Ask The Biologist

Night Shift

Night Shift

By Bob Humphrey

Could year-round food plots encourage night movement? QUESTION: We are hunting 200 acres and have 12 acres of food plots. The first two years we had mostly daylight movement the whole season. But we did not have any year-round food at that time, just fall plots. We are on year six now. For the past two years we also have year-round food plots and h... READ MORE

Forever Six

Forever Six

By Bob Humphrey

A spike might not remain a spike, but what about mature bucks? QUESTION: I have been hunting whitetails in Oklahoma for 35 years. For years, I have been running trail cameras and feeders on several acreages that we hunt. All of our bucks are recognizable from year to year, and most all of them tend to be 8-pointers with a few 10-pointers. Every onc... READ MORE

Too Hot for TV

Too Hot for TV

By Bob Humphrey

Temperature spikes affect movement, but not rut timing. QUESTION: I’m not seeing as many deer this year as I usually do. We’ve had warm weather where I live, and I’m wondering if that’s it. Does this mean the rut will be late? ANSWER: There are many reasons why deer movement might be off where you hunt, although temperatures... 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

Bear With Me

Bear With Me

By Bob Humphrey

Coyotes aren’t the only predator that likes a little venison. QUESTION: I’ve been getting pictures of bears on my trail cameras. We never saw them before but the last couple years they’ve been showing up. It also seems like I’m seeing less deer. Could the bears be driving the deer off or possibly killing them? ANSWER: Bear n... READ MORE

Bugger Off

Bugger Off

By Bob Humphrey

Mosquitoes and flies can ruin a hunt, but so can bug sprays. QUESTION: This is my first season bowhunting, and the bugs are driving me crazy. Will deer smell mosquito repellents and devices? ANSWER: Deer have a very keen sense of smell, so they will almost certainly smell any odor in the environment. More important is how they respond. Conventional... READ MORE

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re having trouble with fooling bucks, you’re not alone. QUESTION: I’ve been experimenting with a deer decoy, and so far it seems to spook everything that sees it. Is that normal? I thought I’d have bucks rushing in to investigate. – Larry P. ANSWER: Using a decoy is much like using scents, calls or rattling. Mor... READ MORE

Forget the Neighbors

Forget the Neighbors

By Bob Humphrey

You can’t shoot a mature buck if there aren’t any left. QUESTION: The property I hunt is just 200 acres, and the neighbors shoot anything with antlers. Is it worth my time to pass up younger bucks? – Chris B. ANSWER: I suffer from the same affliction on my home turf, and it can be quite frustrating, especially knowing the potentia... READ MORE

Less Is More

Less Is More

By Bob Humphrey

Most of us hunt from our favorite stand way too often. QUESTION: How often can I hunt out of my favorite stand before deer feel pressured? – Bill W. ANSWER: Much depends on circumstances and how you hunt it. A lot of folks, mostly gun hunters, hunt out of permanent shooting houses over greenfields and do quite well. I have a permanent ladder ... 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

Be Early ... or Late

Be Early ... or Late

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to set up depends on the type of stand you’re using. QUESTION: Our bow season is two weeks away, and I haven’t had time to set my stands yet. Do you think it’s too late? When is the best time to set stands? ANSWER: There are pros and cons to setting stands early and late. Whenever possible, I prefer to set my stands ... READ MORE

While the Iron is Hot

While the Iron is Hot

By Bob Humphrey

The clock is always ticking on early season bachelor buck groups. QUESTION: I’ve been watching a small group of velvet bucks visit the same field almost every evening. Our bow season is still a month away. Will these bucks still be here when the season opens? There’s a couple good ones, and I’d like to get a crack at one. — ... 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

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Every situation is different when it comes to tracking a deer. QUESTION: I read lots of stories about bowhunters who shoot a buck and then back out of the woods. Many times they find the deer very close to where it was shot. It seems to me that if you do not retrieve the animal and field-dress it quickly, the meat has spoiled. In my humble opinion,... READ MORE

It’s All Good

It’s All Good

By Bob Humphrey

What’s beneficial to bucks is beneficial to does, too. QUESTION: I hunt the western portion of northeast Kansas. I have noticed that we have some large bucks, but most of our does are small. Should I imply there is an overpopulation of does in my spot? I am unsure of the cause. I do not hang trail cameras because there are only four people wh... READ MORE

Florida is for Lovers

Florida is for Lovers

By Bob Humphrey

Is it possible to see a buck chasing does in turkey season? QUESTION: While turkey hunting in Florida this spring, I saw a buck chasing a doe, and the buck still had hard antlers. It was not inside an enclosure. This seems way out of the normal rutting time, and shouldn’t the buck have dropped its antlers by then? ANSWER: The whitetail rut is... READ MORE

Control What You Can

Control What You Can

By Bob Humphrey

There’s not much you can do about genetics in free-ranging deer. QUESTION: I’ve noticed many of the bucks taken in my area have short tines. Is this a sign of inbreeding? Is there anything we can do to improve antler size? –Thomas P. ANSWER: As most folks know, it takes three things to make big antlers: age, genetics and nutrition... READ MORE

Standing Her Ground

Standing Her Ground

By Bob Humphrey

Brave doe was most likely protecting her fawns. QUESTION: Earlier this summer I was out hiking and looking for arrow heads when I came upon a doe standing in the corner of an overgrown field. She let me get quite close and kept stomping her feet and blowing at me rather than running away. Any idea why she would do this? It seemed strange. ANSWER: I... READ MORE

Unbearable

Unbearable

By Bob Humphrey

There are lots of predators in the woods, and most like venison. QUESTION: I was checking trail camera photos and had lots of fawns. I also noticed more bear pictures than I’ve seen before. That got me to wondering if bears prey on deer, especially fawns. –Joe D. ANSWER: Bears are omnivorous, meaning their diet includes both meat and pl... 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

Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd