Ask The Biologist

Supplemental Winter Feeding

Supplemental Winter Feeding

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We had a really bad winter up our way, and a number of folks I know put out food to help the deer survive. A bunch of deer were found dead in my town, and the state says it was due to feeding. How is this possible? — Brian A., South Hampton, N.H. ANSWER: This is a topic we’ve covered before on the web and in Buckmasters Magaz... READ MORE

Where Have The Ears Gone?

Where Have The Ears Gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Do you have any idea what happened to its ears? Question:  This doe has been coming into a guy’s yard in the DuBois area. Do you have any idea what happened to its ears? Maybe the buck flies just ate the heck out of them this past summer. I’ve seen deer with their ears bleeding terribly from buck fly bites. — Ken M. Answer:... 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

Better Safe than Sorry

Better Safe than Sorry

By Bob Humphrey

States take the cautious approach when it comes to bottled deer pee. QUESTION: Why is it illegal to use deer lure/scent in CWD areas when deer pee in the woods anyway? — John S. ANSWER: The short answer is, the people who are in charge of establishing such regulations and policies believe it is better to be safe than sorry. There’s stil... READ MORE

Split Personalities

Split Personalities

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter wants to know why deer in his area exhibit a sudden mood swing. QUESTION: I deer hunt in northern Minnesota in the Grand Rapids area. There are a few hay fields in the area, but other than that it’s brush country. During the spring and summer, deer like to feed on new growth in the wide ditches and to escape the constant mosquitoes and... READ MORE

Jumping the Gun

Jumping the Gun

By Bob Humphrey

Early buck sign has Alabama hunters curious about the rut. QUESTION: I am in northeast Alabama (Jackson County) and seeing very early signs of buck activity. We are seeing huge rubs and scrapes. We do not usually see this much buck sign until mid- to late-December. Does this indicate an early rut? – Mike P. ANSWER: First it’s helpful to... 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

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

Hunt a Scrape?

Hunt a Scrape?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I’ve heard many different ideas about hunting over scrapes. Should you only hunt fresh scrapes? Should you hunt scrapes 2 feet wide or wider only, or should you hunt them only during pre-rut, peak rut or post-rut? Should you hunt where you can physically see the scrape or should you hunt downwind of it back in the woods? Personally,... READ MORE

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

By Bob Humphrey

They do things a little differently in the South, and that includes gutting deer. QUESTION: I am from the Northeast and went down South last year to hunt for the first time. The guys I hunted with told me if I shoot a deer I should drag it out whole and not gut it in the woods. I thought they were pulling my leg at first, but they were serious. The... READ MORE

Vanishing Act

Vanishing Act

By Bob Humphrey

What does it mean when traditional activity sites go dormant? QUESTION: I have been hunting this small woodlot surrounded by agriculture. There are many farms with similar small wooded areas attached where deer travel. My question is: I have hunted this small bush where there has been a scrape line for the past 12 years. I have always had multiple ... READ MORE

Feelin’ Foggy

Feelin’ Foggy

By Bob Humphrey

You have to be careful when searching the internet for deer hunting advice. QUESTION: My uncle and I were hunting in our blind one foggy morning, and I asked my uncle to look up on the internet about hunting in the fog. The answers on the web didn’t make much sense to us. One source said fog can be one of the best times to hunt, while another... READ MORE

It’s a Date!

It’s a Date!

By Bob Humphrey

Calendar-based baiting law has our biologist stumped. QUESTION: My state just enacted a ban on feeding deer that begins June 1 and ends Dec. 15. I’m a little confused as to why they would do this. Any ideas? — Travis E. ANSWER: It does seem a little strange, and there are multiple possibilities. There are about as many different baiting... READ MORE

The Energizer Whitetail

The Energizer Whitetail

By Bob Humphrey

How long can a deer survive a single-lung shot from a bow and arrow? QUESTION: I recently shot a buck with my bow, and it was a complete pass-through. Upon retrieving my arrow, the blood on it was light red and there were a few bubbles on the Blood Ring. The first spots of any blood were 10 yards away where he stopped, but after that I tracked the ... 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

Rub Line Ruler

Rub Line Ruler

By Bob Humphrey

You can't always judge a buck by the size of the rub. QUESTION: Last hunting season before Christmas, I found some really big rubs between on trees between 4 and 7 inches in diameter. They were in a swampy area in a creek bottom, in standing water and paralleling the edge of the swamp. The rub line seemed like it was a couple hundred yards long. I... 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

Tweak My Food Plot

Tweak My Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

If your food plot isn’t attracting deer like you want, change it. Test for fertilizer and lime use, add some fruit trees and vary plantings to create a deer cafeteria. QUESTION: I hunt in the Northeast, about 3 hours north of New York City. I have a 15-acre parcel of land that’s bordered by several hundred acres of woods on one side wi... 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

Where’s the Other Antler?

Where’s the Other Antler?

By Bob Humphrey

Studies show many half-rack bucks have suffered an injury to the skull or pedicel. QUESTION: What causes bucks to grow half-racks? — Trevor B. ANSWER: To some extent that depends on what you mean by half-racks. A buck growing only one antler could be the result of an injury or genetic mutation. An injury to the limbs often results in some sor... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd