Ask The Biologist

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

Mucinex Won’t Help That

Mucinex Won’t Help That

By Bob Humphrey

If you think your last head cold was bad, check out what deer sometimes endure. QUESTION: I found these crawling inside the nasal cavity of a deer. I’m told they are normal and harmless. What are they and it true they’re nothing to worry about? — Robert M.ANSWER: In all likelihood what you have encountered what are commonly referr... 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

Gender Fender Bender

Gender Fender Bender

By Bob Humphrey

Without an examination, it’s hard to determine why a doe would have antlers. QUESTION: Many years ago, a friend hit a deer with his vehicle. It was a 10-point buck, but it didn’t have male genitals. That means it was a doe. Why did this doe have antlers? — Tracy F. ANSWER: Mammals are typically born either male or female, as deter... READ MORE

I’ll Have a Salad

I’ll Have a Salad

By Bob Humphrey

Cattle farmer asks if whitetails exhibit the same diet shift as his cows. QUESTION: Female livestock that are healthy and mature enough to breed go through a process of preparing their bodies for the breeding during a period called flushing, where cows will feed on high quality forage to meet this need. I have witnessed a significant change in the ... 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

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

Just Like Clockwork

Just Like Clockwork

By Bob Humphrey

When using a feeder for hunting, it matters when the food is available. QUESTION: What times should I set my deer feeder to go off during this season? I’m in Oklahoma.— Michael Q. ANSWER: Seeing you’re in Oklahoma, I’d recommend you set it for Central Time. (Just kidding) Let’s look at this logically. You’re tryi... READ MORE

Where’s the Meat?

Where’s the Meat?

By Bob Humphrey

A 100-pound deer doesn’t yield as much meat as you might think. QUESTION: Last fall, I shot my first deer and brought it to a local meat processor to have it prepared. When I picked it up, there was hardly enough meat to fill a grocery sack. I expected a lot more considering the deer weighed about 100 pounds. I’m wondering if I was take... 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

What A Difference A Day Makes

What A Difference A Day Makes

By Bob Humphrey

It’s true. In most cases, a doe’s peak release of hormones, indicating her willingness to breed, only lasts one day. QUESTION: Is it true a white-tailed deer is only in heat for a brief 24 hours? — Linda C. ANSWER: In most cases that’s fairly accurate. In order to conceive, a doe must be ready, willing and able.  Heat... 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

How Do You Improve Eden?

How Do You Improve Eden?

By Bob Humphrey

Tennessee couple with promising hunting ground wants to know where to start improving it. QUESTION: My girlfriend and I purchased 62 acres in north-central Tennessee. The central area of the property is pasture with several 1- to 2-acre cleared spots. We would like to know how to go about putting in food plots before we actually start living there... READ MORE

To Wait or Not to Wait

To Wait or Not to Wait

By Bob Humphrey

It’s a tough call to decide how long to wait to track a bow-shot deer. QUESTION: I’d like to get a few deer in the freezer early in the archery season, but it’s really hot here in Alabama at that time. It can be in the 90s! How long is it safe to let a deer go after a shot? I want to give the deer time to expire, but I don’t... READ MORE

Mowing A Clover Plot

Mowing A Clover Plot

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last year I planted a plot of Imperial Whitetail Clover. It came in really good, but someone told me I should mow it. I’m wondering when the best time to mow is? — K. Nelson, Brewton, Ala. ANSWER: There are two principle reasons for mowing a clover plot. One is for weed control. The other is to promote growth. If weeds are... READ MORE

Therein Lies the Rub

Therein Lies the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks rub their antlers to remove velvet and mark territory, but understanding rub messages depends on when and where the buck made them. QUESTION: On my property in the Catskills region of New York, we see a few rubs in late September and early October, but the majority of rubs do not appear until early November. I want to know if buck rubs are p... READ MORE

All in the Head

All in the Head

By Bob Humphrey

Once again our expert is called upon to settle a friendly debate. QUESTION: A friend and I got into a heated argument and I’m hoping you can settle it. My question is: Could psychology be considered a part of biology? ANSWER: I’d love to hear how that ties in to whitetails but the answer is yes. Biology is the study of living things and... READ MORE

Blow Myth Blown

Blow Myth Blown

By Bob Humphrey

Can you tell the sex of a deer by whether it snorts at danger? QUESTION: One of my hunting buddies was telling how he had a buck blowing at him repeatedly. When I asked him how big it was, he said he didn’t know because he never saw it. Then I asked how he knew it was a buck, he said because it was blowing. I’ve heard several other peop... 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

Another Deer Disease

Another Deer Disease

By Bob Humphrey

Although whitetails can get this disease, it’s not something to worry about. QUESTION: How common is it for deer to have rabies. I only mention that because I’ve seen two stories about it in a relatively short period of time. — Linda O. ANSWER: I was aware it occurred but had no idea how often until your question prompted me to dig a little d... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd