Ask The Biologist

Bugger Off

Bugger Off

By Bob Humphrey

Mosquitoes and flies can ruin a hunt, but so can bug sprays. QUESTION: This is my first season bowhunting, and the bugs are driving me crazy. Will deer smell mosquito repellents and devices? ANSWER: Deer have a very keen sense of smell, so they will almost certainly smell any odor in the environment. More important is how they respond. Conventional... READ MORE

Room at the Table

Room at the Table

By Bob Humphrey

Deer and turkeys share several food sources, but their diets aren’t the same. QUESTION: What foods do both turkeys and deer eat? –Henrik, G. ANSWER: That’s a rather broad question, and much depends on geographical location, time of year and local habitat. In spring and summer, both deer and turkeys eat a variety of herbaceous vege... 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

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

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

By Bob Humphrey

Question: The deer food where I live is mostly acorns and leaves. Is it all right to just feed deer corn, or do they need something else? — Pery R. Answer:  The short answer to both questions is, “Yes.” Now for the long answer. You didn’t say where you live, but I suspect there is a lot more around for deer to eat. Th... READ MORE

Something Missing

Something Missing

By Bob Humphrey

While antler oddities can be caused by missing or malformed reproductive organs, such a condition doesn’t always affect a buck’s rack. QUESTION: While deer hunting last year in Indiana, I shot a big 8-pointer. When I lifted the back legs to begin the field-dressing process, imagine my surprise when I didn’t see any testicles! Loo... READ MORE

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

By Bob Humphrey

Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to this doe’s ear disfiguration. QUESTION: I recently saw a doe that had the tips of both ears eaten away. Do you know what might have done this? I also have seen a lot of babies this year with scratches on their noses. — J. Ellis ANSWER: The best I can do, which isn’t very good, is spec... 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

Rub Line Ruler

Rub Line Ruler

By Bob Humphrey

You can't always judge a buck by the size of the rub. QUESTION: Last hunting season before Christmas, I found some really big rubs between on trees between 4 and 7 inches in diameter. They were in a swampy area in a creek bottom, in standing water and paralleling the edge of the swamp. The rub line seemed like it was a couple hundred yards long. I... 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

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to be in the woods is whenever you can get out there. QUESTION: As a Life Member of Buckmasters, I constantly read articles about lunar effect on deer movement and behavior. I have seen articles that emphasize the Lunar Wheel to hit the nail on the head in predicting the best times, the worst times, and the don’t-get-out-of-bed ... READ MORE

Not So Fast

Not So Fast

By Bob Humphrey

Scientists not jumping in to support claims of CWD breakthrough. QUESTION: I have read about possibly in a year or so there is going to be a vaccine for CWD. Is there any truth to that, and have you seen anything about it? –Ronn B. ANSWER: I could write an entire feature article on the topic, and probably will be asked to by my editor. In the... READ MORE

Bros Before Does

Bros Before Does

By Bob Humphrey

There might be survival advantages to bucks forming bachelor groups. QUESTION: I’ve been observing and getting trail camera shots of several bucks together on my food plots this summer. I know that it is common for bucks to form bachelor herds, but I’ve always wondered why they do this. — Dan S. ANSWER: Much is known and much has ... 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

Who Started It?

Who Started It?

By Bob Humphrey

We just don’t know everything there is to know about scrapes. QUESTION: Who starts the scrape, and what do the does have to do with it? – Scotty W. ANSWER: Bucks typically do most of the scrape initiation and tending. While we still don’t fully understand their function, it is largely accepted that scrapes represent a scent signp... 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

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

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

New Food Plots

New Food Plots

By Bob Humphrey

Buckmasters' biologist offers thoughts on getting started. QUESTION: Bob, I found an approximately half-acre clearing where I want to create a food plot. I live in Tennessee, so the summers are very dry and hot. When and what should I plant to get those big bucks coming to my plot? Also, what is the best food for deer to consume year round? &ndash... READ MORE

Picky Deer?

Picky Deer?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re planting food plots and the deer aren’t using them, try to be different. QUESTION: I own some marsh land in lower Wisconsin. In the spring, there is standing water but it dissipates as time goes by to being moist. What crops would do best in this marshy soil? I've planted turnips two years in a row but have seen no deer eatin... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd