Ask The Biologist

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

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

There’s the Rub

There’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Don’t confuse buck rubs with activity associated with licking branches. QUESTION: Will a buck rub limbs 5 to 6 feet high in a tree, and will a buck rub in early February? – Tyler N. ANSWER: The answer depends partly on your location. Dr. John Ozoga is credited with being the first to recognize the importance of an overhanging limb in re... READ MORE

How Rare Is a Piebald?

How Rare Is a Piebald?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I saw a piebald buck last year, however I did not get a shot at him. This year I got him with my crossbow. My question is, how likely is it that I will ever see another piebald deer on my property? — Ronnie Plumlee Answer:  Piebald deer are certainly a curiosity, and we get a lot of questions about them. This aberrant colorati... READ MORE

Hair Club Bucks

Hair Club Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

We wonder if there’s a market for Rogaine for whitetails. QUESTION: Last fall, I noticed a couple bucks with bare spots on their back or rump. I have seen this before and was wondering what might cause it. — Ron C. ANSWER: There are several plausible explanations. Bare spots can be caused by repeatedly going under or through wire fences... READ MORE

Hang ‘em High

Hang ‘em High

By Bob Humphrey

The debate continues on whether it’s best to process a deer immediately or to wait. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle a debate. How long should I hang my deer? Some people I know say I should skin it and process it right away. Others say the longer it hangs the better. What’s the right answer? — Glenn W. ANSWER: The debate, like what’s the ... READ MORE

Just Ask Alice

Just Ask Alice

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered about the white mushrooms you see in the woods? QUESTION: I’ve seen deer eating white mushrooms in the pine forest. Are those mushrooms good for human consumption? — Duane F. ANSWER: I’m going to offer a vague answer. The reason is that some mushrooms are edible, while others are not. More important, some ar... READ MORE

I’ll Have a Salad

I’ll Have a Salad

By Bob Humphrey

Cattle farmer asks if whitetails exhibit the same diet shift as his cows. QUESTION: Female livestock that are healthy and mature enough to breed go through a process of preparing their bodies for the breeding during a period called flushing, where cows will feed on high quality forage to meet this need. I have witnessed a significant change in the ... READ MORE

Bachelor Party

Bachelor Party

By Bob Humphrey

There are multiple benefits to bucks hanging out together. QUESTION: I know that bucks group together in bachelor herds, and I was wondering why. – Todd S. ANSWER: Everything happens for a reason, right? Bachelor herds or groups are loose social aggregations of males that form as early as spring, but typically become larger, more coalesced an... READ MORE

The ABCs of QDM

The ABCs of QDM

By Bob Humphrey

Take the long view to start a QDM program, and look at year-round nutrition, sex ratios, habitat components, nutritional needs and finally, food plots. QUESTION: I have been in my club for four years and am not happy with deer we are seeing. There are lots of deer on the property, but no big bucks. I know they’re around; the meat processing ... READ MORE

Better Late than Ever

Better Late than Ever

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a reason so many big, mature bucks are taken in the late seasons? QUESTION: Over the past few years, I've noticed that we've shot more big bucks in the late-season hunts, early and mid-January, in northwest Illinois. What might account for this? ANSWER: Late season is indeed one of the best times to kill bucks, particularly older, bigger o... READ MORE

What A Difference A Day Makes

What A Difference A Day Makes

By Bob Humphrey

It’s true. In most cases, a doe’s peak release of hormones, indicating her willingness to breed, only lasts one day. QUESTION: Is it true a white-tailed deer is only in heat for a brief 24 hours? — Linda C. ANSWER: In most cases that’s fairly accurate. In order to conceive, a doe must be ready, willing and able.  Heat... READ MORE

Hunting Pressure

Hunting Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

If every place gets hunted, where do they go? QUESTION: The area I hunt gets a fair amount of hunting pressure, and it seems like the deer disappear once gun season starts. But if every place gets hunted, where do they go? — Brent W. ANSWER: Believe it or not, they’re probably still there. Recent research on mature bucks fitted with ... READ MORE

It’s a Date

It’s a Date

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: When is the peak of the rut at Dallas-Perry county line in Alabama. — J.P. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions about when peak rut occurs. While the dates remain consistent from year to year, there can be a high degree of variability geographically, particularly in Southern states like Alabama. As a result, I usually avoid getting to... 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

Meep! Meep!

Meep! Meep!

By Bob Humphrey

Just like in the cartoons, coyotes keep coming back for more. QUESTION: We try to remove coyotes whenever possible on our hunt club, but someone suggested we might be doing more harm than good. How can this possibly be? ANSWER:It seems intuitive that removing predators like coyotes would be beneficial to deer, but things are seldom as simple as we ... READ MORE

Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

By Bob Humphrey

Is it possible a buck could still be rutting in April, even in Alabama? QUESTION: I hunt in northeast Alabama, on the Tennessee state line. I’m not surprised to see bucks with one antler but was surprised to see this 8-pointer still had both its antlers in April. I was really surprised to see jet black hocks. I always thought that was a sign ... 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

Beach Buck Confusion

Beach Buck Confusion

By Bob Humphrey

Is Florida home to three different species of whitetails? QUESTION: I live in Florida and am hoping to be a better deer hunter. Florida has three subspecies of white-tailed deer. I’m familiar with the Key deer, but what is the difference between the Florida coastal whitetail (O. v. osceola) and the Florida whitetail (O. v. seminolus). &mdash... READ MORE

Busted!

Busted!

By Bob Humphrey

So you spooked the buck you were after. What happens now? QUESTION: I have been hunting a big buck this season, and last night he finally came in. But before I could get a shot he caught me moving and ran off. My question is, should I give up on the spot or will he be back? How long should I wait before hunting there again? — Bill G. ANSWER: ... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd