Ask The Biologist

What's a Noob To Do?

What's a Noob To Do?

By Bob Humphrey

A majority of us were taught how to hunt when we were little, but what if you didn’t come from a hunting family? QUESTION: What books or resources about deer movement would you recommend for someone new to hunting. — Jack ANSWER: Why do I feel like you’re setting me up with this question? First, if you’re not already a membe... READ MORE

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

By Bob Humphrey

Like all whitetail behavior, scrape activity is unpredictable. QUESTION: Last season I found several fresh scrapes and spent several days hunting over them, but I never saw any deer. A friend said I was wasting my time because bucks only scrape at night. Is that true? — Mike H. ANSWER: When it comes to whitetail behavior, two words you should... 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

Pelletized or Powdered?

Pelletized or Powdered?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What’s the big difference between fast acting lime and regular aglime or ground lime. — Duane F. Answer:  Lime comes in two forms, pelletized and powder. Pelletized lime is easier to handle because it typically comes in bags. It’s also easier to apply because it can be spread by most gravity fed spreaders. It takes ... READ MORE

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s not as strange as you think that does nurse fawns into hunting season. QUESTION: I was bowhunting last October when a doe and fawn came by my stand. I was about to shoot the doe when the fawn came up, and I swear it started to nurse. Isn’t this late in the season? What would the fawn’s chances of survival be if I shot the doe... READ MORE

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I was on a guided hunt last fall in Texas and killed a buck that I thought was around 3 years old. My guide stuck his fingers in the deer’s mouth to feel it’s teeth and declared it was 5 years old. Can you offer some tips on how to easily tell a deer’s age after it’s been harvested? — Jamie W. Answer:  A... 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

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day

By Bob Humphrey

A whitetail’s coat doesn’t always look pretty during transition phases. QUESTION: I was checking my trail camera while turkey scouting and noticed this photo. Does this doe’s fur look normal? – Ken P. ANSWER: If you had sent just a regular photo it might at first seem a bit odd but I would likely still come to the same concl... READ MORE

There’s the Rub

There’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

By themselves, buck rubs might not mean they hang out in a given area. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I found a place where deer had made several rubs. I’m wondering if it would be a good location to hunt this fall? –Erik F. ANSWER: As is often the case with questions we receive for ATB, it’s difficult to give a firm ... 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

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

Makin’ It Through

Makin’ It Through

By Bob Humphrey

It’s hard to imagine deer making it through a brutal winter, but some always do. QUESTION: We’ve had over 100 inches of snow this winter where I live. How well will the deer survive? — Steve R. ANSWER: Without more information, I can’t offer specifics, but I can provide some generalities. For starters, they’ve been doi... 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

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

By Bob Humphrey

Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to this doe’s ear disfiguration. QUESTION: I recently saw a doe that had the tips of both ears eaten away. Do you know what might have done this? I also have seen a lot of babies this year with scratches on their noses. — J. Ellis ANSWER: The best I can do, which isn’t very good, is spec... 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

One Simple Rule

One Simple Rule

By Bob Humphrey

There are advantages to hunting certain locations at specific times of day. QUESTION: I have been told to hunt the bottoms in the mornings and the fields and field edges at dark. Is this true? ANSWER: It’s tough to give a concrete answer without more information about the region and habitat you hunt. However, I’ve hunted many areas wher... 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

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

When In Rome

When In Rome

By Bob Humphrey

If you try to manage deer on a lease, sooner or later you’ll run across a slightly abnormal whitetail. What should you do? QUESTION: Is a short bridgeline a recessive genetic defect, and should a buck with this trait be allowed to breed? — Ron Dahlseid ANSWER: Indeed, a short, bowed or Roman nose is usually the result of a recessive g... READ MORE

Block Buster

Block Buster

By Bob Humphrey

Mineral blocks are great, but so is improving natural protein sources. QUESTION: Should I put out salt and/or a mineral block to help deer in a CWD area? I mix my own minerals and vitamins so deer are healthy to fight CWD. ANSWER: Blocks can be a beneficial means of providing deer with supplemental minerals and vitamins to improve their health, par... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd