Ask The Biologist

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

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Last year, my son shot a 6-point buck with his shotgun. He claims he waited at least 30 minutes and didn’t push the deer. We finally found some blood about 30 yards from the spot of the shot and tracked the deer with a very slight blood trail for well over 3/4 of a mile before we finally lost it. At the end of the trail, the blood ... 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

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

Trophy Bucks

Trophy Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I’ve been saving my pennies and finally decided this is the year I’m going on a guided hunt for trophy whitetails. I haven’t decided on the exact location yet but I’m thinking about somewhere in the midwest. Can you offer any tips on where my best chances might be? — C.J. W., Maryland ANSWER: Based on nati... 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

Don’t Spoil the Meat!

Don’t Spoil the Meat!

By Bob Humphrey

Here's another buck myth that needs to go away. QUESTION: I harvested my first deer this fall, a buck. When my neighbor came over to see it, he told me I needed to cut the tarsal glands off or it would spoil the meat. I never heard that and am wondering if that's true. ANSWER: No, it's not. I guess you might call that a rural legend. Myths like onc... 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

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s not as strange as you think that does nurse fawns into hunting season. QUESTION: I was bowhunting last October when a doe and fawn came by my stand. I was about to shoot the doe when the fawn came up, and I swear it started to nurse. Isn’t this late in the season? What would the fawn’s chances of survival be if I shot the doe... 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

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

Foot Fetish

Foot Fetish

By Bob Humphrey

Hoof abnormalities might mean your deer survived EHD. QUESTION: I hunted in a group this year, and three of the deer we harvested had hoof pads that where coming off as a single piece. We could see new pads under old ones. I’ve hunted 30 years and never saw this before. All the deer looked healthy. What causes this? — Sherry W. ANSWER: ... READ MORE

Ghost Deer

Ghost Deer

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many tracks without seeing the deer that made them? QUESTION: Please, please help. I have been hunting for 20 years and I have just received permission to bowhunt two properties in northern Ohio. Both are small properties: 5 acres and 10 acres. I was more excited than I had ever been about deer hunting. They are in sub... READ MORE

Bug Problems

Bug Problems

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in the middle of the coast range in Oregon. I have always given my dogs brewers yeast with garlic and never had fleas or ticks. This year we have had both deer and elk in our yard almost every night. My dog now has fleas. Is this from the deer and elk? Both my dog and I have had deer ticks on us that we have removed. What can I do ... READ MORE

Boomer Sooner

Boomer Sooner

By Bob Humphrey

Okie wants to know what to plant this fall. QUESTION: What’s the best food plot to plant in Oklahoma? ANSWER: The answer depends partly on your objective. If you’re looking to plant cool-season (fall/winter plots) hunting plots, crops like wheat, rye and barley are probably your best option as they’re relatively inexpensive, may d... READ MORE

How Long Have I Got?

How Long Have I Got?

By Bob Humphrey

All the talk about whitetail age classes begs the question: What’s a normal life span for a deer? QUESTION: How long can a whitetail live? ANSWER: I like it; short and to the point. So I’ll give you an appropriately concise answer. Free-ranging white-tailed deer are exposed to a variety of dangers including disease, predation and hun... READ MORE

Bear Pit

Bear Pit

By Bob Humphrey

Maine’s deer numbers are low, and predators could be part of the problem. QUESTION: We have a lot of bears where I live in Maine, and the state is trying to figure out how to get hunters to shoot more. We also used to have a lot more deer. I’m wondering if the bears might be eating more deer now that there are more of them. How common i... READ MORE

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

By Bob Humphrey

Love them or hate them, antler restrictions are a common component of many management plans. QUESTION: I live in Pennsylvania, and we have antler restrictions that I do not agree with. I don't feel we have more bigger bucks than we did before, and I know if you let a deer go, you’re letting him grow. But we are getting overrun with small buck... READ MORE

Early Birds

Early Birds

By Bob Humphrey

Although not common, it is normal to find a scrape outside of the fall. QUESTION: I have seen scrapes as early as late July. It was in same site as where a buck had made a scrape the year before. Would you say he or another deer cleaned out last year’s scrape? — Steve B. ANSWER: I would. While deer don’t necessarily make scrapes a... READ MORE

Cradle Robbers

Cradle Robbers

By Bob Humphrey

Where are all these young deer coming from, and where are the giants? QUESTION: I have a 700-acre lease on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina that’s mostly thick cut-over — perfect bedding cover. This is the fourth year we have been attempting to let our deer get bigger but this year we were overrun with spikes, 3- and 4-pointers. We r... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd