION: Last year a guy in our town shot a doe with antlers. It was in late November and they were still covered in velvet. How is this possible? — Trent H. ANSWER: From a very young age we’re taught there is a difference between boys and girls, whether it be humans or deer. The truth o... READ MORE

Dine In or Take Out?

Dine In or Take Out?

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist discusses the advantages of on-demand and time-release features. QUESTION: I would like to know how you feel about feeding deer protein at a free-choice feeder verses a time-release system. — Joe S. ANSWER: I could give you all kinds of technical information about the whitetail’s nutritional needs, how they change througho... READ MORE

What Should I Plant?

What Should I Plant?

By Bob Humphrey

This is by far the most common food plot question. Unfortunately, there is no one correct answer. QUESTION: I live in eastern Massachusetts. I was curious what the best food sources would be to set up a food plot. I know the deer are around the local cornfields but is there anything else I could use on my plot for a bit more diversity to help attr... 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

Supplemental Winter Feeding

Supplemental Winter Feeding

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We had a really bad winter up our way, and a number of folks I know put out food to help the deer survive. A bunch of deer were found dead in my town, and the state says it was due to feeding. How is this possible? — Brian A., South Hampton, N.H. ANSWER: This is a topic we’ve covered before on the web and in Buckmasters Magaz... 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

Oh where have they gone?

Oh where have they gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Disappearing deer are looking for the same thing—bedding cover, high calorie leftovers and love. Question:  I hunt on Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., and there is food, water and cover everywhere. Where are the deer traveling in early December? To cover or to food? —John T. Answer:  Though your question is geogra... READ MORE

Where Are the Deer?

Where Are the Deer?

By Bob Humphrey

If they aren’t visiting your food plots as much, look in the oak stands. QUESTION: I’ve noticed that deer are not coming into the fields this fall like last year. Is it because there is a lot of feed this year in the woods? ANSWER: There could be several reasons, but that is the most likely. When there is a lot of natural food available... READ MORE

It’s Not a Tumor!

It’s Not a Tumor!

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist takes a stab at identifying yet another deer anomoly. QUESTION: What do you think this is? — Jeff M. ANSWER: It’s weird, that’s what it is. I can’t say for sure without putting my hands on it, which I wouldn’t want to do anyway, but I’d say it is very likely a fibroma. Fibromas are essentially exce... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd