Ask The Biologist

They’re Ugly, But ...

They’re Ugly, But ...

By Bob Humphrey

Abnormal skin growths are not always a serious problem QUESTION: I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and we have a deer that comes into our yard quite often. She is nice and fat but has terrible looking growths. It started with just one clump, and now they are huge. I would like to know if these tumors can be spread to other deer. ANSWER: The growths p... READ MORE

Play the Numbers

Play the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Doe groups will always draw bucks during the rut. QUESTION: They say you should hunt does during the rut because that’s where the bucks will be, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. My experience has been that does nearing estrus want to get away from other does. Am I on to something, and if so, where should I focus my rut hunt efforts... 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

Melanistic Deer

Melanistic Deer

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I shot a melanistic 9-point buck on Nov.15, 2000. He dressed out at 174 pounds. Does anybody track or keep records of such rare animals? — Daniel S. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions and comments about odd deer, particularly color variations. Even in “normal” deer, pelage (fur color) can be highly variable, ranging fr... 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

Twice as Nice

Twice as Nice

By Bob Humphrey

Should we double-seed our food plots to get better results? QUESTION: The club I'm in is talking about double-seeding the fields this year to see if we have better results. I've read in the past one of the biggest mistakes we make is over-seeding and not putting out enough fertilizer. Our club is located in north Alabama and is 5 miles up a mountai... READ MORE

Somebody Should Write That Article

Somebody Should Write That Article

By Bob Humphrey

Do you feel bad or resist the urge to take a doe that has yearlings with her? QUESTION: I took my son out for youth day, and all we saw was a doe with two fawns. I remembered someone telling me that if you shoot the doe and the fawns were too young, they would not be able to survive the harsh winter. He chose not to shoot, but now I wonder if he ma... READ MORE

The Ears Have It

The Ears Have It

By Bob Humphrey

Strange presence of blood makes hunter leery of eating his harvest. QUESTION: I killed a buck that has dried blood in his ears. I noticed it about 5 minutes after I walked up to him. I know for sure it was not caused by my bullet. Is this buck fit for consumption? ANSWER: I’m guessing by now you’ve figured out the answer to your questio... READ MORE

Sandbox Food Plot

Sandbox Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Although it takes some time, you can improve the soil of a sandy food plot. QUESTION: I’m currently part of a lease with a good group of guys, and we’re trying to do things right. We want to shoot mature deer, and we’re planting food plots for nutrition and to keep them in the area. We have one big problem, though: the soil on our... READ MORE

No Plow? No Worries

No Plow? No Worries

By Bob Humphrey

No-till food plots can be effective, but they require a little elbow grease. QUESTION: Several friends and I recently purchased a hunting property that is 4 hours from where we live. We plan to go out before season to scout and put up stands, and were also considering establishing a couple quick, no-till food plots. Can you make any recommendations... READ MORE

True Blood

True Blood

By Bob Humphrey

Exactly how much blood can a deer lose before it succumbs to its wounds? QUESTION: How much blood must a deer lose after being shot with a broadhead before it dies? — Joe R. ANSWER: I found several unscientific sources that claimed deer will die after losing between 2 ½ to 2 ¾ pints of blood. The Texas Bowhunter Ed course notes:... READ MORE

Meep! Meep!

Meep! Meep!

By Bob Humphrey

Just like in the cartoons, coyotes keep coming back for more. QUESTION: We try to remove coyotes whenever possible on our hunt club, but someone suggested we might be doing more harm than good. How can this possibly be? ANSWER:It seems intuitive that removing predators like coyotes would be beneficial to deer, but things are seldom as simple as we ... READ MORE

Better Late than Ever

Better Late than Ever

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a reason so many big, mature bucks are taken in the late seasons? QUESTION: Over the past few years, I've noticed that we've shot more big bucks in the late-season hunts, early and mid-January, in northwest Illinois. What might account for this? ANSWER: Late season is indeed one of the best times to kill bucks, particularly older, bigger o... READ MORE

Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Late summer or early fall is the best time to plant a hunting food plot. QUESTION: When is the best time to plant a food plot in northern Mississippi for gun hunting in November? — Keith M. ANSWER: I could give you a long, drawn-out answer about developing a plan to provide proper year-round nutrition to attract and hold more and healthier de... READ MORE

It’s Not a Tumor!

It’s Not a Tumor!

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist takes a stab at identifying yet another deer anomoly. QUESTION: What do you think this is? — Jeff M. ANSWER: It’s weird, that’s what it is. I can’t say for sure without putting my hands on it, which I wouldn’t want to do anyway, but I’d say it is very likely a fibroma. Fibromas are essentially exce... READ MORE

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

By Bob Humphrey

It helps to know when to start looking for the telltale signs of buck activity. QUESTION: When do bucks begin to rub trees and leave scrapes? – Will P. ANSWER: A better question might be: When do they stop? As most hunters know, deer behavior in general is ruled by photoperiodism, changes in the amount of daylight. As the days grow shorter, p... READ MORE

Bucks Are Tough, But...

Bucks Are Tough, But...

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can survive serious injuries, but some don’t leave much hope. QUESTION: Do you believe this buck will ever recover? My main concern is infection or damage to his brain. The buck has been injured approximately two weeks and is still active and feeding but I’m concerned this injury may cause him to decline. Any suggestions wou... READ MORE

Thin Is NOT In

Thin Is NOT In

By Bob Humphrey

Reclaimed mining property offers challenges for food plot growers. QUESTION: I have a 155-acre farm leased. It was previously mining property, and the soil is very poor with a very thin top layer. I am trying to get food plots started, but don’t have the equipment or the time and money to prepare the soil properly. I have read about throw-and... READ MORE

Viral Minerals

Viral Minerals

By Bob Humphrey

It’s amazing how fast word gets around in the deer community. QUESTION: Everyone writes about the importance of mineral sites, but nobody gives ideas of what to use to attract deer to new mineral sites. I know they will eventually find them, but how do you attract them to one for first time? ANSWER: A lot of our ATB questions require long, co... READ MORE

This Is Your Lungs On ...

This Is Your Lungs On ...

By Bob Humphrey

Here’s another example of a strange and interesting deer oddity. QUESTION: I recently harvested a white-tailed deer that had dark spots on its lungs, but otherwise appeared healthy. Do you have any thoughts on the cause? –Tim S. ANSWER: My first instinct on hearing “spots on the lungs” is TB (bovine tuberculosis). However, a... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd