Ask The Biologist

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

Down But Not Out

Down But Not Out

By Bob Humphrey

Deer are tough – there’s just no other way to put it. QUESTION: This winter, I shot a buck and knocked it right down, but then it got up and ran away. We tracked it for a long way and found two large puddles of blood but did not find the deer. Then we brought in tracking dogs and jumped the deer, but it ran away and we did not recover i... 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

Kill 'Em All

Kill 'Em All

By Bob Humphrey

Left unchecked, weeds can choke out your food plot and waste a lot of effort and time. You can get rid of them, but it takes more of that effort/time combination QUESTION: I like to plant food plots using clover, rape and chicory. Everyone talks about killing the weeds, but no one gives the name of a good product that won’t kill my food plot.... 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

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

Can O’ Corn

Can O’ Corn

By Bob Humphrey

Corn isn’t necessarily a bad thing to put in deer feeders. QUESTION: I want to put out a few feeders to attract and hold deer in my area. I know corn will work, but I’ve read a few articles that said corn isn’t very beneficial to whitetails. What would you recommend? — Scott M. ANSWER: Much depends on where you live, but if ... READ MORE

Hunting Pressure

Hunting Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

If every place gets hunted, where do they go? QUESTION: The area I hunt gets a fair amount of hunting pressure, and it seems like the deer disappear once gun season starts. But if every place gets hunted, where do they go? — Brent W. ANSWER: Believe it or not, they’re probably still there. Recent research on mature bucks fitted with ... 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

Deer By the Numbers

Deer By the Numbers

By Bob Humphrey

Is there an easy and inexpensive way to determine buck-to-doe ratios on my hunting property? QUESTION: I manage a 4,000-acre ranch in west-central Texas. We had a hard drought in 2001-2011 and lost several does. The buck population is thriving, and there are more does than there were when I took over management in 2012. My question is, how do I fi... 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

Seeing Spots

Seeing Spots

By Bob Humphrey

Several factors make the Southern rut a confusing, drawn-out process. QUESTION: I live and hunt in central Louisiana, Area 6. October starts our bow season, and every doe I see has spotted fawns with her. Even during my hunt on Nov. 2, the does still had spotted fawns. If a deer carries a fetus 200 days and these fawns are a month or so old, does t... READ MORE

A Spoonful of Sugar

A Spoonful of Sugar

By Bob Humphrey

It might take your deer some time to start using a brassica plot. QUESTION: I planted brassicas for the first time this year, and so far the deer have not touched them. They seem to be using our other plots but not the brassicas. Is there anything we can do to attract deer to these brassica plots? ANSWER: I had a similar experience the first time I... READ MORE

Scent Ban Stinks!

Scent Ban Stinks!

By Bob Humphrey

Laws banning deer urine lures are not based on science. QUESTION: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries just passed a new law for 2015 hunting season. No deer lure with deer urine or any body parts of a deer can be used in Virginia because of CWD. I Just had to throw out my Tink’s #69 because only synthetic lures can be used. ... READ MORE

You Can’t Do That Here

You Can’t Do That Here

By Bob Humphrey

Why does calling work so well on TV, but not in my neck of the woods? QUESTION: What (and when) are the best calls for New England deer? I watch TV, and they are always hunting somewhere that deer are plentiful. They use rattles, bleats and grunts, and it seems like deer just come running in from all over the place. What are the best techniques for... READ MORE

How High’s the Water?

How High’s the Water?

By Bob Humphrey

There are food plot crops that do well in moist soils, but it depends. QUESTION: We live in south-central Pennsylvania and have a very wet 20 acres that only has some wild grass and weeds in it. What could we plant to attract deer in our November to January hunting season? – Mike S. ANSWER: Much depends on what you mean by “very wet.&rd... 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

It’s a Game of Percentages

It’s a Game of Percentages

By Bob Humphrey

Deer might be curious, but caution trumps curiosity in most cases. QUESTION: I read in a Buckmasters article recently that deer were drawn to scrapes doctored with new car scent just as much as they were to scrapes freshened with doe pee. If that’s the case, does it matter what kind of scent I use? –Brad F. ANSWER: I’m aware of se... READ MORE

Jumping the Gun

Jumping the Gun

By Bob Humphrey

Early buck sign has Alabama hunters curious about the rut. QUESTION: I am in northeast Alabama (Jackson County) and seeing very early signs of buck activity. We are seeing huge rubs and scrapes. We do not usually see this much buck sign until mid- to late-December. Does this indicate an early rut? – Mike P. ANSWER: First it’s helpful to... READ MORE

To Pee or Not to Pee?

To Pee or Not to Pee?

By Bob Humphrey

There is no concrete answer to this question, but it’s likely okay. QUESTION: I know you’ve probably had this question before but can deer tell the difference between human and deer urine? –Marc S. ANSWER: We really don’t know exactly what deer perceive through their sense of smell or how they interpret scent, but we know th... READ MORE

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd