Ask The Biologist

Devil Deer!

Devil Deer!

By Bob Humphrey

If you see shining red eyes, should you run? QUESTION: On my way to my stand one morning this last season, I saw a deer in my head lamp. The deer’s eyes were red. I’m 68 years old and have been hunting since I was 16. I’ve never seen a deer eyes shine red at night. Is there an explanation for this?– Daniel V. ANSWER: The eye... READ MORE

Bucks are Selfish!

Bucks are Selfish!

By Bob Humphrey

The deer you hear is not likely the deer you’re after. QUESTION: Last fall when hunting a farm in Kansas, I was approaching a thicket when a buck began to snort at me. Several minutes later, three does ran out. I waited awhile longer, but the buck never came out, and when I went in to investigate, the buck was not there. Is it possible one of... 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

What About This Guy?

What About This Guy?

By Bob Humphrey

A photo alone doesn’t always tell the story about a deer’s age. QUESTION: I would be interested to know your opinion or estimate on the age of the whitetail in the photo. – David G. ANSWER:Aging a deer on the hoof can be difficult without a clear photo from the proper angle and sufficient information on the date and location. However, this one seem... READ MORE

Mystery Rack

Mystery Rack

By Bob Humphrey

Son seeks history of unexpected find after the passing of his father. QUESTION: My father recently passed away, and I was sorting through his belongings when I came across a set of antlers that I didn’t know he had. I never knew of him hunting outside Oklahoma. However, he did travel to Arizona once a year to preach at a youth camp. I’... READ MORE

How Long Should You Wait?

How Long Should You Wait?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last fall I arrowed a deer in the paunch. We waited about four hours before looking for it, then we jumped it and it ran off. We returned the following day with a dog, and after about six hours eventually found my deer about a half mile away in a creek bed. My question is, how long should you wait before following up on a gut shot? &mdash... READ MORE

Cradle Robbers

Cradle Robbers

By Bob Humphrey

Where are all these young deer coming from, and where are the giants? QUESTION: I have a 700-acre lease on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina that’s mostly thick cut-over — perfect bedding cover. This is the fourth year we have been attempting to let our deer get bigger but this year we were overrun with spikes, 3- and 4-pointers. We r... READ MORE

Everyone Outta the Pool!

Everyone Outta the Pool!

By Bob Humphrey

Stagnant water doesn’t seem to be harmful to whitetails. QUESTION: I just read a tip about putting a kid’s plastic swimming pool out to help keep deer on property during droughts. My question is: how do you keep the water from becoming stagnant and full of mold, or does that matter for wildlife? — Ronny H. ANSWER: I’m not su... READ MORE

A Twofer for Triplets

A Twofer for Triplets

By Bob Humphrey

Combine exceptional nutrition with good genes and you’ve got the ideal mix to see a doe produce fawn triplets more than once. Question:  I saw a doe with three fawns last year around the farm, and now again this summer I’ve noticed a doe with three fawns. I would guess it is the same doe, and she’s had triplets two years in ... READ MORE

Florida is for Lovers

Florida is for Lovers

By Bob Humphrey

Is it possible to see a buck chasing does in turkey season? QUESTION: While turkey hunting in Florida this spring, I saw a buck chasing a doe, and the buck still had hard antlers. It was not inside an enclosure. This seems way out of the normal rutting time, and shouldn’t the buck have dropped its antlers by then? ANSWER: The whitetail rut is... 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

Bless You!

Bless You!

By Bob Humphrey

Deer sneezes likely caused by irritating flies. QUESTION: I was in my deer stand last weekend watching some does. One kept making a sound like a cough or maybe a sneeze. Do deer get colds? ANSWER: Most deer hunters are familiar with the cringe worthy sound a deer makes that we refer to as a blow or a snort. It’s very loud, caused by a rush of air t... READ MORE

Find the Food

Find the Food

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter might be new, but he’s asking the right kind of questions. QUESTION: I am new to hunting (my second year) although I'm 52 years old and a disabled veteran. I’m limited to hunting public land in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. While scouting, I have found wild grape vines on some of the public lands and was wondering i... 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

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

Not a Flat Tire

Not a Flat Tire

By Bob Humphrey

If you hear this sound in the woods, get ready! QUESTION: I was watching two yearling bucks sparring in my food plot, and I heard a noise that sounded like a deer blowing its nose or hissing. Out stepped a bigger buck, and the two yearlings stopped sparring and kind of moved away. Is this normal? ANSWER: What you likely heard is referred to as a sn... READ MORE

Off the Script

Off the Script

By Bob Humphrey

While the rut is simple and predictable in some states, not so much in others. QUESTION: I live in Tennessee and want to get on a lease or maybe even buy hunting land in Alabama. I heard the rut is in January in Alabama. Is the rut in January in the whole state, or does it start earlier in the northern part and get later as you go deeper into the s... READ MORE

Time in a Bottle

Time in a Bottle

By Bob Humphrey

Some things get better over the years. Others, not so much. QUESTION: I bought a few extra bottles of deer scent (buck and doe) about three years ago and never opened a bottle of either. So my question is, should I just throw out the bottles and get some more or are the bottles still good? ANSWER: The bottles are still good but I’d throw out the co... READ MORE

What’s the Attraction?

What’s the Attraction?

By Bob Humphrey

Why a doe on the pole can be worth four on the hoof. QUESTION: I had a doe hanging on the buck pole and took it to get processed. Four does came in the next two days to smell around where the deer had been hanging. Why do they do this? — AL ANSWER: Your query generates more questions than answers, and I’d be interested in knowing more a... READ MORE

Handle With Care

Handle With Care

By Bob Humphrey

Despite the smell, tarsal glands should not affect meat. QUESTION: Someone told me I should cut off the tarsal glands from my buck before I hang it or it will taint the meat. Is that true? ANSWER: No. Although the odor can be quite strong, especially during the rut, tarsal glands are external and won’t come in contact with the meat unless the... READ MORE

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd