Ask The Biologist

To Drive or Not to Drive

To Drive or Not to Drive

By Bob Humphrey

It’s difficult to get to a stand unnoticed, no matter what method you choose. QUESTION: I am disabled and can’t walk to my deer blind. Will it affect my deer hunt if I drive my SxS to my blind? – Randy B. ANSWER: The short answer is: Probably. Any time you enter their domain, whether by ATV, truck or even on foot, it affects deer... READ MORE

Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch

By Bob Humphrey

If you’ve heard mixed reviews on using feeders, join the crowd. QUESTION: My state now allows baiting, but I’ve read big bucks won’t come to a bait pile, or even a feeder. Is that true? ANSWER: There are very few absolutes in deer hunting, and different factors vary, sometimes considerably, from one place to another. That being sa... READ MORE

How Long Have I Got?

How Long Have I Got?

By Bob Humphrey

All the talk about whitetail age classes begs the question: What’s a normal life span for a deer? QUESTION: How long can a whitetail live? ANSWER: I like it; short and to the point. So I’ll give you an appropriately concise answer. Free-ranging white-tailed deer are exposed to a variety of dangers including disease, predation and hun... READ MORE

In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist sums up the keys to deer hunting in just two short paragraphs. QUESTION: I’m just getting into bowhunting, along with my 10-year-old daughter. What are the most important things to know about the patterns of deer? We live in Oregon, and we don’t get the luxury of whitetail patterns. — Hans F. ANSWER: I’ll start... READ MORE

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

By Bob Humphrey

Like an old dog, it’s just about impossible to get a big old buck to change his ways. QUESTION: How can I change the pattern of big bucks traveling at night? — Gary from N.J. ANSWER: My knee-jerk reaction would be to put something in their way so they have to go around it, but I suspect that’s not the answer you’re looking f... READ MORE

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing Tobacco

By Bob Humphrey

Could deer actually be interested in a chaw? QUESTION: I'm a tobacco chewer, and three times this season I witnessed a buck stop and stick his nose right into a spot where I'd dumped a spit cup. I also watched two young bucks lick and paw the ground, then start fighting over it! I couldn't believe it when a mature buck also licked and pawed the sp... READ MORE

Mow ‘Em Down?

Mow ‘Em Down?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I grow a food plot every year. This year I planted rye, turnips and clover. This is my first experience with turnips, and I need to know if I should mow it. It’s really getting tall, and I need to know if I need to do anything to keep it under control. — Ryan ANSWER: That’s an interesting combination since each plant has... READ MORE

Bachelor Party

Bachelor Party

By Bob Humphrey

There are multiple benefits to bucks hanging out together. QUESTION: I know that bucks group together in bachelor herds, and I was wondering why. – Todd S. ANSWER: Everything happens for a reason, right? Bachelor herds or groups are loose social aggregations of males that form as early as spring, but typically become larger, more coalesced an... 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

Tweak My Food Plot

Tweak My Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

If your food plot isn’t attracting deer like you want, change it. Test for fertilizer and lime use, add some fruit trees and vary plantings to create a deer cafeteria. QUESTION: I hunt in the Northeast, about 3 hours north of New York City. I have a 15-acre parcel of land that’s bordered by several hundred acres of woods on one side wi... READ MORE

Cull or Management Buck?

Cull or Management Buck?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I hear people use the terms “cull buck” and “management buck” but I don’t understand the difference. Can you shed some light on this? — B. Warren ANSWER: I’ll do the best I can, but there are no hard and fast definitions for either term. Much depends on specific management objectives of the landow... 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

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

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

They’re Ugly, But ...

They’re Ugly, But ...

By Bob Humphrey

Abnormal skin growths are not always a serious problem QUESTION: I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and we have a deer that comes into our yard quite often. She is nice and fat but has terrible looking growths. It started with just one clump, and now they are huge. I would like to know if these tumors can be spread to other deer. ANSWER: The growths p... READ MORE

Feathers, Guts and All

Feathers, Guts and All

By Bob Humphrey

Why do Southerners drag out their deer without field-dressing them first? QUESTION: I am from New York. Last year I did my first out-of-state hunt, in Alabama. The people I hunted with told me not to field dress my deer, but to bring it back to camp whole. At first I thought they were just kidding me, but they were serious. When I asked why, they j... READ MORE

The Energizer Camera

The Energizer Camera

By Bob Humphrey

Does it make sense to put out food if deer are already coming to an area? QUESTION: I been hunting a 100-acre lease for several years. Last December, I turned my game camera on, filled my 6-gallon feeder up and hunted it for the last time that year. A couple days ago, my wife and I revisited the treestand and pulled the camera I had left behind to ... READ MORE

Where’s the Bone?

Where’s the Bone?

By Bob Humphrey

It can be frustrating when bucks don’t grow the size antlers you think they should. QUESTION: I have several cameras out and have been watching the deer in my vicinity for several seasons. They just don’t seem to be growing the type of antlers I think they should. Do you think I should put out some minerals for them? What kind would you... READ MORE

Has the rut kicked in?

Has the rut kicked in?

By Bob Humphrey

Peak rut and peak breeding times are not universal; they’re consistent and vary by location. Observation and effort will make you a true student of the whitetail rut. Question:  I'm new to deer hunting and I’m wondering how I can tell in my area when the rut is kicking in. I’m finding all kind of buck sign but I haven’... READ MORE

True Blood

True Blood

By Bob Humphrey

Exactly how much blood can a deer lose before it succumbs to its wounds? QUESTION: How much blood must a deer lose after being shot with a broadhead before it dies? — Joe R. ANSWER: I found several unscientific sources that claimed deer will die after losing between 2 ½ to 2 ¾ pints of blood. The Texas Bowhunter Ed course notes:... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd