Ask The Biologist

The Maine Issue

The Maine Issue

By Bob Humphrey

Rumor says deer numbers in Maine are shockingly low. Is that true? QUESTION: An outfitter in Maine recently reported that the deer herd numbers were so low they were not booking any deer hunts and they were not sure when they might be doing so in the future. Does that sound correct to you that Maine herd numbers are low? If so, what would it take f... READ MORE

Hog Wild

Hog Wild

By Bob Humphrey

Sandy soil presents enough problems without having to contend with hogs, too. QUESTION: I have 500 acres that has a lot of sandy soil. I've planted stuff every year, and nothing seems to grow. The other thing is, I have hogs at the feed all the time. I have seen some really good bucks, but they won’t come to the feeder, so I'm trying to plan... 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

Once in a Red Moon

Once in a Red Moon

By Bob Humphrey

There are many moon theories out there, but here’s another to add to the list. QUESTION: What is a red moon, and when does it happen? I hear this all the time: “Hunt the red moon.” My calendar doesn’t have a red moon on it, and it’s a deer hunting yearly calendar. — Mike Z. ANSWER: I’ve heard all sorts of t... 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

Fired Up

Fired Up

By Bob Humphrey

Will the fire that swept through my property help or hurt the hunting? QUESTION: We had a fire on the land we hunt in Georgia, near the Alabama border. How will this affect our deer’s lives and behavior? ANSWER: It’s really difficult to say without more specific information, but I can offer some generalities. Fire is not necessarily a b... READ MORE

Food Plots or Pelletized Protein?

Food Plots or Pelletized Protein?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I have a ranch in west Texas where my family hunts deer, turkeys and doves. My question centers around feeding protein to my deer. I lease my ranch to a local cattle rancher who pays me for a grass lease. I’m looking for a good way to feed the dear year-round with good protein, not corn. Is a gravity protein feeder my best option, o... READ MORE

Mix It Up

Mix It Up

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails like variety in both their diet and habitat. QUESTION: Can I put a fall food plot in a field where the rest of the field is left overgrown with natural browse? — Ray H. ANSWER: Absolutely. In fact, it might even be more effective than converting the entire field to a food plot. Deer like variety, both in their diet and their habita... READ MORE

Yard Work

Yard Work

By Bob Humphrey

How you can help whitetails in areas that experience severe winters. QUESTION: What is being done to reestablish and protect the deer yards? I know it has been a big problem in Vermont. Many deer yards are overgrown, and the deer are having a hard time reaching the food. Old growth is too high and needs to be cut back for new plants to grow. ANSWER... READ MORE

Gender Fender Bender

Gender Fender Bender

By Bob Humphrey

Without an examination, it’s hard to determine why a doe would have antlers. QUESTION: Many years ago, a friend hit a deer with his vehicle. It was a 10-point buck, but it didn’t have male genitals. That means it was a doe. Why did this doe have antlers? — Tracy F. ANSWER: Mammals are typically born either male or female, as deter... READ MORE

Fawns Gone

Fawns Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered what happens to yearling deer when the mother doe goes into estrus? QUESTION: I am of the understanding that does will run their fawns off as they come into estrus. If this is true, when do they let their fawns return after they have been bred? I have heard right away, and I have heard maybe not at all. From seeing so many do... READ MORE

Hello Ladies!

Hello Ladies!

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We have an abundant supply of whitetails on our Kansas acreage and enjoy their company immensely. As expected, there appear to be far more does than bucks. Allowing for the fact that hunting regulations favor the harvesting of bucks, I can find no data on the likelihood of a doe giving birth to a male vs. female fawns. Is what I am witnes... READ MORE

Mowing A Clover Plot

Mowing A Clover Plot

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last year I planted a plot of Imperial Whitetail Clover. It came in really good, but someone told me I should mow it. I’m wondering when the best time to mow is? — K. Nelson, Brewton, Ala. ANSWER: There are two principle reasons for mowing a clover plot. One is for weed control. The other is to promote growth. If weeds are... READ MORE

Dine In or Take Out?

Dine In or Take Out?

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist discusses the advantages of on-demand and time-release features. QUESTION: I would like to know how you feel about feeding deer protein at a free-choice feeder verses a time-release system. — Joe S. ANSWER: I could give you all kinds of technical information about the whitetail’s nutritional needs, how they change througho... READ MORE

Oh where have they gone?

Oh where have they gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Disappearing deer are looking for the same thing—bedding cover, high calorie leftovers and love. Question:  I hunt on Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., and there is food, water and cover everywhere. Where are the deer traveling in early December? To cover or to food? —John T. Answer:  Though your question is geogra... READ MORE

Cold Spell

Cold Spell

By Bob Humphrey

Temperature definitely affects deer movement, but how it does so is determined by location. QUESTION: I have heard that deer will lay up until temperatures get above freezing. Is this true, and at what temperature will they start moving? — Glenn E. ANSWER: How temperature affects deer depends, to a certain extent, on location. Ask any Saskatc... 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

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

By Bob Humphrey

Cold and extreme cold temperatures affect how well deer detect scents and odors. Watch deer lick their noses to increase humidity and their scents-ability. QUESTION: While I tend to believe that sound travels better in the cold and allows a deer to hear an intruder/hunter sooner, does extreme cold — less than 32 degrees — affect how we... READ MORE

Dog Gone

Dog Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Even with predator control, you might not see more fawns. QUESTION: I am in a deer management cooperative with several other landowners. Part of the reason for forming it was that we were seeing a lot of predators, mostly coyotes, and there seemed to be a lot of does with only one fawn, or no fawns at all. Three years ago, we started an aggressive ... READ MORE

Drop that Fur!

Drop that Fur!

By Bob Humphrey

Piles of deer hair leave turkey hunter wondering about predators. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I’ve been finding a lot of clumps of deer hair in the woods. I’ve heard that coyotes have become a bigger problem in my area and I’m wondering if this could be the reason. — Carroll D., Edgefield, S.C. ANSWER: Coyote... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd