Ask The Biologist

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

Your Buck Is Different, Mr. Gump

Your Buck Is Different, Mr. Gump

By Bob Humphrey

Why you might not be seeing 4.5-year-old deer on your trail cameras. QUESTION: I’ve asked to several seasoned deer hunters this question, and none have been able to give much insight. I hunt in Plantersville, Ala. (20 minutes north of Selma), and run several game cameras. Over the course of two years of running cameras over feeders during the... READ MORE

Hold the Onions

Hold the Onions

By Bob Humphrey

Watch what you eat to help reduce your odor footprint. QUESTION: Are there certain foods I should avoid while deer hunting? I’ve heard onions and other foods can actually release scent through your pores. What do you think? ANSWER: Certain things like coffee and asparagus are know to produce foul-smelling urine. Eating some foods, like onions... 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

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

Nose Bugs

Nose Bugs

By Bob Humphrey

Just when you think you’ve seen every kind of strange deer malady... QUESTION: I shot a nice buck in Illinois this year, and while we were taking pictures, we noticed there was something in its nose. It turned out to be a big snail-looking thing. What is it, and is it safe to eat this deer? –Ryan ANSWER: This appears to be, and in all l... READ MORE

You Can’t Get There from Here

You Can’t Get There from Here

By Bob Humphrey

If you want to know how many does to harvest, you have to know how many deer you have. QUESTION: How many does should you harvest per 100 acres to increase your total deer population? Also to decrease or keep the population the same? — Eugene W. ANSWER: I’m afraid you might not like my answer, but a friend of mine once said, “You ... READ MORE

The Path Logs Traveled

The Path Logs Traveled

By Bob Humphrey

Logging trails can provide a variety of hunting benefits. QUESTION: I have 100 acres of forest property in upstate New York. Hunting there has been good. I recently had the property logged, and there are a lot of trails crisscrossing the property. Should I continue to leave all the trails open, or should I block them up and let them grow back into ... READ MORE

When In Rome

When In Rome

By Bob Humphrey

If you try to manage deer on a lease, sooner or later you’ll run across a slightly abnormal whitetail. What should you do? QUESTION: Is a short bridgeline a recessive genetic defect, and should a buck with this trait be allowed to breed? — Ron Dahlseid ANSWER: Indeed, a short, bowed or Roman nose is usually the result of a recessive g... READ MORE

This Is Your Lungs On ...

This Is Your Lungs On ...

By Bob Humphrey

Here’s another example of a strange and interesting deer oddity. QUESTION: I recently harvested a white-tailed deer that had dark spots on its lungs, but otherwise appeared healthy. Do you have any thoughts on the cause? –Tim S. ANSWER: My first instinct on hearing “spots on the lungs” is TB (bovine tuberculosis). However, a... 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

Be Early ... or Late

Be Early ... or Late

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to set up depends on the type of stand you’re using. QUESTION: Our bow season is two weeks away, and I haven’t had time to set my stands yet. Do you think it’s too late? When is the best time to set stands? ANSWER: There are pros and cons to setting stands early and late. Whenever possible, I prefer to set my stands ... 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

Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch

By Bob Humphrey

If you’ve heard mixed reviews on using feeders, join the crowd. QUESTION: My state now allows baiting, but I’ve read big bucks won’t come to a bait pile, or even a feeder. Is that true? ANSWER: There are very few absolutes in deer hunting, and different factors vary, sometimes considerably, from one place to another. That being sa... READ MORE

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s not as strange as you think that does nurse fawns into hunting season. QUESTION: I was bowhunting last October when a doe and fawn came by my stand. I was about to shoot the doe when the fawn came up, and I swear it started to nurse. Isn’t this late in the season? What would the fawn’s chances of survival be if I shot the doe... READ MORE

Growth Spurt

Growth Spurt

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail antlers are the fastest-growing tissue known. QUESTION: I saw a buck the other day, and his antlers were already out to his ears. It’s not even July. How fast do antlers grow? ANSWER: Sometimes even scientists can’t see the forest for the trees. I consulted the two most authoritative books on white-tailed deer, both of which h... READ MORE

Cull or Management Buck?

Cull or Management Buck?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I hear people use the terms “cull buck” and “management buck” but I don’t understand the difference. Can you shed some light on this? — B. Warren ANSWER: I’ll do the best I can, but there are no hard and fast definitions for either term. Much depends on specific management objectives of the landow... READ MORE

Yard Work

Yard Work

By Bob Humphrey

How you can help whitetails in areas that experience severe winters. QUESTION: What is being done to reestablish and protect the deer yards? I know it has been a big problem in Vermont. Many deer yards are overgrown, and the deer are having a hard time reaching the food. Old growth is too high and needs to be cut back for new plants to grow. ANSWER... 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

Split Personalities

Split Personalities

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter wants to know why deer in his area exhibit a sudden mood swing. QUESTION: I deer hunt in northern Minnesota in the Grand Rapids area. There are a few hay fields in the area, but other than that it’s brush country. During the spring and summer, deer like to feed on new growth in the wide ditches and to escape the constant mosquitoes and... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd