Ask The Biologist

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

While the Iron is Hot

While the Iron is Hot

By Bob Humphrey

The clock is always ticking on early season bachelor buck groups. QUESTION: I’ve been watching a small group of velvet bucks visit the same field almost every evening. Our bow season is still a month away. Will these bucks still be here when the season opens? There’s a couple good ones, and I’d like to get a crack at one. — ... READ MORE

Vanishing Act

Vanishing Act

By Bob Humphrey

What does it mean when traditional activity sites go dormant? QUESTION: I have been hunting this small woodlot surrounded by agriculture. There are many farms with similar small wooded areas attached where deer travel. My question is: I have hunted this small bush where there has been a scrape line for the past 12 years. I have always had multiple ... 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

It’s All Good

It’s All Good

By Bob Humphrey

What’s beneficial to bucks is beneficial to does, too. QUESTION: I hunt the western portion of northeast Kansas. I have noticed that we have some large bucks, but most of our does are small. Should I imply there is an overpopulation of does in my spot? I am unsure of the cause. I do not hang trail cameras because there are only four people wh... READ MORE

Kill 'Em All

Kill 'Em All

By Bob Humphrey

Left unchecked, weeds can choke out your food plot and waste a lot of effort and time. You can get rid of them, but it takes more of that effort/time combination QUESTION: I like to plant food plots using clover, rape and chicory. Everyone talks about killing the weeds, but no one gives the name of a good product that won’t kill my food plot.... READ MORE

Good Intentions

Good Intentions

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer in winter seems like a good idea, but it has serious consequences. QUESTION: I recently purchased a home in the Gettysburg/Littlestown, Pa. area on 2.74 wooded acres. There are many deer in this area and I have been feeding them shelled corn. I have not been hunting them. I wish to maintain their health and growth through the winter mo... READ MORE

You Can’t Do That Here

You Can’t Do That Here

By Bob Humphrey

Why does calling work so well on TV, but not in my neck of the woods? QUESTION: What (and when) are the best calls for New England deer? I watch TV, and they are always hunting somewhere that deer are plentiful. They use rattles, bleats and grunts, and it seems like deer just come running in from all over the place. What are the best techniques for... READ MORE

Mow ‘Em Down?

Mow ‘Em Down?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I grow a food plot every year. This year I planted rye, turnips and clover. This is my first experience with turnips, and I need to know if I should mow it. It’s really getting tall, and I need to know if I need to do anything to keep it under control. — Ryan ANSWER: That’s an interesting combination since each plant has... READ MORE

Turkey Invaders

Turkey Invaders

By Bob Humphrey

Contrary to the myth, deer and turkeys do quite well together. QUESTION: I live in Maine, and the state started transplanting turkeys into my area about 10 years ago. Now we have lots of turkeys and fewer deer. The turkeys seem to be outcompeting deer for things like acorns and possibly causing more disturbance to them. What do you think? — K... READ MORE

Has the rut kicked in?

Has the rut kicked in?

By Bob Humphrey

Peak rut and peak breeding times are not universal; they’re consistent and vary by location. Observation and effort will make you a true student of the whitetail rut. Question:  I'm new to deer hunting and I’m wondering how I can tell in my area when the rut is kicking in. I’m finding all kind of buck sign but I haven’... READ MORE

Load of Bull

Load of Bull

By Bob Humphrey

No, no and no, you cannot do this. QUESTION: Is it true that you can tell the sex of a deer by their droppings? – Buster M. ANSWER: No. Some folks might like to believe you can, but the size, shape and consistency of deer poop is determined largely by diet. When feeding on their normal diet, which consists largely of coarse, woody browse, dro... READ MORE

How Many Does?

How Many Does?

By Bob Humphrey

Habitat is the biggest determiner of how many deer your land can hold. QUESTION: How many does per acre should a west-central Alabama lease hold, and how do you count/identify the number of does per acre on your property? ANSWER: We often get questions that apply to a specific region, state or locality, and the answer sometimes has much broader app... READ MORE

Why the Big Increase?

Why the Big Increase?

By Bob Humphrey

What’s up with increasing doe tags when the herd needs to recover? QUESTION: Where I live in Maine, the deer herd has been in rough shape for many years, mostly because of hard winters and coyotes. Last winter, we had a mild winter and now our state is proposing to increase the number of doe permits by quite a bit. My question is, why would t... READ MORE

Were Having Triplets!

Were Having Triplets!

By Bob Humphrey

It’s pretty common to see a doe with two fawns, but how often do they have triplets, and can you predict what sex they’ll be? QUESTION: I shot a white-tailed doe on Dec. 26 in Middle Tennessee. She had three button bucks with her, and I would guess they were hers by the way they acted traveling with her. While field-dressing her, I di... 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

Punch to the Gut

Punch to the Gut

By Bob Humphrey

Do paunch-hit deer always go to water? QUESTION: I shot a deer last fall with my bow, and it jumped just as I shot. When I found my arrow, it was covered with green slime and some blood. We tried to track it but were unable to find it until several days later. We found what was left of it near a small pond. Coyotes got the rest. My friend told me t... 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

All Busted Up

All Busted Up

By Bob Humphrey

Why do so many bucks on our property have broken tines? QUESTION: Bob, we have a lease in Alabama, and over the years we've noticed virtually all our racked bucks seem to have broken tines. I realize that during the rut bucks are pursuing does and might have occasional fight, but it would seem that every now and then we'd take one without a broken... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd