Ask The Biologist

Therein Lies the Rub

Therein Lies the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks rub their antlers to remove velvet and mark territory, but understanding rub messages depends on when and where the buck made them. QUESTION: On my property in the Catskills region of New York, we see a few rubs in late September and early October, but the majority of rubs do not appear until early November. I want to know if buck rubs are p... 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

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

The Ears Have It

The Ears Have It

By Bob Humphrey

Strange presence of blood makes hunter leery of eating his harvest. QUESTION: I killed a buck that has dried blood in his ears. I noticed it about 5 minutes after I walked up to him. I know for sure it was not caused by my bullet. Is this buck fit for consumption? ANSWER: I’m guessing by now you’ve figured out the answer to your questio... READ MORE

Missing Bucks

Missing Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

With so many factors out of your control, QDM doesn’t always work. QUESTION: For several years now on the property I hunt, we have been practicing QDM by passing up yearling bucks. My goal is to shoot a mature buck, but I have yet to even see one. We run several trail cameras and I have not even gotten any pictures of a mature buck. My neighb... READ MORE

How Old?

How Old?

By Bob Humphrey

How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? Question:  In late July a mature doe was killed on the highway near my property. Since then I have observed a doe fawn alone around my house. I saw it in mid-September, and it runs from our movement and the dog and seems skittish. How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? &mdas... 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

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

Deer Vampires

Deer Vampires

By Bob Humphrey

Is there anything we can do to help whitetails get rid of ticks? QUESTION: Why hasn't there been some form of treatment developed to put in our feeders to help deer with the severe tick problem we have down here in Florida and in many other locations? They have pills for dogs and cats that can be put in their food. It really pains me to see so many... 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

Play the Numbers

Play the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Doe groups will always draw bucks during the rut. QUESTION: They say you should hunt does during the rut because that’s where the bucks will be, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. My experience has been that does nearing estrus want to get away from other does. Am I on to something, and if so, where should I focus my rut hunt efforts... READ MORE

More About Spikes

More About Spikes

By Bob Humphrey

Does it matter if a spike has a certain length, or are spikes all the same? QUESTION: My hunting lease in East Texas (Saratoga) has a rule that you can’t shoot a spike unless it’s 10 inches long. Will that rule help or hurt our management goals? — Jeffrey W. ANSWER: The more we learn about whitetails, the more informed and effec... READ MORE

Gut Shots Happen

Gut Shots Happen

By Bob Humphrey

The key to recovering paunch-shot deer is to back out quietly and wait. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle an argument. A friend told me that he would not hesitate to gut-shoot a deer if it was the only shot he had because he knows he’ll recover it. I say it’s a poor shot choice due to the high probability of not recovering the ... 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

Pelletized or Powdered?

Pelletized or Powdered?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What’s the big difference between fast acting lime and regular aglime or ground lime. — Duane F. Answer:  Lime comes in two forms, pelletized and powder. Pelletized lime is easier to handle because it typically comes in bags. It’s also easier to apply because it can be spread by most gravity fed spreaders. It takes ... READ MORE

Solunar Tables

Solunar Tables

By Bob Humphrey

What does our Buckmasters biologist think of sun/moon charts for predicting deer activity? That’s the topic of this week’s Ask the Biologist question. What do you think? Do you pay attention to game activity charts? QUESTION: Do solunar tables really work? — Jim M. ANSWER: Marcus Lashley, a graduate student at North Carolina Sta... READ MORE

Who Started It?

Who Started It?

By Bob Humphrey

We just don’t know everything there is to know about scrapes. QUESTION: Who starts the scrape, and what do the does have to do with it? – Scotty W. ANSWER: Bucks typically do most of the scrape initiation and tending. While we still don’t fully understand their function, it is largely accepted that scrapes represent a scent signp... READ MORE

Another Deer Disease

Another Deer Disease

By Bob Humphrey

Although whitetails can get this disease, it’s not something to worry about. QUESTION: How common is it for deer to have rabies. I only mention that because I’ve seen two stories about it in a relatively short period of time. — Linda O. ANSWER: I was aware it occurred but had no idea how often until your question prompted me to dig a little d... READ MORE

Unbearable

Unbearable

By Bob Humphrey

There are lots of predators in the woods, and most like venison. QUESTION: I was checking trail camera photos and had lots of fawns. I also noticed more bear pictures than I’ve seen before. That got me to wondering if bears prey on deer, especially fawns. –Joe D. ANSWER: Bears are omnivorous, meaning their diet includes both meat and pl... READ MORE

Post-Rut Buck Fight?

Post-Rut Buck Fight?

By Bob Humphrey

Trail cam captures intriguing photo after deer season. QUESTION: Hi Bob, in order to monitor which deer survived our hunting season, I placed corn in front of my trail cam and was surprised to capture this photo of two bucks fighting. This raises an interesting question. Will bucks fight at times other than the rut or when they are competing for d... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd