Ask The Biologist

No Guts, All Glory

No Guts, All Glory

By Bob Humphrey

Why it's okay to leave field-dressing remains in the woods. QUESTION: I'm hoping you can settle an argument for me. When I shoot a deer, I always field-dress it where it lays. I was recently hunting out of state, and they asked me to bring out the whole deer because gut piles in the woods attract predators. What are your thoughts? –Rodney D. ANSWER... READ MORE

Hang ‘em High

Hang ‘em High

By Bob Humphrey

The debate continues on whether it’s best to process a deer immediately or to wait. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle a debate. How long should I hang my deer? Some people I know say I should skin it and process it right away. Others say the longer it hangs the better. What’s the right answer? — Glenn W. ANSWER: The debate, like what’s the ... READ MORE

Bump in the Night

Bump in the Night

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can get all sorts of bumps, lumps and bruises. QUESTION: Do you have any idea what this lump is or what might have caused it? — Robert ANSWER: It could be any number of things, the most likely being a subcutaneous fibroma (basically, a benign tumor) or possibly the result of an injury, perhaps from an antler tine or a well-placed ... READ MORE

Ol’ Tripod

Ol’ Tripod

By Bob Humphrey

What would cause it, and can a deer survive with only three legs? QUESTION: I got this picture on my trail camera. What could cause this deer to only have three legs, and do you think it will survive? – Bob H. ANSWER: Possible reasons are numerous and varied. As there appears to be a bare spot and possible scarring, I would say it is likely t... READ MORE

She Didn’t Do It

She Didn’t Do It

By Bob Humphrey

We’re still learning about how whitetails interact with scrapes. QUESTION: Does the hot doe ever pee in a scrape to let the buck know she is ready? – Scotty W. ANSWER: It was once widely thought that bucks opened scrapes as an invitation to does, and that the does would then urinate in the scrape to announce they are ready and willing t... READ MORE

Good Intentions

Good Intentions

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer in winter seems like a good idea, but it has serious consequences. QUESTION: I recently purchased a home in the Gettysburg/Littlestown, Pa. area on 2.74 wooded acres. There are many deer in this area and I have been feeding them shelled corn. I have not been hunting them. I wish to maintain their health and growth through the winter mo... 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

Not Snake Oil

Not Snake Oil

By Bob Humphrey

There’s sound science behind scent-eliminating sprays. QUESTION: It seems like the latest craze with hunters is spray cover scent (Code Blue, Dead Down Wind, Scent Killer, etc). They basically soak themselves with whichever scent-killing spray they chose and hit the woods. Does this stuff actually work? Have there been any tests/studies? &nd... READ MORE

How to Tell the Age of a Deer

How to Tell the Age of a Deer

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last fall I shot my first buck. It had an average rack, but when I looked in its mouth I noticed it didn’t have any front teeth. I suspect it must have been very old. Is there some way to tell how old it was? — Pete C. ANSWER: There is a relatively easy way to tell the approximate age of a deer, but before I tell you, I'll add... READ MORE

Melanistic Deer

Melanistic Deer

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I shot a melanistic 9-point buck on Nov.15, 2000. He dressed out at 174 pounds. Does anybody track or keep records of such rare animals? — Daniel S. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions and comments about odd deer, particularly color variations. Even in “normal” deer, pelage (fur color) can be highly variable, ranging fr... READ MORE

The Maine Issue

The Maine Issue

By Bob Humphrey

Rumor says deer numbers in Maine are shockingly low. Is that true? QUESTION: An outfitter in Maine recently reported that the deer herd numbers were so low they were not booking any deer hunts and they were not sure when they might be doing so in the future. Does that sound correct to you that Maine herd numbers are low? If so, what would it take f... READ MORE

Dine In or Take Out?

Dine In or Take Out?

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist discusses the advantages of on-demand and time-release features. QUESTION: I would like to know how you feel about feeding deer protein at a free-choice feeder verses a time-release system. — Joe S. ANSWER: I could give you all kinds of technical information about the whitetail’s nutritional needs, how they change througho... READ MORE

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many bucks during the late summer and then none in the fall? QUESTION: I hunt my farm in Kentucky. It has a clover field, wheat and oat fields and in a good season we’ll have turnips and no hunting pressure. I have many pictures of big bucks during the summer, but they soon disappear. There are plenty of does. Wha... READ MORE

Jousting with One Antler

Jousting with One Antler

By Bob Humphrey

No need to cull Spike on One Side (SOS or SOOS) deer. Researchers assign pedicle or early skull trauma as root causes of the phenomenon, not genetics. Question:  Two years ago we noticed some type of defect within our deer population when a guest shot a buck that had antler growth on only one side.  The other side had nothing, not even a... READ MORE

Tick, Tick, Tick ...

Tick, Tick, Tick ...

By Bob Humphrey

That’s not a clock, it’s the never-ending problem of biting insects. QUESTION: Hi from Elizabethtown, Kentucky! Attached are trail cam pictures of a doe covered with ticks. I have not seen her on the hoof to see her behavior. I have not seen a fawn with her. No other deer I have seen have this problem. Two questions: 1. Will she be okay... READ MORE

Hog Hell

Hog Hell

By Bob Humphrey

There isn’t any good news when it comes to wild pigs on your deer lease. QUESTION: I hunt on a lease in northwest Florida. A few years ago, the wild pig population was tolerable, but now it’s out of control. You cannot go anywhere without seeing pig sign. And if you put out corn, they take over the area. I have three questions:1) Can yo... READ MORE

Spring Scrapes

Spring Scrapes

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, we came across several places that looked like fresh deer scrapes. My hunting partner says they’re just turkey scratchings, but I deer hunt the same area and there are scrapes in these same locations in the fall. My question is, do deer scrape in the spring too? Why would they do this? — Thoma... READ MORE

The Gray Nose Deer

The Gray Nose Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Question:  My son recently harvested a 9-pointer in northeastern Maryland. The buck had a light grey colored nose. We’re curious, has this ever been seen before? — David M. Answer:  White-tailed deer are remarkable creatures, and the more I study them, the more I realize just how diverse they can be. Most folks are familiar w... READ MORE

It All Depends

It All Depends

By Bob Humphrey

There is no set way to prepare a food plot since conditions are different everywhere. QUESTION: How soon after spraying to kill weeds and grasses can you plant a food plot? Should the plots be disced, or planted using a no-till drill? — Harold ANSWER: Conventional wisdom suggests you wait about two weeks between spraying and planting. As for ... READ MORE

Bug Problems

Bug Problems

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in the middle of the coast range in Oregon. I have always given my dogs brewers yeast with garlic and never had fleas or ticks. This year we have had both deer and elk in our yard almost every night. My dog now has fleas. Is this from the deer and elk? Both my dog and I have had deer ticks on us that we have removed. What can I do ... READ MORE

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd