Ask The Biologist

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

The Early Bird

The Early Bird

By Bob Humphrey

Seeing a fawn in May is unusual, but not out of the question. QUESTION: I live in upstate New York. A friend claims he recently saw a newborn fawn, but that seems quite early. I wouldn’t expect them to be born for at least another month. When are fawns typically born in New York? ANSWER: A lot depends on your geographic location, but because ... READ MORE

Run for Cover

Run for Cover

By Bob Humphrey

Try a masking scent if you’re concerned about getting busted. QUESTION: What are your thoughts on masking scents like EverCalm if you hunt from a ground blind? ANSWER: I think cover scents in general are a good idea, particularly when hunting in a ground blind, where your scent is at ground level. However, it’s important to use the righ... READ MORE

Tick Tock

Tick Tock

By Bob Humphrey

Why biting insects are as big a concern for hunters as big-name viruses. QUESTION: Everybody is worried about Corona virus, but I’m getting ready to spend a lot of time away from everyone in the turkey woods. I’m more worried about Lyme disease. Are ticks as much of a problem in the spring as they are in the early bow seasons? What can ... READ MORE

It’s a Guy Thing

It’s a Guy Thing

By Bob Humphrey

Buck decoys seem to draw more attention in more situations. QUESTION: When hunting during pre-rut or the rut, is a doe or a buck decoy more enticing? – Jim ANSWER: If I had to pick one or the other, I would opt for a buck in both situations. During the pre-rut, before does start coming into estrus, bucks are still working out and maintaining... 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

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

By Bob Humphrey

If deer can’t see infrared flash, why do they look directly at your trail cameras? QUESTION: I’ve noticed on several of my trail camera photos that the deer look like they’re looking right at the camera. I thought they weren’t supposed to be able to tell when a picture is being taken. Will this frighten the deer? –Will... 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

How High’s the Water?

How High’s the Water?

By Bob Humphrey

There are food plot crops that do well in moist soils, but it depends. QUESTION: We live in south-central Pennsylvania and have a very wet 20 acres that only has some wild grass and weeds in it. What could we plant to attract deer in our November to January hunting season? – Mike S. ANSWER: Much depends on what you mean by “very wet.&rd... READ MORE

Call me Pat

Call me Pat

By Bob Humphrey

What could cause a buck to start growing antlers in mid-October? QUESTION: I live in Illinois and was out checking trail cameras this weekend (late December). It appears that I have a deer around 6 or 7 that just started growing his antlers in mid-October and has been gradually getting bigger over the past two months. I’ve never heard or seen... READ MORE

Load of Bull

Load of Bull

By Bob Humphrey

No, no and no, you cannot do this. QUESTION: Is it true that you can tell the sex of a deer by their droppings? – Buster M. ANSWER: No. Some folks might like to believe you can, but the size, shape and consistency of deer poop is determined largely by diet. When feeding on their normal diet, which consists largely of coarse, woody browse, dro... READ MORE

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

By Bob Humphrey

Cold and extreme cold temperatures affect how well deer detect scents and odors. Watch deer lick their noses to increase humidity and their scents-ability. QUESTION: While I tend to believe that sound travels better in the cold and allows a deer to hear an intruder/hunter sooner, does extreme cold — less than 32 degrees — affect how we... READ MORE

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

We talk about breeding as an absolute window, but it’s not that exact. QUESTION: I’ve been running trail cameras year-round for a while now and never saw a picture of a fawn born in April until this year. Most years, it’s June before I see any. This doe must have been bred early, or she’s got a fast reproductive system. Just... READ MORE

Find the Food

Find the Food

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter might be new, but he’s asking the right kind of questions. QUESTION: I am new to hunting (my second year) although I'm 52 years old and a disabled veteran. I’m limited to hunting public land in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. While scouting, I have found wild grape vines on some of the public lands and was wondering i... READ MORE

Planned Deerhood

Planned Deerhood

By Bob Humphrey

How effective are deer sterilization programs compared to hunting? QUESTION: Parts of a town near me are being overrun with deer, and some folks want to allow bowhunting. Opponents say that’s cruel and that we should just sterilize the does. What can I tell folks to convince them sterilizing is a bad idea? — Curtis F. ANSWER: First you ... READ MORE

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: We in Virginia are going through what some say is hemorrhagic disease. We had suffered a decrease in deer population and see sickly deer with split, fallen-off hoofs and so forth. I was wondering if you could shed any light as to what we can expect in our future. The VDGIF website has given us some information. Answer:  The VDGIF we... READ MORE

All in the Head

All in the Head

By Bob Humphrey

Once again our expert is called upon to settle a friendly debate. QUESTION: A friend and I got into a heated argument and I’m hoping you can settle it. My question is: Could psychology be considered a part of biology? ANSWER: I’d love to hear how that ties in to whitetails but the answer is yes. Biology is the study of living things and... 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

Twisted Tops

Twisted Tops

By Bob Humphrey

It’s difficult to pin down the cause of misshapen racks. QUESTION: What causes bent-over racks? Is it aggressiveness by this young deer when it starts growing antlers in the spring? A head injury? I have seen five or six like this over the past 10 years. Maybe genetics? How can I tell for sure? My friends and I have been wondering. — Bi... READ MORE

Anti-Deer Spray

Anti-Deer Spray

By Bob Humphrey

Put the lime in the field and watch the deer disappear? QUESTION: This year my landowner spread lime on his harvested fields. Up to that point, I observed the deer were feeding in them quite often, and I had trail cam pictures of them doing so, too. After the lime, I have not observed any deer in these fields or captured a single trail camera pictu... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd