Ask The Biologist

Doe, Rei, Oh My!

Doe, Rei, Oh My!

By Bob Humphrey

There aren’t very many does in the record books, but here’s one. QUESTION: I recently shot a hard-antlered doe in Monroe County, Ohio. It is a 16-pointer with a Buckmasters score of 173. I was wondering what causes does to grow antlers. Also, do they rub and shed hard antlers like a regular buck? ANSWER: Antlered does are rare, although... READ MORE

Thin Is NOT In

Thin Is NOT In

By Bob Humphrey

Reclaimed mining property offers challenges for food plot growers. QUESTION: I have a 155-acre farm leased. It was previously mining property, and the soil is very poor with a very thin top layer. I am trying to get food plots started, but don’t have the equipment or the time and money to prepare the soil properly. I have read about throw-and... READ MORE

Fool Me Once ...

Fool Me Once ...

By Bob Humphrey

We know deer respond to hunting pressure, but what about wounds? QUESTION: What are the chances of a deer with a non-fatal gunshot wound returning to the same location it was shot during the same hunting season? – Clarence S. ANSWER: There are many variables in play, including the type and severity of the wound, the circumstances involved an... READ MORE

What About This Guy?

What About This Guy?

By Bob Humphrey

A photo alone doesn’t always tell the story about a deer’s age. QUESTION: I would be interested to know your opinion or estimate on the age of the whitetail in the photo. – David G. ANSWER:Aging a deer on the hoof can be difficult without a clear photo from the proper angle and sufficient information on the date and location. However, this one seem... READ MORE

When Bucks Attack

When Bucks Attack

By Bob Humphrey

Although rare, whitetails have been known to hurt people. QUESTION: I was in my yard this evening toward dusk and looked down our hill and saw a buck staring at me. I was filling my bird feeders and thought he would run off, but he stood for about 15 minutes just looking at me. I finished what I was doing and went onto my porch, and he just stayed ... READ MORE

Ticked Off

Ticked Off

By Bob Humphrey

Take steps to repel ticks in the spring and the fall. QUESTION: I like to bowhunt early in the season, but the ticks have gotten really bad where I live. Someone told me regular insect repellent will work, but I’m afraid the smell will scare away deer. Is there something else I can use? –Kyle G. ANSWER: I, too, have heard that conventio... READ MORE

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

By Bob Humphrey

If deer can’t see infrared flash, why do they look directly at your trail cameras? QUESTION: I’ve noticed on several of my trail camera photos that the deer look like they’re looking right at the camera. I thought they weren’t supposed to be able to tell when a picture is being taken. Will this frighten the deer? –Will... READ MORE

Where the Girls Are

Where the Girls Are

By Bob Humphrey

Should you find a new place to hunt if all you see are does? QUESTION: My trail camera is loaded with doe pictures, and the area I hunt is filled with does. I have seen a few trophy bucks, but at random and never consistent. Should I look elsewhere for a hunting spot if the bucks aren’t showing themselves? — Chris W. ANSWER: If your goa... READ MORE

Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon

By Bob Humphrey

What happened to my hit-list buck’s rack? It’s gone! QUESTION: I live in central Kentucky and am accustomed to bucks beginning to shed their antlers in mid- to late January. Unfortunately, a hit-list 10 pointer shed just before Christmas. Is there a rule-of-thumb date a buck sheds its crown? ANSWER: We get this question often, so it&rsq... READ MORE

Feed or Seed?

Feed or Seed?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s tough to decide between a feed program and food plots. QUESTION: I have 480 Acres leased in Butler County, Alabama close to Fort Deposit. I have 10 small food plots mostly in the half acre range. I also have two feeders situated in different locations near the center of my property. Would the deer herd in my area benefit more from summer... READ MORE

Cold Spell

Cold Spell

By Bob Humphrey

Temperature definitely affects deer movement, but how it does so is determined by location. QUESTION: I have heard that deer will lay up until temperatures get above freezing. Is this true, and at what temperature will they start moving? — Glenn E. ANSWER: How temperature affects deer depends, to a certain extent, on location. Ask any Saskatc... READ MORE

Short in the Tooth

Short in the Tooth

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails in the wild usually have a short and dangerous life. QUESTION: I got a deer last fall, and while caping it out I noticed the teeth were very worn. Someone told me that means it’s a very old deer. My question is, how old do deer get? — J.T. ANSWER: Much depends on where they live. In captivity, whitetails can live 20 years or ... 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

Beach Buck Confusion

Beach Buck Confusion

By Bob Humphrey

Is Florida home to three different species of whitetails? QUESTION: I live in Florida and am hoping to be a better deer hunter. Florida has three subspecies of white-tailed deer. I’m familiar with the Key deer, but what is the difference between the Florida coastal whitetail (O. v. osceola) and the Florida whitetail (O. v. seminolus). &mdash... READ MORE

The Night Owl

The Night Owl

By Bob Humphrey

A mature buck is often nocturnal. Be patient and hope he makes a mistake. QUESTION: I’m getting pictures of a big buck on my trail camera, but only at night. Lately it’s been every night, but I never see him during the day. What can I do? — Adam P. ANSWER: I The short answer is be patient — and careful. If you’re consi... READ MORE

Pelletized or Powdered?

Pelletized or Powdered?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What’s the big difference between fast acting lime and regular aglime or ground lime. — Duane F. Answer:  Lime comes in two forms, pelletized and powder. Pelletized lime is easier to handle because it typically comes in bags. It’s also easier to apply because it can be spread by most gravity fed spreaders. It takes ... 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

Mix It Up

Mix It Up

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails like variety in both their diet and habitat. QUESTION: Can I put a fall food plot in a field where the rest of the field is left overgrown with natural browse? — Ray H. ANSWER: Absolutely. In fact, it might even be more effective than converting the entire field to a food plot. Deer like variety, both in their diet and their habita... READ MORE

It’s Personal

It’s Personal

By Bob Humphrey

When filling doe tags, it’s really just about preference. QUESTION: My state allows us to harvest two does in addition to a buck. I’m wondering if it’s better to shot one early or wait until later in the season. Will it reduce my chances for taking a buck if I do that? ANSWER: There are several factors involved when considering th... READ MORE

Can I See Your ID?

Can I See Your ID?

By Bob Humphrey

The best way to determine the age of a deer depends on where it is. QUESTION: What is the best way to age a deer? — Richard E. ANSWER: Well, that depends on what you mean by “aging a deer.” If you mean determining how old it is, the answer depends on whether the deer is dead at your feet or alive in the field. The quickest and eas... READ MORE

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd