Ask The Biologist

In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist sums up the keys to deer hunting in just two short paragraphs. QUESTION: I’m just getting into bowhunting, along with my 10-year-old daughter. What are the most important things to know about the patterns of deer? We live in Oregon, and we don’t get the luxury of whitetail patterns. — Hans F. ANSWER: I’ll start... READ MORE

Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

By Bob Humphrey

Is it possible a buck could still be rutting in April, even in Alabama? QUESTION: I hunt in northeast Alabama, on the Tennessee state line. I’m not surprised to see bucks with one antler but was surprised to see this 8-pointer still had both its antlers in April. I was really surprised to see jet black hocks. I always thought that was a sign ... 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

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

By Bob Humphrey

Outside of bait, what’s the best way to get deer to stop in front of a trail camera? QUESTION: I hunt state forest lands in Pennsylvania. We are not allowed to bait. What kind of scent products do you recommend to attract deer to my trail cameras to give me an idea of what kind of deer I might expect to see. — Joe R ANSWER: Almost any ... READ MORE

Bros Before Does

Bros Before Does

By Bob Humphrey

There might be survival advantages to bucks forming bachelor groups. QUESTION: I’ve been observing and getting trail camera shots of several bucks together on my food plots this summer. I know that it is common for bucks to form bachelor herds, but I’ve always wondered why they do this. — Dan S. ANSWER: Much is known and much has ... READ MORE

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing Tobacco

By Bob Humphrey

Could deer actually be interested in a chaw? QUESTION: I'm a tobacco chewer, and three times this season I witnessed a buck stop and stick his nose right into a spot where I'd dumped a spit cup. I also watched two young bucks lick and paw the ground, then start fighting over it! I couldn't believe it when a mature buck also licked and pawed the sp... READ MORE

What’s The Difference?

What’s The Difference?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Can white-tailed deer tell the difference between deer urine and human urine? I have been on a deer ranch, and the owner said they can’t and that you could freshen a scrape with human urine. — Charlie M. Answer:  I, too, have heard this claim and believe that it, like bland vegetables, should be taken with a liberal dose... READ MORE

Early Dropout

Early Dropout

By Bob Humphrey

There are several reasons some bucks shed antlers earlier than others. QUESTION: Our muzzleloader season typically runs into the second week in December. This year a friend said he saw a buck without antlers on December 5. I sometimes see bucks still with their antlers in January. My question is, why did this buck drop its antlers so early. —... READ MORE

Tweak My Food Plot

Tweak My Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

If your food plot isn’t attracting deer like you want, change it. Test for fertilizer and lime use, add some fruit trees and vary plantings to create a deer cafeteria. QUESTION: I hunt in the Northeast, about 3 hours north of New York City. I have a 15-acre parcel of land that’s bordered by several hundred acres of woods on one side wi... READ MORE

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day

By Bob Humphrey

A whitetail’s coat doesn’t always look pretty during transition phases. QUESTION: I was checking my trail camera while turkey scouting and noticed this photo. Does this doe’s fur look normal? – Ken P. ANSWER: If you had sent just a regular photo it might at first seem a bit odd but I would likely still come to the same concl... READ MORE

If You Build It...

If You Build It...

By Bob Humphrey

Deer get used to permanent stands, but they also learn to avoid them. QUESTION: I put up a shooting house this fall in a location where I found several heavy trails crossing. Then I noticed during bow season that most of the deer I saw passed by some distance out of range. Do you think they are avoiding the stand, and should I move it? ANSWER: Ther... 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

Shoot for the Moon

Shoot for the Moon

By Bob Humphrey

What’s the scoop on deer movement charts based on moon phase? Do they really work? QUESTION: I've been hunting for over 50 years and have seen a plethora of writings, discussion and videos on the use of moon phase wheels, gadgets and charts. I understand deer being creatures of habit pattern their behavior according to the moon phase, the ro... READ MORE

Go the Distance

Go the Distance

By Bob Humphrey

To beat the pressure on public land, get off the beaten path. QUESTION: I hunt in Oconto County in Wisconsin. It’s made up of a lot of tall hardwoods and pines but does have some diversity. I’ve put 10 miles on foot scouting and cannot locate any deer. The land is heavily pressured. I tried getting off the paths and going way back into ... READ MORE

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

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

Lay Off the Juice!

Lay Off the Juice!

By Bob Humphrey

What could be the cause of this buck’s abnormal thickness? QUESTION: Any idea what’s wrong with this buck? — Layton S. ANSWER: I once observed a Saskatchewan buck with a similar, although less severe, condition. He looked like a 50-gallon barrel on a sawbuck. The best I can do is speculate, based on what we know about whitetails. ... READ MORE

More About Spikes

More About Spikes

By Bob Humphrey

Does it matter if a spike has a certain length, or are spikes all the same? QUESTION: My hunting lease in East Texas (Saratoga) has a rule that you can’t shoot a spike unless it’s 10 inches long. Will that rule help or hurt our management goals? — Jeffrey W. ANSWER: The more we learn about whitetails, the more informed and effec... READ MORE

Has the rut kicked in?

Has the rut kicked in?

By Bob Humphrey

Peak rut and peak breeding times are not universal; they’re consistent and vary by location. Observation and effort will make you a true student of the whitetail rut. Question:  I'm new to deer hunting and I’m wondering how I can tell in my area when the rut is kicking in. I’m finding all kind of buck sign but I haven’... READ MORE

Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks and does are just different, including in how they use food plots. QUESTION: This year I have had several different bucks of different ages coming through my food plot, but it seems like all they are doing is passing through. I have just a small number of does that visit the plot on a regular basis. Could the bucks be passing through, checkin... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd