Ask The Biologist

Ghost Deer

Ghost Deer

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many tracks without seeing the deer that made them? QUESTION: Please, please help. I have been hunting for 20 years and I have just received permission to bowhunt two properties in northern Ohio. Both are small properties: 5 acres and 10 acres. I was more excited than I had ever been about deer hunting. They are in sub... 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

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

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

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

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow

By Bob Humphrey

Kansas newcomer wonders if the rut will impact gun season. QUESTION: I’m new to east Kansas and would like to know when the rut happens in Miami County. The gun season for whitetails starts the 6th of December this year. – Bill ANSWER: I recently completed a revision of the Buckmasters Rut Calendar, which gives rut dates for all states ... 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

Room at the Table

Room at the Table

By Bob Humphrey

Deer and turkeys share several food sources, but their diets aren’t the same. QUESTION: What foods do both turkeys and deer eat? –Henrik, G. ANSWER: That’s a rather broad question, and much depends on geographical location, time of year and local habitat. In spring and summer, both deer and turkeys eat a variety of herbaceous vege... 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

Where the Girls Are

Where the Girls Are

By Bob Humphrey

Should you find a new place to hunt if all you see are does? QUESTION: My trail camera is loaded with doe pictures, and the area I hunt is filled with does. I have seen a few trophy bucks, but at random and never consistent. Should I look elsewhere for a hunting spot if the bucks aren’t showing themselves? — Chris W. ANSWER: If your goa... READ MORE

On Their Own

On Their Own

By Bob Humphrey

What is the fate of most fawns whose mothers are taken during hunting season? QUESTION: If you take the mother during hunting season, will her fawns survive the winter? — Matthew N. ANSWER: Maybe. A lot depends on the age of the fawns. The older they are, the better their chances of survival. In most cases, fawns should be old enough to fend ... READ MORE

Hole in the Horn

Hole in the Horn

By Bob Humphrey

Pockets of air in deer antlers are another strange buck mystery. QUESTION: I know a guy who shot a buck last fall that had a tubular hole in its antler. I’ve also seen pictures of this before. Can you tell me what causes this? ANSWER: Tubular holes or pores in antlers are not all that uncommon, but they often generate a great deal of speculat... READ MORE

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Every situation is different when it comes to tracking a deer. QUESTION: I read lots of stories about bowhunters who shoot a buck and then back out of the woods. Many times they find the deer very close to where it was shot. It seems to me that if you do not retrieve the animal and field-dress it quickly, the meat has spoiled. In my humble opinion,... 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

What’s Up, Doc?

What’s Up, Doc?

By Bob Humphrey

Deer maladies are tough to diagnose without a hands-on examination. QUESTION: Can you tell me what’s wrong with this deer? — Alex W. ANSWER: That’s a good one. Without actually seeing the deer, the best I can do is offer a few possibilities. The most common reason for lumps or protrusions on deer are fibromas, essentially benign skin tumors. ... READ MORE

It’s a Date

It’s a Date

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: When is the peak of the rut at Dallas-Perry county line in Alabama. — J.P. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions about when peak rut occurs. While the dates remain consistent from year to year, there can be a high degree of variability geographically, particularly in Southern states like Alabama. As a result, I usually avoid getting to... READ MORE

Burned by Brassicas?

Burned by Brassicas?

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots can be frustrating, especially if your crop looks great and the deer don’t seem to be interested. Have patience. It takes time for deer to learn a new food source, and brassicas also require some freezing temperatures. QUESTION: I planted winter turnips last September and they grew nicely. As we began to get cold temperatures, the... READ MORE

Whitetail Rodeo

Whitetail Rodeo

By Bob Humphrey

How big is my herd? Let me count all the bucks and does. QUESTION: In a story in the October, 2016 issue, the topic was what kind of social structure exists in whitetail herds. I would like to know how big a herd can be that includes all the groups of bucks and does within a herd’s territory. — Ricky W. ANSWER: I’m not sure there ... READ MORE

It’s a Game of Percentages

It’s a Game of Percentages

By Bob Humphrey

Deer might be curious, but caution trumps curiosity in most cases. QUESTION: I read in a Buckmasters article recently that deer were drawn to scrapes doctored with new car scent just as much as they were to scrapes freshened with doe pee. If that’s the case, does it matter what kind of scent I use? –Brad F. ANSWER: I’m aware of se... 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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd