Ask The Biologist

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

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

Why Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?

Why Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: When do bucks shed their antlers, and why? — Riley O. Answer:  Antlers are fascinating works of nature’s art, and one of their most interesting characteristics is that, like leaves on a hardwood tree, they are deciduous. Each year a new set is grown then cast off. Photoperiodism plays an important role in this process. ... READ MORE

Play Time

Play Time

By Bob Humphrey

Just because deer don’t usually do something doesn’t mean they won’t ever do it. QUESTION: I consider myself to have pretty good knowledge of deer and their habits. I deer hunted for years before my disability. Now I watch our deer cam. We just had a doe give birth to twins. The doe had the babies out one night about 2 to 3 a.m., ... READ MORE

Feelin’ Foggy

Feelin’ Foggy

By Bob Humphrey

You have to be careful when searching the internet for deer hunting advice. QUESTION: My uncle and I were hunting in our blind one foggy morning, and I asked my uncle to look up on the internet about hunting in the fog. The answers on the web didn’t make much sense to us. One source said fog can be one of the best times to hunt, while another... 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

Variety Is the Spice of Deer Life

Variety Is the Spice of Deer Life

By Bob Humphrey

If you have the room and the means, don’t settle on one food plot seed. QUESTION: I live in St. Lawrence County, New York. I tried planting brassicas, which did well for a few years. Then, I had several years of heavy weeds. I till every year, wait two weeks and spray with a weed killer, wait 10 days and plant. I think I might be tilling in w... 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

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

When Bucks Attack

When Bucks Attack

By Bob Humphrey

Although rare, whitetails have been known to hurt people. QUESTION: I was in my yard this evening toward dusk and looked down our hill and saw a buck staring at me. I was filling my bird feeders and thought he would run off, but he stood for about 15 minutes just looking at me. I finished what I was doing and went onto my porch, and he just stayed ... READ MORE

You Heard What?

You Heard What?

By Bob Humphrey

Even if bleach worked for creating salt licks, there are much better things to use. QUESTION: I've heard a couple of people talking about pouring bleach on stumps and creating a salt lick that deer love. Is there any validity to this? I would think the bleach would be harmful to the deer and other wildlife. — Ronny H. ANSWER: I must admit tha... READ MORE

Where Are the Deer?

Where Are the Deer?

By Bob Humphrey

If they aren’t visiting your food plots as much, look in the oak stands. QUESTION: I’ve noticed that deer are not coming into the fields this fall like last year. Is it because there is a lot of feed this year in the woods? ANSWER: There could be several reasons, but that is the most likely. When there is a lot of natural food available... READ MORE

Got a Light?

Got a Light?

By Bob Humphrey

Does smoking in a deer stand really affect your success? QUESTION: I have shot many deer over the years, and generally every time I had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. However I have only shot does. My question is, does smoking really affect seeing deer? — Quentin B. ANSWER: That’s a good question. An acquaintance of mine, who is a... READ MORE

I’ll Have a Salad

I’ll Have a Salad

By Bob Humphrey

Cattle farmer asks if whitetails exhibit the same diet shift as his cows. QUESTION: Female livestock that are healthy and mature enough to breed go through a process of preparing their bodies for the breeding during a period called flushing, where cows will feed on high quality forage to meet this need. I have witnessed a significant change in the ... READ MORE

What’s the Magic Number?

What’s the Magic Number?

By Bob Humphrey

When hunting small parcels, much depends on your neighbors. QUESTION: How many deer can be harvested in a season off a 10 acre piece of land? It has not been hunted in 10 years and is in Texas. — Chris F. ANSWER: I can’t give you a definitive answer without considerably more information. That fact that it hasn’t been hunted is a g... READ MORE

Hunting Pressure

Hunting Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

If every place gets hunted, where do they go? QUESTION: The area I hunt gets a fair amount of hunting pressure, and it seems like the deer disappear once gun season starts. But if every place gets hunted, where do they go? — Brent W. ANSWER: Believe it or not, they’re probably still there. Recent research on mature bucks fitted with ... 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

The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It

By Bob Humphrey

If you get a funny feeling when you make eye contact with a deer, you’re not alone. QUESTION: Do you think that face paint really helps to keep deer from seeing your shiny face, or do they get spooked when they see your shiny eyes? ANSWER: I love this question! The short answer is: I really don’t know, and it’s never as simple as ... READ MORE

Typhoid Whitetails

Typhoid Whitetails

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails carry brain worms that can be fatal to moose. QUESTION: I live in southern Maine, and someone told me the reason we don’t have more moose where I live is because they get a brain worm from deer. If that’s true, why doesn’t it kill deer too?  — Todd H. ANSWER: What you’re referring to is a parasitic nema... READ MORE

Ticked Off

Ticked Off

By Bob Humphrey

Take steps to repel ticks in the spring and the fall. QUESTION: I like to bowhunt early in the season, but the ticks have gotten really bad where I live. Someone told me regular insect repellent will work, but I’m afraid the smell will scare away deer. Is there something else I can use? –Kyle G. ANSWER: I, too, have heard that conventio... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd