Ask The Biologist

Worst Ever Athlete’s Foot

Worst Ever Athlete’s Foot

By Bob Humphrey

Strange foot malady has hunter and our biologist stumped. QUESTION: I am a life member of Buckmasters and multiple other hunting organizations. For 15 years I have had a hunting lease in the middle of Iowa. Over the last several years, I have noted, with some anxiety, that several deer we harvested have the same physical issue. They have extremely ... READ MORE

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to take does depends on your goals. QUESTION: If my goal is to take a doe, when is the best time? Should I fill doe tags early in archery season or later in firearms season? – Daniel B. ANSWER: It depends, to some extent, on why you want to take that doe. If your objective is largely to fill the freezer, the best time to take a ... READ MORE

Everyone Outta the Pool!

Everyone Outta the Pool!

By Bob Humphrey

Stagnant water doesn’t seem to be harmful to whitetails. QUESTION: I just read a tip about putting a kid’s plastic swimming pool out to help keep deer on property during droughts. My question is: how do you keep the water from becoming stagnant and full of mold, or does that matter for wildlife? — Ronny H. ANSWER: I’m not su... READ MORE

Another Rasputin Myth

Another Rasputin Myth

By Bob Humphrey

It’s time to get rid of all those crazy stories about turkeys driving out deer. QUESTION: Turkeys are fairly new where I live, but I’ve noticed more every year. A friend says they’ll drive the deer away and eat their food. Is there any truth to this? ANSWER: I wish we could do away with this misconception once and for all, but lik... 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

No Guts, All Glory

No Guts, All Glory

By Bob Humphrey

Why it's okay to leave field-dressing remains in the woods. QUESTION: I'm hoping you can settle an argument for me. When I shoot a deer, I always field-dress it where it lays. I was recently hunting out of state, and they asked me to bring out the whole deer because gut piles in the woods attract predators. What are your thoughts? –Rodney D. ANSWER... READ MORE

Fresh Start

Fresh Start

By Bob Humphrey

It’s hard to know where to start when accessing new hunting ground. QUESTION: I just acquired new hunting ground. I Got to hunt it during the last week of bow season and saw lots of does. It consists of 10 acres of fields and 190 acres of woods. It seems promising, but I’m not sure how to get started. Where should I start in getting mor... READ MORE

A Spoonful of Sugar

A Spoonful of Sugar

By Bob Humphrey

It might take your deer some time to start using a brassica plot. QUESTION: I planted brassicas for the first time this year, and so far the deer have not touched them. They seem to be using our other plots but not the brassicas. Is there anything we can do to attract deer to these brassica plots? ANSWER: I had a similar experience the first time I... READ MORE

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

Uh Oh!

Uh Oh!

By Bob Humphrey

So you got pictures of hogs on your property. Now what? QUESTION: My hunting partners and I were working on some stands over the weekend, and we got this picture on one of our trail cameras. We have never had pigs on our ground before, and some of the guys are worried. This wasn’t the only picture, and we know for sure there is at least one l... READ MORE

One Tough Myth

One Tough Myth

By Bob Humphrey

The spike question has more lives than Rasputin. QUESTION: Does a spike always remain a spike? Or next year could he become something more? It seems like people believe once a spike always a spike, but when I ask someone they all say that’s what I’ve been told. I don’t know who this person is, but he or she sure seems to know a lo... READ MORE

They Start Young

They Start Young

By Bob Humphrey

How soon a doe breeds depends largely on habitat. QUESTION: Do yearling does go into heat and breed their first year? — Gary K. ANSWER: I suspect by the way you’ve worded your question, you are misusing the term yearling. A deer becomes a yearling after passing its first birthday. By the time breeding season rolls around, a yearling doe... READ MORE

No Set Date

No Set Date

By Bob Humphrey

There are many factors dictating when a buck drops its antlers. QUESTION: It’s March 20, the first day of spring, so why are so many bucks still seen with antlers? ANSWER: While seasonal changes in deer physiology and behavior are prompted largely by photoperiodism (changes in the amount of daylight), it is not a precise mechanism, and there ... READ MORE

Ol’ Tripod

Ol’ Tripod

By Bob Humphrey

What would cause it, and can a deer survive with only three legs? QUESTION: I got this picture on my trail camera. What could cause this deer to only have three legs, and do you think it will survive? – Bob H. ANSWER: Possible reasons are numerous and varied. As there appears to be a bare spot and possible scarring, I would say it is likely t... READ MORE

Numbers Game

Numbers Game

By Bob Humphrey

So how exactly do states determine how many permits to issue every year? QUESTION: The gun season in my state is bucks only unless you are selected for a doe tag. Then you can shoot any deer. The number of doe tags given out changes, sometimes a lot from year to year. My question is, how do they decide how many doe tags to give out? — John D.... READ MORE

In-Woods Plot Plants

In-Woods Plot Plants

By Bob Humphrey

Last week we had the most common food plot question. This week we feature the second most posed query. QUESTION: What seed do you recommend for planting in shaded woods for spring, summer & fall? I can’t get a tractor to the plot, and it is only about 20x30. — Jim D. ANSWER: I suggest you go one of two ways: The easiest would be t... READ MORE

Short in the Tooth

Short in the Tooth

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails in the wild usually have a short and dangerous life. QUESTION: I got a deer last fall, and while caping it out I noticed the teeth were very worn. Someone told me that means it’s a very old deer. My question is, how old do deer get? — J.T. ANSWER: Much depends on where they live. In captivity, whitetails can live 20 years or ... READ MORE

Hog Hell

Hog Hell

By Bob Humphrey

There isn’t any good news when it comes to wild pigs on your deer lease. QUESTION: I hunt on a lease in northwest Florida. A few years ago, the wild pig population was tolerable, but now it’s out of control. You cannot go anywhere without seeing pig sign. And if you put out corn, they take over the area. I have three questions:1) Can yo... READ MORE

Cradle Robbers

Cradle Robbers

By Bob Humphrey

Where are all these young deer coming from, and where are the giants? QUESTION: I have a 700-acre lease on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina that’s mostly thick cut-over — perfect bedding cover. This is the fourth year we have been attempting to let our deer get bigger but this year we were overrun with spikes, 3- and 4-pointers. We r... READ MORE

Blind Ambition

Blind Ambition

By Bob Humphrey

There are several reasons deer might be spotting you when you’re in a ground blind. QUESTION: I just started to hunt out of a ground blind, but every time I’m in there the deer seem to know I’m there. Do I have too many windows open? The inside of my tent is black, so I wear black. What could they be seeing? — Tony L. ANSWER... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd