Ask The Biologist

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

A Twofer for Triplets

A Twofer for Triplets

By Bob Humphrey

Combine exceptional nutrition with good genes and you’ve got the ideal mix to see a doe produce fawn triplets more than once. Question:  I saw a doe with three fawns last year around the farm, and now again this summer I’ve noticed a doe with three fawns. I would guess it is the same doe, and she’s had triplets two years in ... READ MORE

Fawn Shortage

Fawn Shortage

By Bob Humphrey

Is it getting more common to see adult does with only one fawn? QUESTION: It seems like does in my area have been having fewer fawns over the past few years. We used to see them mostly with twins, but now they just have one, and sometimes none. Can you tell me why? — Will W. ANSWER: I can’t say for sure, but I can offer a few possibilit... READ MORE

Melanistic Deer

Melanistic Deer

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I shot a melanistic 9-point buck on Nov.15, 2000. He dressed out at 174 pounds. Does anybody track or keep records of such rare animals? — Daniel S. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions and comments about odd deer, particularly color variations. Even in “normal” deer, pelage (fur color) can be highly variable, ranging fr... READ MORE

Looking for a Cure

Looking for a Cure

By Bob Humphrey

Even your friendly deer biologist is susceptible to buck fever. QUESTION: This question is more about human biology than deer biology. How can I control my buck fever, and in my case, deer fever? I’ve been hunting for over 30 years now and have harvested hundreds of deer (mostly does, with one buck per year in Indiana), but I still get deer f... READ MORE

Yikes!

Yikes!

By Bob Humphrey

Cringe-worthy growths likely not nearly as bad as they look. QUESTION: I recently saw a video of a deer covered with tumors. Do deer get the bubonic plague? ANSWER: Bubonic plague, sometimes called the black death killed more than 20 million people in Europe (a third of the continent’s population) in roughly five years in the 1300s. Fortunate... READ MORE

The Path Logs Traveled

The Path Logs Traveled

By Bob Humphrey

Logging trails can provide a variety of hunting benefits. QUESTION: I have 100 acres of forest property in upstate New York. Hunting there has been good. I recently had the property logged, and there are a lot of trails crisscrossing the property. Should I continue to leave all the trails open, or should I block them up and let them grow back into ... READ MORE

Cold Spell

Cold Spell

By Bob Humphrey

Temperature definitely affects deer movement, but how it does so is determined by location. QUESTION: I have heard that deer will lay up until temperatures get above freezing. Is this true, and at what temperature will they start moving? — Glenn E. ANSWER: How temperature affects deer depends, to a certain extent, on location. Ask any Saskatc... READ MORE

It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail digestion isn’t rocket science, but it’s close. QUESTION: Someone recently told me that deer have four stomachs. Is this true? ANSWER: No. Like all mammals, deer have one stomach. However, like all ruminants, theirs consists of four chambers: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. A large portion of a whitetail’s diet is... READ MORE

Not a Licking Branch!

Not a Licking Branch!

By Bob Humphrey

Not all rut interaction by bucks is violent, and it’s likely more significant than you think. QUESTION: Last fall during the rut, I saw two bucks approach each other in a greenfield. Rather than fighting, they licked each other’s ears and face. Why would they do this? — Kevin M. ANSWER: The behavior you observed is not all that un... READ MORE

Can O’ Corn

Can O’ Corn

By Bob Humphrey

Corn isn’t necessarily a bad thing to put in deer feeders. QUESTION: I want to put out a few feeders to attract and hold deer in my area. I know corn will work, but I’ve read a few articles that said corn isn’t very beneficial to whitetails. What would you recommend? — Scott M. ANSWER: Much depends on where you live, but if ... READ MORE

Designer Footwear

Designer Footwear

By Bob Humphrey

Like most coloration oddities, the cause is likely genetics. QUESTION: I shot a big buck in 1992 that scored 174. I got a half body mount should have got a full body. Anyway, his front feet are white and on the back feet, one toe is black and the other one is white. Could you tell me what causes this? — Ed ANSWER: We get a lot of questions ab... READ MORE

Need a Trim?

Need a Trim?

By Bob Humphrey

Cutting timber sounds simple, but start with a good plan. QUESTION: I recently purchased a woodlot for hunting and recreation, and we’re going to be cutting some firewood this year. Can you offer some tips on when/how to cut that will help the deer? ANSWER: It’s difficult to be too specific without more information, but I can offer some... READ MORE

Hello Ladies!

Hello Ladies!

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We have an abundant supply of whitetails on our Kansas acreage and enjoy their company immensely. As expected, there appear to be far more does than bucks. Allowing for the fact that hunting regulations favor the harvesting of bucks, I can find no data on the likelihood of a doe giving birth to a male vs. female fawns. Is what I am witnes... 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

Spring Scrapes

Spring Scrapes

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, we came across several places that looked like fresh deer scrapes. My hunting partner says they’re just turkey scratchings, but I deer hunt the same area and there are scrapes in these same locations in the fall. My question is, do deer scrape in the spring too? Why would they do this? — Thoma... READ MORE

You Can’t Get There from Here

You Can’t Get There from Here

By Bob Humphrey

If you want to know how many does to harvest, you have to know how many deer you have. QUESTION: How many does should you harvest per 100 acres to increase your total deer population? Also to decrease or keep the population the same? — Eugene W. ANSWER: I’m afraid you might not like my answer, but a friend of mine once said, “You ... 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

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

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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd