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

Spot On

Spot On

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I have been reading “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The writer says several times that the pattern of a fawn’s spots is an indicator of a whitetail’s sex, spots being aligned for males and more random for females. Is that truth or myth? — Nicky ANSWER: Like the book itself, the concept that you ca... 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

Night Shift

Night Shift

By Bob Humphrey

Could year-round food plots encourage night movement? QUESTION: We are hunting 200 acres and have 12 acres of food plots. The first two years we had mostly daylight movement the whole season. But we did not have any year-round food at that time, just fall plots. We are on year six now. For the past two years we also have year-round food plots and h... READ MORE

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to take does depends on your goals. QUESTION: If my goal is to take a doe, when is the best time? Should I fill doe tags early in archery season or later in firearms season? – Daniel B. ANSWER: It depends, to some extent, on why you want to take that doe. If your objective is largely to fill the freezer, the best time to take a ... READ MORE

In-Woods Plot Plants

In-Woods Plot Plants

By Bob Humphrey

Last week we had the most common food plot question. This week we feature the second most posed query. QUESTION: What seed do you recommend for planting in shaded woods for spring, summer & fall? I can’t get a tractor to the plot, and it is only about 20x30. — Jim D. ANSWER: I suggest you go one of two ways: The easiest would be t... READ MORE

The Rut Marches On

The Rut Marches On

By Bob Humphrey

Does will be bred no matter how long it takes. QUESTION: I live just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, and about an hour ago, which was 5:30 (Feb. 10), I looked out back in my yard and watched a big buck grunting and chasing a smaller doe. What’s up with that? – Mike W. ANSWER: Most, but not all does are bred sometime during the initial rut,... READ MORE

Wretched Excess

Wretched Excess

By Bob Humphrey

Why a bumper acorn crop doesn’t make for the best hunting conditions. QUESTION: The place where I hunt has a lot of oak trees, and this year’s there’s a ton of acorns but I’m not seeing as many deer. Is the population down, or should I just hunt somewhere else? — William A. ANSWER: A bumper acorn crop can be a double-e... 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

Oh where have they gone?

Oh where have they gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Disappearing deer are looking for the same thing—bedding cover, high calorie leftovers and love. Question:  I hunt on Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., and there is food, water and cover everywhere. Where are the deer traveling in early December? To cover or to food? —John T. Answer:  Though your question is geogra... 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

Somebody Should Write That Article

Somebody Should Write That Article

By Bob Humphrey

Do you feel bad or resist the urge to take a doe that has yearlings with her? QUESTION: I took my son out for youth day, and all we saw was a doe with two fawns. I remembered someone telling me that if you shoot the doe and the fawns were too young, they would not be able to survive the harsh winter. He chose not to shoot, but now I wonder if he ma... 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

It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetail digestion isn’t rocket science, but it’s close. QUESTION: Someone recently told me that deer have four stomachs. Is this true? ANSWER: No. Like all mammals, deer have one stomach. However, like all ruminants, theirs consists of four chambers: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. A large portion of a whitetail’s diet is... READ MORE

A Buck Named Lola

A Buck Named Lola

By Bob Humphrey

Can a doe really have antlers, and if so, how? QUESTION: Last year a guy in our town shot a doe with antlers. It was in late November and they were still covered in velvet. How is this possible? — Trent H. ANSWER: From a very young age we’re taught there is a difference between boys and girls, whether it be humans or deer. The truth o... 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

Hair Club Bucks

Hair Club Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

We wonder if there’s a market for Rogaine for whitetails. QUESTION: Last fall, I noticed a couple bucks with bare spots on their back or rump. I have seen this before and was wondering what might cause it. — Ron C. ANSWER: There are several plausible explanations. Bare spots can be caused by repeatedly going under or through wire fences... 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

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

Blow Myth Blown

Blow Myth Blown

By Bob Humphrey

Can you tell the sex of a deer by whether it snorts at danger? QUESTION: One of my hunting buddies was telling how he had a buck blowing at him repeatedly. When I asked him how big it was, he said he didn’t know because he never saw it. Then I asked how he knew it was a buck, he said because it was blowing. I’ve heard several other peop... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd