Ask The Biologist

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

Vanilla Question

Vanilla Question

By Bob Humphrey

Vanilla as in the flavor, not as a generic question. QUESTION: My local sporting goods store had a bottle of deer attractant that smells like vanilla. That’s not a natural scent anywhere I hunt. How can it possibly work on deer? ANSWER: Good question. It really shouldn’t, because it’s a foreign odor, but deer are attracted by diff... 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

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

Just Ask Alice

Just Ask Alice

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered about the white mushrooms you see in the woods? QUESTION: I’ve seen deer eating white mushrooms in the pine forest. Are those mushrooms good for human consumption? — Duane F. ANSWER: I’m going to offer a vague answer. The reason is that some mushrooms are edible, while others are not. More important, some ar... READ MORE

Something Missing

Something Missing

By Bob Humphrey

While antler oddities can be caused by missing or malformed reproductive organs, such a condition doesn’t always affect a buck’s rack. QUESTION: While deer hunting last year in Indiana, I shot a big 8-pointer. When I lifted the back legs to begin the field-dressing process, imagine my surprise when I didn’t see any testicles! Loo... READ MORE

Long Live the King

Long Live the King

By Bob Humphrey

Why do some bucks keep their racks so far into winter? QUESTION: I run trail cameras on my feeders, and in the last week of February I’m still getting pictures of a mature buck with antlers. My question is, when do bucks shed their antlers? — Bruce W. ANSWER: Antlers serve several purposes. Bucks use them as offensive and defensive weap... READ MORE

Hint: It’s Not the Head

Hint: It’s Not the Head

By Bob Humphrey

You can’t go wrong aiming for the spine when bowhunting for turkeys. QUESTION: What is the best area to shoot at a turkey with an arrow? How well do they make it through deep snows in the winter months? ANSWER: Okay, this question isn’t about deer, but our submissions have been a little light lately, so what the heck. You have several o... READ MORE

Scent Ban Stinks!

Scent Ban Stinks!

By Bob Humphrey

Laws banning deer urine lures are not based on science. QUESTION: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries just passed a new law for 2015 hunting season. No deer lure with deer urine or any body parts of a deer can be used in Virginia because of CWD. I Just had to throw out my Tink’s #69 because only synthetic lures can be used. ... READ MORE

Where’s the Bone?

Where’s the Bone?

By Bob Humphrey

It can be frustrating when bucks don’t grow the size antlers you think they should. QUESTION: I have several cameras out and have been watching the deer in my vicinity for several seasons. They just don’t seem to be growing the type of antlers I think they should. Do you think I should put out some minerals for them? What kind would you... READ MORE

Supplemental Winter Feeding

Supplemental Winter Feeding

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We had a really bad winter up our way, and a number of folks I know put out food to help the deer survive. A bunch of deer were found dead in my town, and the state says it was due to feeding. How is this possible? — Brian A., South Hampton, N.H. ANSWER: This is a topic we’ve covered before on the web and in Buckmasters Magaz... 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

Down But Not Out

Down But Not Out

By Bob Humphrey

Deer are tough – there’s just no other way to put it. QUESTION: This winter, I shot a buck and knocked it right down, but then it got up and ran away. We tracked it for a long way and found two large puddles of blood but did not find the deer. Then we brought in tracking dogs and jumped the deer, but it ran away and we did not recover i... READ MORE

Cold Spell

Cold Spell

By Bob Humphrey

Temperature definitely affects deer movement, but how it does so is determined by location. QUESTION: I have heard that deer will lay up until temperatures get above freezing. Is this true, and at what temperature will they start moving? — Glenn E. ANSWER: How temperature affects deer depends, to a certain extent, on location. Ask any Saskatc... READ MORE

Hold the Onions

Hold the Onions

By Bob Humphrey

Watch what you eat to help reduce your odor footprint. QUESTION: Are there certain foods I should avoid while deer hunting? I’ve heard onions and other foods can actually release scent through your pores. What do you think? ANSWER: Certain things like coffee and asparagus are know to produce foul-smelling urine. Eating some foods, like onions... READ MORE

Blow Myth Blown

Blow Myth Blown

By Bob Humphrey

Can you tell the sex of a deer by whether it snorts at danger? QUESTION: One of my hunting buddies was telling how he had a buck blowing at him repeatedly. When I asked him how big it was, he said he didn’t know because he never saw it. Then I asked how he knew it was a buck, he said because it was blowing. I’ve heard several other peop... READ MORE

Growth Spurt

Growth Spurt

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail antlers are the fastest-growing tissue known. QUESTION: I saw a buck the other day, and his antlers were already out to his ears. It’s not even July. How fast do antlers grow? ANSWER: Sometimes even scientists can’t see the forest for the trees. I consulted the two most authoritative books on white-tailed deer, both of which h... 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

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

There’s the Rub

There’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

By themselves, buck rubs might not mean they hang out in a given area. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I found a place where deer had made several rubs. I’m wondering if it would be a good location to hunt this fall? –Erik F. ANSWER: As is often the case with questions we receive for ATB, it’s difficult to give a firm ... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd