Ask The Biologist

Uh Oh!

Uh Oh!

By Bob Humphrey

So you got pictures of hogs on your property. Now what? QUESTION: My hunting partners and I were working on some stands over the weekend, and we got this picture on one of our trail cameras. We have never had pigs on our ground before, and some of the guys are worried. This wasn’t the only picture, and we know for sure there is at least one l... READ MORE

You Can’t Get There from Here

You Can’t Get There from Here

By Bob Humphrey

If you want to know how many does to harvest, you have to know how many deer you have. QUESTION: How many does should you harvest per 100 acres to increase your total deer population? Also to decrease or keep the population the same? — Eugene W. ANSWER: I’m afraid you might not like my answer, but a friend of mine once said, “You ... 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

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

Where Are The Big Bucks?

Where Are The Big Bucks?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We never see big bucks in the area we hunt, even on our cameras. Even deer we shoot with bigger bodies seem to have small basket racks. What can we do to change this situation? — Ellis C. ANSWER: As you’re probably aware, the three main factors that influence antler growth are age, nutrition and genetics. Let’s look at ... READ MORE

It’s Not About Size

It’s Not About Size

By Bob Humphrey

Even tiny antlers need to be gone when the next set starts to grow. QUESTION: During West Virginia’s rifle season this year I saw a little buck with half-inch spikes. I’m curious, will that buck shed those tiny nubs? It almost seems pointless. – Ken P. ANSWER: Such tiny, spikes could be the result of a buck fawn born early enough ... READ MORE

A Little Help from my Friends

A Little Help from my Friends

By Bob Humphrey

Your buddies might be right about food plots, but they might not be. QUESTION: I have a small 20-acre tract on the Edwards Plateau around Harper, Texas. I would like to create a food plot but don’t know what to use, where to buy it, and if everything I’ve heard about food plots is accurate. I know where feed stores are, but I would appr... READ MORE

Size Matters

Size Matters

By Bob Humphrey

Biologists aren’t exactly sure what antlers are for, but bigger seems to be better. QUESTION: It seems like it takes a lot of energy to grow a new set of antlers each year. Does a buck really gain anything from having bigger antlers? — Brian S. ANSWER: A clue to the answer actually lies within your question. It does indeed take a lot of... READ MORE

New Food Plots

New Food Plots

By Bob Humphrey

Buckmasters' biologist offers thoughts on getting started. QUESTION: Bob, I found an approximately half-acre clearing where I want to create a food plot. I live in Tennessee, so the summers are very dry and hot. When and what should I plant to get those big bucks coming to my plot? Also, what is the best food for deer to consume year round? &ndash... READ MORE

They’re Not Squeamish

They’re Not Squeamish

By Bob Humphrey

It’s okay to keep hunting an area where someone else has taken a deer. QUESTION: I’m a pretty new hunter and hear and read lots about deer and their fantastic noses. Will blood from a wounded deer keep other deer away from that area? If so, how long will they avoid the blooded area? – Bill F. ANSWER: The short answer is probably n... READ MORE

Just Like Clockwork

Just Like Clockwork

By Bob Humphrey

When using a feeder for hunting, it matters when the food is available. QUESTION: What times should I set my deer feeder to go off during this season? I’m in Oklahoma.— Michael Q. ANSWER: Seeing you’re in Oklahoma, I’d recommend you set it for Central Time. (Just kidding) Let’s look at this logically. You’re tryi... READ MORE

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

By Bob Humphrey

You’ve heard of bucks that stay in velvet, but what about a buck that’s just off schedule? QUESTION: There is a buck on our hunting lease that has been visiting our feeders for three years. He stays in velvet at least a month to a month and a half later than all the other bucks on the lease. What would cause him to shed his velvet so la... READ MORE

Where’s the Meat?

Where’s the Meat?

By Bob Humphrey

A 100-pound deer doesn’t yield as much meat as you might think. QUESTION: Last fall, I shot my first deer and brought it to a local meat processor to have it prepared. When I picked it up, there was hardly enough meat to fill a grocery sack. I expected a lot more considering the deer weighed about 100 pounds. I’m wondering if I was take... READ MORE

Standing Her Ground

Standing Her Ground

By Bob Humphrey

Brave doe was most likely protecting her fawns. QUESTION: Earlier this summer I was out hiking and looking for arrow heads when I came upon a doe standing in the corner of an overgrown field. She let me get quite close and kept stomping her feet and blowing at me rather than running away. Any idea why she would do this? It seemed strange. ANSWER: I... READ MORE

Your Buck Is Different, Mr. Gump

Your Buck Is Different, Mr. Gump

By Bob Humphrey

Why you might not be seeing 4.5-year-old deer on your trail cameras. QUESTION: I’ve asked to several seasoned deer hunters this question, and none have been able to give much insight. I hunt in Plantersville, Ala. (20 minutes north of Selma), and run several game cameras. Over the course of two years of running cameras over feeders during the... READ MORE

God Bless You!

God Bless You!

By Bob Humphrey

You’ve probably heard a deer blow-snort, but have you heard one sneeze? QUESTION: I have heard deer blow or snort many times, but this fall I heard a deer making a noise that sounded more like a person sneezing. I know it was a deer because I saw it doing this. It was much quieter than a snort, and the deer kept doing it. What is the signific... READ MORE

Give Deer More of What They Need

Give Deer More of What They Need

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: The deer concession next to me has been clear cut...hardly a tree left. I am thinking/hoping those deer will be coming to my green fields this year. What can I plant that will provide lots and lots of forage for an increase in deer?  Do I double plant what I have used?  Is there another suggestion? — Bart L. ANSWER: I can... READ MORE

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

By Bob Humphrey

You can buy generic food plot seed, but do you really want to grow something not developed just for deer? QUESTION: Is any pea or soybean variety okay for a food plot, or are there specific types deer eat or avoid? ANSWER: Peas, soybeans, clover and alfalfa are all classified as legumes, and there are many varieties of each. Some, like soybeans ... 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

Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks and does are just different, including in how they use food plots. QUESTION: This year I have had several different bucks of different ages coming through my food plot, but it seems like all they are doing is passing through. I have just a small number of does that visit the plot on a regular basis. Could the bucks be passing through, checkin... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd