Ask The Biologist

What Could This Be?

What Could This Be?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: In early November, I shot a 2- or 3-year-old 7-pointer on my property. I noticed his hip bones were visible and his spine could be felt fairly easily. The other strange thing I noticed while gutting him was a white/yellow mucous I was pulling out in handfuls from his chest cavity. Any answers or ideas would be great. Maybe pneumonia? Mayb... READ MORE

Everyone Outta the Pool!

Everyone Outta the Pool!

By Bob Humphrey

Stagnant water doesn’t seem to be harmful to whitetails. QUESTION: I just read a tip about putting a kid’s plastic swimming pool out to help keep deer on property during droughts. My question is: how do you keep the water from becoming stagnant and full of mold, or does that matter for wildlife? — Ronny H. ANSWER: I’m not su... READ MORE

Nose Bugs

Nose Bugs

By Bob Humphrey

Just when you think you’ve seen every kind of strange deer malady... QUESTION: I shot a nice buck in Illinois this year, and while we were taking pictures, we noticed there was something in its nose. It turned out to be a big snail-looking thing. What is it, and is it safe to eat this deer? –Ryan ANSWER: This appears to be, and in all l... READ MORE

Hatch a Plot

Hatch a Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, but it’s important to plant even small ones properly. QUESTION: I live in southeast Illinois and want to create a small food plot, about 50x50 feet. It will be in the shade and in a flat creek bottom. The soil is yellow clay with fescue grass growing on it. Can you tell me what type of seeds I should pla... 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

Ol’ Tripod

Ol’ Tripod

By Bob Humphrey

What would cause it, and can a deer survive with only three legs? QUESTION: I got this picture on my trail camera. What could cause this deer to only have three legs, and do you think it will survive? – Bob H. ANSWER: Possible reasons are numerous and varied. As there appears to be a bare spot and possible scarring, I would say it is likely t... READ MORE

On Their Own

On Their Own

By Bob Humphrey

What is the fate of most fawns whose mothers are taken during hunting season? QUESTION: If you take the mother during hunting season, will her fawns survive the winter? — Matthew N. ANSWER: Maybe. A lot depends on the age of the fawns. The older they are, the better their chances of survival. In most cases, fawns should be old enough to fend ... READ MORE

If You Build It...

If You Build It...

By Bob Humphrey

Deer get used to permanent stands, but they also learn to avoid them. QUESTION: I put up a shooting house this fall in a location where I found several heavy trails crossing. Then I noticed during bow season that most of the deer I saw passed by some distance out of range. Do you think they are avoiding the stand, and should I move it? ANSWER: Ther... READ MORE

Hair Club for Deer

Hair Club for Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can lose hair for a number of reasons, but this is one odd case. QUESTION: Reckon y’all can tell me about this bald spot? The deer was taken Dec. 30 in northeast Georgia. — Patrick T. ANSWER: I have seen deer with similar marks, although not as large or as distinctly hairless. My first thought is that it is the result of a ... READ MORE

Gut Shots Happen

Gut Shots Happen

By Bob Humphrey

The key to recovering paunch-shot deer is to back out quietly and wait. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle an argument. A friend told me that he would not hesitate to gut-shoot a deer if it was the only shot he had because he knows he’ll recover it. I say it’s a poor shot choice due to the high probability of not recovering the ... READ MORE

When Bucks Attack

When Bucks Attack

By Bob Humphrey

Although rare, whitetails have been known to hurt people. QUESTION: I was in my yard this evening toward dusk and looked down our hill and saw a buck staring at me. I was filling my bird feeders and thought he would run off, but he stood for about 15 minutes just looking at me. I finished what I was doing and went onto my porch, and he just stayed ... 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

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

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

No Fleas on Me

No Fleas on Me

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in Alabama and have noticed ticks on just about every deer harvested, but I never see fleas. Weird? — Kenny L. ANSWER: I must admit I didn’t know the answer to this one, and it wasn’t easy to find. Several studies list common ectoparasites of deer as ticks, chigger mites, keds and both sucking and chewing lice - b... READ MORE

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: We in Virginia are going through what some say is hemorrhagic disease. We had suffered a decrease in deer population and see sickly deer with split, fallen-off hoofs and so forth. I was wondering if you could shed any light as to what we can expect in our future. The VDGIF website has given us some information. Answer:  The VDGIF we... READ MORE

Designer Footwear

Designer Footwear

By Bob Humphrey

Like most coloration oddities, the cause is likely genetics. QUESTION: I shot a big buck in 1992 that scored 174. I got a half body mount should have got a full body. Anyway, his front feet are white and on the back feet, one toe is black and the other one is white. Could you tell me what causes this? — Ed ANSWER: We get a lot of questions ab... READ MORE

To Pee or Not to Pee?

To Pee or Not to Pee?

By Bob Humphrey

There is no concrete answer to this question, but it’s likely okay. QUESTION: I know you’ve probably had this question before but can deer tell the difference between human and deer urine? –Marc S. ANSWER: We really don’t know exactly what deer perceive through their sense of smell or how they interpret scent, but we know th... READ MORE

What’s Up, Doc?

What’s Up, Doc?

By Bob Humphrey

Deer maladies are tough to diagnose without a hands-on examination. QUESTION: Can you tell me what’s wrong with this deer? — Alex W. ANSWER: That’s a good one. Without actually seeing the deer, the best I can do is offer a few possibilities. The most common reason for lumps or protrusions on deer are fibromas, essentially benign skin tumors. ... READ MORE

The Answer My Friend...

The Answer My Friend...

By Bob Humphrey

Geography plays a role in how whitetails react to wind. QUESTION: I recently read somewhere that according to research, high winds don’t affect deer movement. How can this be true? — David W. ANSWER: I can’t answer directly without knowing the source, but I suspect the author might be over generalizing. I’ve read several stu... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd