Ask The Biologist

What's a Noob To Do?

What's a Noob To Do?

By Bob Humphrey

A majority of us were taught how to hunt when we were little, but what if you didn’t come from a hunting family? QUESTION: What books or resources about deer movement would you recommend for someone new to hunting. — Jack ANSWER: Why do I feel like you’re setting me up with this question? First, if you’re not already a membe... READ MORE

Twisted Tops

Twisted Tops

By Bob Humphrey

It’s difficult to pin down the cause of misshapen racks. QUESTION: What causes bent-over racks? Is it aggressiveness by this young deer when it starts growing antlers in the spring? A head injury? I have seen five or six like this over the past 10 years. Maybe genetics? How can I tell for sure? My friends and I have been wondering. — Bi... READ MORE

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

How to Tell the Age of a Deer

How to Tell the Age of a Deer

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last fall I shot my first buck. It had an average rack, but when I looked in its mouth I noticed it didn’t have any front teeth. I suspect it must have been very old. Is there some way to tell how old it was? — Pete C. ANSWER: There is a relatively easy way to tell the approximate age of a deer, but before I tell you, I'll add... READ MORE

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re having trouble with fooling bucks, you’re not alone. QUESTION: I’ve been experimenting with a deer decoy, and so far it seems to spook everything that sees it. Is that normal? I thought I’d have bucks rushing in to investigate. – Larry P. ANSWER: Using a decoy is much like using scents, calls or rattling. Mor... 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

It’s a Game of Percentages

It’s a Game of Percentages

By Bob Humphrey

Deer might be curious, but caution trumps curiosity in most cases. QUESTION: I read in a Buckmasters article recently that deer were drawn to scrapes doctored with new car scent just as much as they were to scrapes freshened with doe pee. If that’s the case, does it matter what kind of scent I use? –Brad F. ANSWER: I’m aware of se... READ MORE

Tick Tock

Tick Tock

By Bob Humphrey

Why biting insects are as big a concern for hunters as big-name viruses. QUESTION: Everybody is worried about Corona virus, but I’m getting ready to spend a lot of time away from everyone in the turkey woods. I’m more worried about Lyme disease. Are ticks as much of a problem in the spring as they are in the early bow seasons? What can ... READ MORE

Room at the Table

Room at the Table

By Bob Humphrey

Deer and turkeys share several food sources, but their diets aren’t the same. QUESTION: What foods do both turkeys and deer eat? –Henrik, G. ANSWER: That’s a rather broad question, and much depends on geographical location, time of year and local habitat. In spring and summer, both deer and turkeys eat a variety of herbaceous vege... 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

Long Live the King

Long Live the King

By Bob Humphrey

Why do some bucks keep their racks so far into winter? QUESTION: I run trail cameras on my feeders, and in the last week of February I’m still getting pictures of a mature buck with antlers. My question is, when do bucks shed their antlers? — Bruce W. ANSWER: Antlers serve several purposes. Bucks use them as offensive and defensive weap... READ MORE

Forever Six

Forever Six

By Bob Humphrey

A spike might not remain a spike, but what about mature bucks? QUESTION: I have been hunting whitetails in Oklahoma for 35 years. For years, I have been running trail cameras and feeders on several acreages that we hunt. All of our bucks are recognizable from year to year, and most all of them tend to be 8-pointers with a few 10-pointers. Every onc... READ MORE

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

By Bob Humphrey

What is the cause of light blood sign where deer congregate? QUESTION: For many years now I have noticed blood where deer have concentrated heavily and remained in one spot for long periods of time to feed in winter months. I only notice this when there is snow on the ground, probably because it stands out so much then. I am sure it is from a deer.... 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

Run for Cover

Run for Cover

By Bob Humphrey

Try a masking scent if you’re concerned about getting busted. QUESTION: What are your thoughts on masking scents like EverCalm if you hunt from a ground blind? ANSWER: I think cover scents in general are a good idea, particularly when hunting in a ground blind, where your scent is at ground level. However, it’s important to use the righ... READ MORE

The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It

By Bob Humphrey

If you get a funny feeling when you make eye contact with a deer, you’re not alone. QUESTION: Do you think that face paint really helps to keep deer from seeing your shiny face, or do they get spooked when they see your shiny eyes? ANSWER: I love this question! The short answer is: I really don’t know, and it’s never as simple as ... 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

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

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

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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd