Ask The Biologist

The Hole Thing

The Hole Thing

By Bob Humphrey

We might think of deer as peaceful, but they can be tough on one another. QUESTION: These pictures are from a deer before and after I skinned it. It had this hole on its inner thigh. There was no smell of rotting flesh, but I have never seen anything like it my 15 years of hunting. Any idea what it is? — Robert M. ANSWER: One can never be sur... READ MORE

Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch

By Bob Humphrey

If you’ve heard mixed reviews on using feeders, join the crowd. QUESTION: My state now allows baiting, but I’ve read big bucks won’t come to a bait pile, or even a feeder. Is that true? ANSWER: There are very few absolutes in deer hunting, and different factors vary, sometimes considerably, from one place to another. That being sa... 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

Size Matters

Size Matters

By Bob Humphrey

Biologists aren’t exactly sure what antlers are for, but bigger seems to be better. QUESTION: It seems like it takes a lot of energy to grow a new set of antlers each year. Does a buck really gain anything from having bigger antlers? — Brian S. ANSWER: A clue to the answer actually lies within your question. It does indeed take a lot of... READ MORE

Dog-Gone

Dog-Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Does the presence of dogs push deer off a hunting property? QUESTION: If there are dogs running wild on our hunting lease in North Georgia and they are running the deer year ‘round, will this lower the deer density on our 1,605 acres? Also, do these wild dogs find and eat the fawns like coyotes? I would say yes, but I am not a biologist. We h... READ MORE

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I was on a guided hunt last fall in Texas and killed a buck that I thought was around 3 years old. My guide stuck his fingers in the deer’s mouth to feel it’s teeth and declared it was 5 years old. Can you offer some tips on how to easily tell a deer’s age after it’s been harvested? — Jamie W. Answer:  A... 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

Hold the Onions

Hold the Onions

By Bob Humphrey

Watch what you eat to help reduce your odor footprint. QUESTION: Are there certain foods I should avoid while deer hunting? I’ve heard onions and other foods can actually release scent through your pores. What do you think? ANSWER: Certain things like coffee and asparagus are know to produce foul-smelling urine. Eating some foods, like onions... READ MORE

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to be in the woods is whenever you can get out there. QUESTION: As a Life Member of Buckmasters, I constantly read articles about lunar effect on deer movement and behavior. I have seen articles that emphasize the Lunar Wheel to hit the nail on the head in predicting the best times, the worst times, and the don’t-get-out-of-bed ... READ MORE

Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, nor do you need a lot of equipment. QUESTION: I have property to hunt in Chadds Ford, Pa. My question is, what type of food plot do you suggest for a shady area? — Darren ANSWER: That’s really tough to answer without a lot more information. In order to give you accurate advice I’d need to k... READ MORE

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing Tobacco

By Bob Humphrey

Could deer actually be interested in a chaw? QUESTION: I'm a tobacco chewer, and three times this season I witnessed a buck stop and stick his nose right into a spot where I'd dumped a spit cup. I also watched two young bucks lick and paw the ground, then start fighting over it! I couldn't believe it when a mature buck also licked and pawed the sp... READ MORE

Saltaholic

Saltaholic

By Bob Humphrey

Just like us, deer love salt, but it’s not really beneficial. QUESTION: CWD just expanded into where I live in south-central Pennsylvania. Is it okay to continue offering salt? I don’t want CWD to spread, but feel the deer still need it. I was wondering if offering salt might bring deer together and increase the chances of spreading the... READ MORE

Doe Dilemma

Doe Dilemma

By Bob Humphrey

Antlerless deer are the key to managing population numbers. QUESTION: My state recently announced that they are giving out a lot more doe tags this year than they did last year. I have not harvested a deer in three years and am hoping that getting a doe tag will make it easier. However, I’m also concerned that if hunters harvest too many does... 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

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

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

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

Post-Rut Buck Fight?

Post-Rut Buck Fight?

By Bob Humphrey

Trail cam captures intriguing photo after deer season. QUESTION: Hi Bob, in order to monitor which deer survived our hunting season, I placed corn in front of my trail cam and was surprised to capture this photo of two bucks fighting. This raises an interesting question. Will bucks fight at times other than the rut or when they are competing for d... 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

The Infamous Perfect Shot

The Infamous Perfect Shot

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a spot in a deer’s chest where an arrow wouldn’t strike vital organs? QUESTION: While bowhunting recently, I shot a buck and made what I thought was a perfect broadside shot. We found blood and tracked for some time, but after several hours the blood ran out and we were not able to find the buck. I have heard there is a spot in... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd