Ask The Biologist

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

Hair Club Bucks

Hair Club Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

We wonder if there’s a market for Rogaine for whitetails. QUESTION: Last fall, I noticed a couple bucks with bare spots on their back or rump. I have seen this before and was wondering what might cause it. — Ron C. ANSWER: There are several plausible explanations. Bare spots can be caused by repeatedly going under or through wire fences... READ MORE

Lay Off the Juice!

Lay Off the Juice!

By Bob Humphrey

What could be the cause of this buck’s abnormal thickness? QUESTION: Any idea what’s wrong with this buck? — Layton S. ANSWER: I once observed a Saskatchewan buck with a similar, although less severe, condition. He looked like a 50-gallon barrel on a sawbuck. The best I can do is speculate, based on what we know about whitetails. ... 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

No Fleas on Me

No Fleas on Me

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in Alabama and have noticed ticks on just about every deer harvested, but I never see fleas. Weird? — Kenny L. ANSWER: I must admit I didn’t know the answer to this one, and it wasn’t easy to find. Several studies list common ectoparasites of deer as ticks, chigger mites, keds and both sucking and chewing lice - b... READ MORE

Dog Gone

Dog Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Even with predator control, you might not see more fawns. QUESTION: I am in a deer management cooperative with several other landowners. Part of the reason for forming it was that we were seeing a lot of predators, mostly coyotes, and there seemed to be a lot of does with only one fawn, or no fawns at all. Three years ago, we started an aggressive ... READ MORE

Date Night

Date Night

By Bob Humphrey

Good luck trying to pinpoint the rut, especially in Louisiana! QUESTION: When is the buck rut in Area 4, southeast Louisiana in top right southern section near both Mississippi lines? — Alan J. ANSWER: We typically don’t get this specific with our Q&As but yours is a good example of why that’s the case, so I’ll give it a... READ MORE

Holdin’ On

Holdin’ On

By Bob Humphrey

Do late-dropping antlers affect next year’s rack? QUESTION: I have noticed several bucks in the last two years near the New York/Pennsylvania border area hanging onto their antlers into March and April. Knowing that deer in our area start antler growth sometime around May, I wonder if it has any impact on their antler growth for the upcoming ... READ MORE

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

By Bob Humphrey

You can buy generic food plot seed, but do you really want to grow something not developed just for deer? QUESTION: Is any pea or soybean variety okay for a food plot, or are there specific types deer eat or avoid? ANSWER: Peas, soybeans, clover and alfalfa are all classified as legumes, and there are many varieties of each. Some, like soybeans ... READ MORE

Twice as Nice

Twice as Nice

By Bob Humphrey

Should we double-seed our food plots to get better results? QUESTION: The club I'm in is talking about double-seeding the fields this year to see if we have better results. I've read in the past one of the biggest mistakes we make is over-seeding and not putting out enough fertilizer. Our club is located in north Alabama and is 5 miles up a mountai... 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

Generally Speaking

Generally Speaking

By Bob Humphrey

These simple steps are the cornerstone to improving any deer herd. QUESTION: We have a hunting club in North Texas and I was just wondering what to do to improve the quality of our deer. We have deer, turkey, quail and hogs. I would like to focus on the deer and quail quality. – Mike M. ANSWER: Yours is a very general question so I’ll o... 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

What's a Noob To Do?

What's a Noob To Do?

By Bob Humphrey

A majority of us were taught how to hunt when we were little, but what if you didn’t come from a hunting family? QUESTION: What books or resources about deer movement would you recommend for someone new to hunting. — Jack ANSWER: Why do I feel like you’re setting me up with this question? First, if you’re not already a membe... READ MORE

Hatch a Plot

Hatch a Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, but it’s important to plant even small ones properly. QUESTION: I live in southeast Illinois and want to create a small food plot, about 50x50 feet. It will be in the shade and in a flat creek bottom. The soil is yellow clay with fescue grass growing on it. Can you tell me what type of seeds I should pla... 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

Here’s the Rub

Here’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Find rub, set up stand, shoot deer, right? QUESTION: I found some fresh rubs, so I set up a stand nearby. I am very careful about scent control and I hunt the wind, but I have not seen any deer there in a week. What am I doing wrong? — John S. ANSWER: There are at least a dozen possible reasons for why your stand isn’t working out, many of wh... READ MORE

How High’s the Water?

How High’s the Water?

By Bob Humphrey

There are food plot crops that do well in moist soils, but it depends. QUESTION: We live in south-central Pennsylvania and have a very wet 20 acres that only has some wild grass and weeds in it. What could we plant to attract deer in our November to January hunting season? – Mike S. ANSWER: Much depends on what you mean by “very wet.&rd... 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

Which Seed?

Which Seed?

By Bob Humphrey

What to plant in your food plot depends on your goals and circumstances. QUESTION: I live in northwest Indiana and have room for a 1-acre food plot. What should I plant? – Jim E. ANSWER: A lot depends on your objective. Given that you have room for only one plot, you can probably rule out year-round nutrition or warm-season feeding plots. Tha... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd