Ask The Biologist

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

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

Now You See Him...

Now You See Him...

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I have a question on the eyesight of deer and other wild animals concerning the lack of camouflage. You see outfitters wearing blue jeans while the hunter is completely covered in camo. Other times you see hunters with bright, shiny chrome rifle barrels and scopes. Deer must surely know by now that a shiny barrel or scope means danger. It... READ MORE

Looking for a Cure

Looking for a Cure

By Bob Humphrey

Even your friendly deer biologist is susceptible to buck fever. QUESTION: This question is more about human biology than deer biology. How can I control my buck fever, and in my case, deer fever? I’ve been hunting for over 30 years now and have harvested hundreds of deer (mostly does, with one buck per year in Indiana), but I still get deer f... READ MORE

Another Rasputin Myth

Another Rasputin Myth

By Bob Humphrey

It’s time to get rid of all those crazy stories about turkeys driving out deer. QUESTION: Turkeys are fairly new where I live, but I’ve noticed more every year. A friend says they’ll drive the deer away and eat their food. Is there any truth to this? ANSWER: I wish we could do away with this misconception once and for all, but lik... 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

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

You can sometimes tell a lot about a shot by the way a deer reacts. QUESTION: Recently I shot a deer, I thought, in the chest. Immediately after the shot, the deer bucked and kicked out both rear legs and ran off, seemingly hit hard and with its tail down. I took another shot while it was running off. I waited about 15 minutes and went to the site ... 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

Feathers, Guts and All

Feathers, Guts and All

By Bob Humphrey

Why do Southerners drag out their deer without field-dressing them first? QUESTION: I am from New York. Last year I did my first out-of-state hunt, in Alabama. The people I hunted with told me not to field dress my deer, but to bring it back to camp whole. At first I thought they were just kidding me, but they were serious. When I asked why, they j... 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

They Start Young

They Start Young

By Bob Humphrey

How soon a doe breeds depends largely on habitat. QUESTION: Do yearling does go into heat and breed their first year? — Gary K. ANSWER: I suspect by the way you’ve worded your question, you are misusing the term yearling. A deer becomes a yearling after passing its first birthday. By the time breeding season rolls around, a yearling doe... 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

Pee Brain

Pee Brain

By Bob Humphrey

We still don’t know exactly how much information whitetails get from urine scents. QUESTION: There are so many brands and types of doe in heat scent. Does one work better than others? Do deer smell different from region to region? For example, will an off-the-shelf doe in estrus scent work the same in Wyoming as it would in Illinois? Do you h... READ MORE

Everyone Outta the Pool!

Everyone Outta the Pool!

By Bob Humphrey

Stagnant water doesn’t seem to be harmful to whitetails. QUESTION: I just read a tip about putting a kid’s plastic swimming pool out to help keep deer on property during droughts. My question is: how do you keep the water from becoming stagnant and full of mold, or does that matter for wildlife? — Ronny H. ANSWER: I’m not su... 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

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day

By Bob Humphrey

A whitetail’s coat doesn’t always look pretty during transition phases. QUESTION: I was checking my trail camera while turkey scouting and noticed this photo. Does this doe’s fur look normal? – Ken P. ANSWER: If you had sent just a regular photo it might at first seem a bit odd but I would likely still come to the same concl... READ MORE

Deer By the Numbers

Deer By the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Is there an easy and inexpensive way to determine buck-to-doe ratios on my hunting property? QUESTION: I manage a 4,000-acre ranch in west-central Texas. We had a hard drought in 2001-2011 and lost several does. The buck population is thriving, and there are more does than there were when I took over management in 2012. My question is, how do I fi... READ MORE

Mix It Up

Mix It Up

By Bob Humphrey

When you have the luxury of a larger food plot, go with a variety of plants. QUESTION: I have a 5-acre field on 20 acres, and I would like to make a food plot. I was thinking of 2 acres of corn and something else on the remaining 3 acres. My property is in west-central Minnesota. What would you recommend to plant that would attract the deer and hel... 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

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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd