Ask The Biologist

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

By Bob Humphrey

Like all whitetail behavior, scrape activity is unpredictable. QUESTION: Last season I found several fresh scrapes and spent several days hunting over them, but I never saw any deer. A friend said I was wasting my time because bucks only scrape at night. Is that true? — Mike H. ANSWER: When it comes to whitetail behavior, two words you should... READ MORE

Find the Food

Find the Food

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter might be new, but he’s asking the right kind of questions. QUESTION: I am new to hunting (my second year) although I'm 52 years old and a disabled veteran. I’m limited to hunting public land in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. While scouting, I have found wild grape vines on some of the public lands and was wondering i... READ MORE

Gesundheit!

Gesundheit!

By Bob Humphrey

Yes, whitetails sneeze just like us, and often for the same reasons. QUESTION: I have heard deer make many different sounds, but this fall I had a deer come by me and it kept making this sound like it was sneezing. What does this mean? ANSWER: I could dazzle you with all kinds of possible explanations as to the deer’s exhalations, but what yo... READ MORE

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

There Will Be Blood Tonight!

By Bob Humphrey

What is the cause of light blood sign where deer congregate? QUESTION: For many years now I have noticed blood where deer have concentrated heavily and remained in one spot for long periods of time to feed in winter months. I only notice this when there is snow on the ground, probably because it stands out so much then. I am sure it is from a deer.... READ MORE

Cradle Robbers

Cradle Robbers

By Bob Humphrey

Where are all these young deer coming from, and where are the giants? QUESTION: I have a 700-acre lease on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina that’s mostly thick cut-over — perfect bedding cover. This is the fourth year we have been attempting to let our deer get bigger but this year we were overrun with spikes, 3- and 4-pointers. We r... READ MORE

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re having trouble with fooling bucks, you’re not alone. QUESTION: I’ve been experimenting with a deer decoy, and so far it seems to spook everything that sees it. Is that normal? I thought I’d have bucks rushing in to investigate. – Larry P. ANSWER: Using a decoy is much like using scents, calls or rattling. Mor... READ MORE

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s common for does to have milk in their udders in deer season. QUESTION: I had a friend tell me it’s impossible to shoot a doe that is lactating legally because it would be too late in the season in the fall. Another friend told me that if you shoot a doe that is lactating, the meat will taste bad. What are your thoughts? — Hen... READ MORE

While the Iron is Hot

While the Iron is Hot

By Bob Humphrey

The clock is always ticking on early season bachelor buck groups. QUESTION: I’ve been watching a small group of velvet bucks visit the same field almost every evening. Our bow season is still a month away. Will these bucks still be here when the season opens? There’s a couple good ones, and I’d like to get a crack at one. — ... 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

Punch to the Gut

Punch to the Gut

By Bob Humphrey

Do paunch-hit deer always go to water? QUESTION: I shot a deer last fall with my bow, and it jumped just as I shot. When I found my arrow, it was covered with green slime and some blood. We tried to track it but were unable to find it until several days later. We found what was left of it near a small pond. Coyotes got the rest. My friend told me t... READ MORE

There’s the Rub

There’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

By themselves, buck rubs might not mean they hang out in a given area. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I found a place where deer had made several rubs. I’m wondering if it would be a good location to hunt this fall? –Erik F. ANSWER: As is often the case with questions we receive for ATB, it’s difficult to give a firm ... READ MORE

Feelin’ Foggy

Feelin’ Foggy

By Bob Humphrey

You have to be careful when searching the internet for deer hunting advice. QUESTION: My uncle and I were hunting in our blind one foggy morning, and I asked my uncle to look up on the internet about hunting in the fog. The answers on the web didn’t make much sense to us. One source said fog can be one of the best times to hunt, while another... READ MORE

Thoughts for Food

Thoughts for Food

By Bob Humphrey

Select a protein feeder type based on your goals; each has advantages. 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: You haven’t provided quite enough information to give you too much detail on which might be a better option in your situation... READ MORE

Solunar Tables

Solunar Tables

By Bob Humphrey

What does our Buckmasters biologist think of sun/moon charts for predicting deer activity? That’s the topic of this week’s Ask the Biologist question. What do you think? Do you pay attention to game activity charts? QUESTION: Do solunar tables really work? — Jim M. ANSWER: Marcus Lashley, a graduate student at North Carolina Sta... 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

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

Blind Ambition

Blind Ambition

By Bob Humphrey

There are several reasons deer might be spotting you when you’re in a ground blind. QUESTION: I just started to hunt out of a ground blind, but every time I’m in there the deer seem to know I’m there. Do I have too many windows open? The inside of my tent is black, so I wear black. What could they be seeing? — Tony L. ANSWER... 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

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

The Energizer Camera

The Energizer Camera

By Bob Humphrey

Does it make sense to put out food if deer are already coming to an area? QUESTION: I been hunting a 100-acre lease for several years. Last December, I turned my game camera on, filled my 6-gallon feeder up and hunted it for the last time that year. A couple days ago, my wife and I revisited the treestand and pulled the camera I had left behind to ... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd