Ask The Biologist

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

Call me Pat

Call me Pat

By Bob Humphrey

What could cause a buck to start growing antlers in mid-October? QUESTION: I live in Illinois and was out checking trail cameras this weekend (late December). It appears that I have a deer around 6 or 7 that just started growing his antlers in mid-October and has been gradually getting bigger over the past two months. I’ve never heard or seen... READ MORE

The Answer My Friend...

The Answer My Friend...

By Bob Humphrey

Geography plays a role in how whitetails react to wind. QUESTION: I recently read somewhere that according to research, high winds don’t affect deer movement. How can this be true? — David W. ANSWER: I can’t answer directly without knowing the source, but I suspect the author might be over generalizing. I’ve read several stu... 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

Don’t Spoil the Meat!

Don’t Spoil the Meat!

By Bob Humphrey

Here's another buck myth that needs to go away. QUESTION: I harvested my first deer this fall, a buck. When my neighbor came over to see it, he told me I needed to cut the tarsal glands off or it would spoil the meat. I never heard that and am wondering if that's true. ANSWER: No, it's not. I guess you might call that a rural legend. Myths like onc... 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

The Early Bird

The Early Bird

By Bob Humphrey

Seeing a fawn in May is unusual, but not out of the question. QUESTION: I live in upstate New York. A friend claims he recently saw a newborn fawn, but that seems quite early. I wouldn’t expect them to be born for at least another month. When are fawns typically born in New York? ANSWER: A lot depends on your geographic location, but because ... READ MORE

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

By Bob Humphrey

Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to this doe’s ear disfiguration. QUESTION: I recently saw a doe that had the tips of both ears eaten away. Do you know what might have done this? I also have seen a lot of babies this year with scratches on their noses. — J. Ellis ANSWER: The best I can do, which isn’t very good, is spec... READ MORE

Drop that Fur!

Drop that Fur!

By Bob Humphrey

Piles of deer hair leave turkey hunter wondering about predators. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I’ve been finding a lot of clumps of deer hair in the woods. I’ve heard that coyotes have become a bigger problem in my area and I’m wondering if this could be the reason. — Carroll D., Edgefield, S.C. ANSWER: Coyote... READ MORE

Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, nor do you need a lot of equipment. QUESTION: I have property to hunt in Chadds Ford, Pa. My question is, what type of food plot do you suggest for a shady area? — Darren ANSWER: That’s really tough to answer without a lot more information. In order to give you accurate advice I’d need to k... READ MORE

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

How to Age a Deer by its Teeth

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I was on a guided hunt last fall in Texas and killed a buck that I thought was around 3 years old. My guide stuck his fingers in the deer’s mouth to feel it’s teeth and declared it was 5 years old. Can you offer some tips on how to easily tell a deer’s age after it’s been harvested? — Jamie W. Answer:  A... READ MORE

Pine Plantation Predicament

Pine Plantation Predicament

By Bob Humphrey

Despite appearances, you can improve deer habitat on pine plantations. QUESTION: The area I lease in northwest Louisiana is mostly planted pine forest. I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to make the land more attractive to deer. ANSWER: Assuming the landowner uses this property for commercial pine plantations, food plots might n... READ MORE

Fawns Gone

Fawns Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered what happens to yearling deer when the mother doe goes into estrus? QUESTION: I am of the understanding that does will run their fawns off as they come into estrus. If this is true, when do they let their fawns return after they have been bred? I have heard right away, and I have heard maybe not at all. From seeing so many do... READ MORE

Hang ‘em High

Hang ‘em High

By Bob Humphrey

The debate continues on whether it’s best to process a deer immediately or to wait. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle a debate. How long should I hang my deer? Some people I know say I should skin it and process it right away. Others say the longer it hangs the better. What’s the right answer? — Glenn W. ANSWER: The debate, like what’s the ... READ MORE

Sandbox Food Plot

Sandbox Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Although it takes some time, you can improve the soil of a sandy food plot. QUESTION: I’m currently part of a lease with a good group of guys, and we’re trying to do things right. We want to shoot mature deer, and we’re planting food plots for nutrition and to keep them in the area. We have one big problem, though: the soil on our... READ MORE

Early Birds

Early Birds

By Bob Humphrey

Although not common, it is normal to find a scrape outside of the fall. QUESTION: I have seen scrapes as early as late July. It was in same site as where a buck had made a scrape the year before. Would you say he or another deer cleaned out last year’s scrape? — Steve B. ANSWER: I would. While deer don’t necessarily make scrapes a... 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

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

Trophy Bucks

Trophy Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I’ve been saving my pennies and finally decided this is the year I’m going on a guided hunt for trophy whitetails. I haven’t decided on the exact location yet but I’m thinking about somewhere in the midwest. Can you offer any tips on where my best chances might be? — C.J. W., Maryland ANSWER: Based on nati... READ MORE

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

By Bob Humphrey

What is the cause of light blood sign where deer congregate? QUESTION: For many years now I have noticed blood where deer have concentrated heavily and remained in one spot for long periods of time to feed in winter months. I only notice this when there is snow on the ground, probably because it stands out so much then. I am sure it is from a deer.... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd