Ask The Biologist

In the Bone

In the Bone

By Bob Humphrey

Antlers are full of minerals, so should we feed whitetails mineral supplements? QUESTION: What, if any, is the best mineral to feed deer? I add Hi-Mag mineral salt to my feed in the summertime and was wondering if I’m on track for helping antler growth. –Jerry A. ANSWER: Minerals are an important part of a whitetail’s diet. Not on... 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

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

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

Okay To Be Different

Okay To Be Different

By Bob Humphrey

Whatever the cause, irregular antlers can be awesome! QUESTION: When I was a kid and through all the years of my life, I have been told by folks that non-typical bucks are a result of inbreeding among the deer population. Does that hold water? ANSWER: There are many possible reasons for bucks having irregular antlers. According to Kip Adams of the ... READ MORE

Bucks Are Tough, But...

Bucks Are Tough, But...

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can survive serious injuries, but some don’t leave much hope. QUESTION: Do you believe this buck will ever recover? My main concern is infection or damage to his brain. The buck has been injured approximately two weeks and is still active and feeding but I’m concerned this injury may cause him to decline. Any suggestions wou... READ MORE

Punch to the Gut

Punch to the Gut

By Bob Humphrey

Do paunch-hit deer always go to water? QUESTION: I shot a deer last fall with my bow, and it jumped just as I shot. When I found my arrow, it was covered with green slime and some blood. We tried to track it but were unable to find it until several days later. We found what was left of it near a small pond. Coyotes got the rest. My friend told me t... READ MORE

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

By Bob Humphrey

Can tracking a wounded deer run all the other deer off a property? QUESTION: A friend was bowhunting on my property in southern Maryland this year, and he arrowed an 8-pointer with his recurve. We tracked it through a few coveted bedding areas and pretty much covered a good portion of my 150 acres of hunting land. Two weeks later, I’m still n... READ MORE

Mythbuster

Mythbuster

By Bob Humphrey

Bob lays to rest another legendary deer camp myth. QUESTION: In the area I hunt, I usually find two different types of deer droppings. One is the usual piles of pellets; the other is more of a solid mass. I have been told that the pellets are made by does and the large masses are from bucks. My question is, can you tell the sex of a deer by its dro... READ MORE

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re going to shoot that deer, at least buy him a drink first. QUESTION: My wife works for a micro-brewery. Can I feed the deer the cooked hops from the beer? ANSWER: That’s a darned good question. I didn’t know the answer (had never even considered it) so I went to the most reliable source I could find. Finding no reference ... READ MORE

Jousting with One Antler

Jousting with One Antler

By Bob Humphrey

No need to cull Spike on One Side (SOS or SOOS) deer. Researchers assign pedicle or early skull trauma as root causes of the phenomenon, not genetics. Question:  Two years ago we noticed some type of defect within our deer population when a guest shot a buck that had antler growth on only one side.  The other side had nothing, not even a... READ MORE

Holdin’ On

Holdin’ On

By Bob Humphrey

Do late-dropping antlers affect next year’s rack? QUESTION: I have noticed several bucks in the last two years near the New York/Pennsylvania border area hanging onto their antlers into March and April. Knowing that deer in our area start antler growth sometime around May, I wonder if it has any impact on their antler growth for the upcoming ... READ MORE

Mowing A Clover Plot

Mowing A Clover Plot

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last year I planted a plot of Imperial Whitetail Clover. It came in really good, but someone told me I should mow it. I’m wondering when the best time to mow is? — K. Nelson, Brewton, Ala. ANSWER: There are two principle reasons for mowing a clover plot. One is for weed control. The other is to promote growth. If weeds are... 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

New Food Plots

New Food Plots

By Bob Humphrey

Buckmasters' biologist offers thoughts on getting started. QUESTION: Bob, I found an approximately half-acre clearing where I want to create a food plot. I live in Tennessee, so the summers are very dry and hot. When and what should I plant to get those big bucks coming to my plot? Also, what is the best food for deer to consume year round? &ndash... READ MORE

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

By Bob Humphrey

Question: The deer food where I live is mostly acorns and leaves. Is it all right to just feed deer corn, or do they need something else? — Pery R. Answer:  The short answer to both questions is, “Yes.” Now for the long answer. You didn’t say where you live, but I suspect there is a lot more around for deer to eat. Th... READ MORE

Variety Is the Spice of Deer Life

Variety Is the Spice of Deer Life

By Bob Humphrey

If you have the room and the means, don’t settle on one food plot seed. QUESTION: I live in St. Lawrence County, New York. I tried planting brassicas, which did well for a few years. Then, I had several years of heavy weeds. I till every year, wait two weeks and spray with a weed killer, wait 10 days and plant. I think I might be tilling in w... READ MORE

To Drive or Not to Drive

To Drive or Not to Drive

By Bob Humphrey

It’s difficult to get to a stand unnoticed, no matter what method you choose. QUESTION: I am disabled and can’t walk to my deer blind. Will it affect my deer hunt if I drive my SxS to my blind? – Randy B. ANSWER: The short answer is: Probably. Any time you enter their domain, whether by ATV, truck or even on foot, it affects deer... READ MORE

Ticked Off

Ticked Off

By Bob Humphrey

With all the blood available in velvet antlers, why aren’t they covered in ticks? QUESTION: How come you see deer with ticks on the back of there ears and face but never on velvet antlers?  With all the blood, I would think they should be covered. — Duane F. ANSWER: I really don’t know and have been unable to find a clear and... 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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd