Ask The Biologist

Wretched Excess

Wretched Excess

By Bob Humphrey

Why a bumper acorn crop doesn’t make for the best hunting conditions. QUESTION: The place where I hunt has a lot of oak trees, and this year’s there’s a ton of acorns but I’m not seeing as many deer. Is the population down, or should I just hunt somewhere else? — William A. ANSWER: A bumper acorn crop can be a double-e... 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

Hint: It’s Not the Head

Hint: It’s Not the Head

By Bob Humphrey

You can’t go wrong aiming for the spine when bowhunting for turkeys. QUESTION: What is the best area to shoot at a turkey with an arrow? How well do they make it through deep snows in the winter months? ANSWER: Okay, this question isn’t about deer, but our submissions have been a little light lately, so what the heck. You have several o... READ MORE

It’s a Guy Thing

It’s a Guy Thing

By Bob Humphrey

Buck decoys seem to draw more attention in more situations. QUESTION: When hunting during pre-rut or the rut, is a doe or a buck decoy more enticing? – Jim ANSWER: If I had to pick one or the other, I would opt for a buck in both situations. During the pre-rut, before does start coming into estrus, bucks are still working out and maintaining... READ MORE

Punch to the Gut

Punch to the Gut

By Bob Humphrey

Do paunch-hit deer always go to water? QUESTION: I shot a deer last fall with my bow, and it jumped just as I shot. When I found my arrow, it was covered with green slime and some blood. We tried to track it but were unable to find it until several days later. We found what was left of it near a small pond. Coyotes got the rest. My friend told me t... READ MORE

Tracking Bucks

Tracking Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist says you can’t identify a deer by a single track. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle an argument for me. Is there any way to tell the difference between a buck track and a doe track? –Harold B. ANSWER: Ah, yes, this is one of those classic deer camp debates that will probably go on forever. It is not possible to tel... READ MORE

Spot On

Spot On

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I have been reading “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The writer says several times that the pattern of a fawn’s spots is an indicator of a whitetail’s sex, spots being aligned for males and more random for females. Is that truth or myth? — Nicky ANSWER: Like the book itself, the concept that you ca... READ MORE

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re going to shoot that deer, at least buy him a drink first. QUESTION: My wife works for a micro-brewery. Can I feed the deer the cooked hops from the beer? ANSWER: That’s a darned good question. I didn’t know the answer (had never even considered it) so I went to the most reliable source I could find. Finding no reference ... 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

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

It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail digestion isn’t rocket science, but it’s close. QUESTION: Someone recently told me that deer have four stomachs. Is this true? ANSWER: No. Like all mammals, deer have one stomach. However, like all ruminants, theirs consists of four chambers: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. A large portion of a whitetail’s diet is... READ MORE

In-Woods Plot Plants

In-Woods Plot Plants

By Bob Humphrey

Last week we had the most common food plot question. This week we feature the second most posed query. QUESTION: What seed do you recommend for planting in shaded woods for spring, summer & fall? I can’t get a tractor to the plot, and it is only about 20x30. — Jim D. ANSWER: I suggest you go one of two ways: The easiest would be t... READ MORE

Where Are The Big Bucks?

Where Are The Big Bucks?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We never see big bucks in the area we hunt, even on our cameras. Even deer we shoot with bigger bodies seem to have small basket racks. What can we do to change this situation? — Ellis C. ANSWER: As you’re probably aware, the three main factors that influence antler growth are age, nutrition and genetics. Let’s look at ... 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

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

If You Build It...

If You Build It...

By Bob Humphrey

Deer get used to permanent stands, but they also learn to avoid them. QUESTION: I put up a shooting house this fall in a location where I found several heavy trails crossing. Then I noticed during bow season that most of the deer I saw passed by some distance out of range. Do you think they are avoiding the stand, and should I move it? ANSWER: Ther... READ MORE

Forever Six

Forever Six

By Bob Humphrey

A spike might not remain a spike, but what about mature bucks? QUESTION: I have been hunting whitetails in Oklahoma for 35 years. For years, I have been running trail cameras and feeders on several acreages that we hunt. All of our bucks are recognizable from year to year, and most all of them tend to be 8-pointers with a few 10-pointers. Every onc... READ MORE

Growing Like a Weed

Growing Like a Weed

By Bob Humphrey

Left unchecked, weeds can take over your food plot. QUESTION: I need a good herbicide to kill grass and broadleaf weeds in my clover. One of the big name brands has performed poorly. Is there anything else? — Larry L. ANSWER: Without more detail, like what region of the country you live in, what type of plants you’re trying to eliminate... READ MORE

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

By Bob Humphrey

You’ve heard of bucks that stay in velvet, but what about a buck that’s just off schedule? QUESTION: There is a buck on our hunting lease that has been visiting our feeders for three years. He stays in velvet at least a month to a month and a half later than all the other bucks on the lease. What would cause him to shed his velvet so la... READ MORE

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Last year, my son shot a 6-point buck with his shotgun. He claims he waited at least 30 minutes and didn’t push the deer. We finally found some blood about 30 yards from the spot of the shot and tracked the deer with a very slight blood trail for well over 3/4 of a mile before we finally lost it. At the end of the trail, the blood ... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd