Ask The Biologist

Is It Better to Take Barren Does?

Is It Better to Take Barren Does?

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist explores another long-standing whitetail myth. QUESTION: Where I hunt, we try to remove a few does each year to keep the herd healthy. This fall, one of my buddies shot a particularly large doe and said she was a dry doe and it was better to remove her from the herd because she isn’t producing fawns. My question is, how can you ... READ MORE

Whitetail Rodeo

Whitetail Rodeo

By Bob Humphrey

How big is my herd? Let me count all the bucks and does. QUESTION: In a story in the October, 2016 issue, the topic was what kind of social structure exists in whitetail herds. I would like to know how big a herd can be that includes all the groups of bucks and does within a herd’s territory. — Ricky W. ANSWER: I’m not sure there ... READ MORE

Trophy Bucks

Trophy Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I’ve been saving my pennies and finally decided this is the year I’m going on a guided hunt for trophy whitetails. I haven’t decided on the exact location yet but I’m thinking about somewhere in the midwest. Can you offer any tips on where my best chances might be? — C.J. W., Maryland ANSWER: Based on nati... READ MORE

Too Much of a Good Thing

Too Much of a Good Thing

By Bob Humphrey

Is there such a thing as too many bucks, especially spikes? QUESTION: I have 480 acres, and we only shoot mature bucks at least 3 1/2 years old. I don’t set a point rule because I think you should age a deer by the body size, not the antlers. I have noticed that during the current deer season, we are seeing more than the normal numbers of you... READ MORE

It’s a Date

It’s a Date

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: When is the peak of the rut at Dallas-Perry county line in Alabama. — J.P. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions about when peak rut occurs. While the dates remain consistent from year to year, there can be a high degree of variability geographically, particularly in Southern states like Alabama. As a result, I usually avoid getting to... READ MORE

Seeing Spots

Seeing Spots

By Bob Humphrey

Several factors make the Southern rut a confusing, drawn-out process. QUESTION: I live and hunt in central Louisiana, Area 6. October starts our bow season, and every doe I see has spotted fawns with her. Even during my hunt on Nov. 2, the does still had spotted fawns. If a deer carries a fetus 200 days and these fawns are a month or so old, does t... READ MORE

The Hole Thing

The Hole Thing

By Bob Humphrey

We might think of deer as peaceful, but they can be tough on one another. QUESTION: These pictures are from a deer before and after I skinned it. It had this hole on its inner thigh. There was no smell of rotting flesh, but I have never seen anything like it my 15 years of hunting. Any idea what it is? — Robert M. ANSWER: One can never be sur... READ MORE

Dog-Gone

Dog-Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Does the presence of dogs push deer off a hunting property? QUESTION: If there are dogs running wild on our hunting lease in North Georgia and they are running the deer year ‘round, will this lower the deer density on our 1,605 acres? Also, do these wild dogs find and eat the fawns like coyotes? I would say yes, but I am not a biologist. We h... 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

Burned by Brassicas?

Burned by Brassicas?

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots can be frustrating, especially if your crop looks great and the deer don’t seem to be interested. Have patience. It takes time for deer to learn a new food source, and brassicas also require some freezing temperatures. QUESTION: I planted winter turnips last September and they grew nicely. As we began to get cold temperatures, the... READ MORE

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

By Bob Humphrey

Love them or hate them, antler restrictions are a common component of many management plans. QUESTION: I live in Pennsylvania, and we have antler restrictions that I do not agree with. I don't feel we have more bigger bucks than we did before, and I know if you let a deer go, you’re letting him grow. But we are getting overrun with small buck... 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

How Rare Is a Piebald?

How Rare Is a Piebald?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I saw a piebald buck last year, however I did not get a shot at him. This year I got him with my crossbow. My question is, how likely is it that I will ever see another piebald deer on my property? — Ronnie Plumlee Answer:  Piebald deer are certainly a curiosity, and we get a lot of questions about them. This aberrant colorati... 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

Where Have The Ears Gone?

Where Have The Ears Gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Do you have any idea what happened to its ears? Question:  This doe has been coming into a guy’s yard in the DuBois area. Do you have any idea what happened to its ears? Maybe the buck flies just ate the heck out of them this past summer. I’ve seen deer with their ears bleeding terribly from buck fly bites. — Ken M. Answer:... READ MORE

Fresh Start

Fresh Start

By Bob Humphrey

It’s hard to know where to start when accessing new hunting ground. QUESTION: I just acquired new hunting ground. I Got to hunt it during the last week of bow season and saw lots of does. It consists of 10 acres of fields and 190 acres of woods. It seems promising, but I’m not sure how to get started. Where should I start in getting mor... READ MORE

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

By Bob Humphrey

Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to this doe’s ear disfiguration. QUESTION: I recently saw a doe that had the tips of both ears eaten away. Do you know what might have done this? I also have seen a lot of babies this year with scratches on their noses. — J. Ellis ANSWER: The best I can do, which isn’t very good, is spec... 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

Block Buster

Block Buster

By Bob Humphrey

Mineral blocks are great, but so is improving natural protein sources. QUESTION: Should I put out salt and/or a mineral block to help deer in a CWD area? I mix my own minerals and vitamins so deer are healthy to fight CWD. ANSWER: Blocks can be a beneficial means of providing deer with supplemental minerals and vitamins to improve their health, par... READ MORE

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s not unusual to see fawns pestering does for milk during hunting seasons. QUESTION: I saw an obviously very young deer trying to get milk from a doe yesterday, and it’s October! Is that normal? I thought all the fawns would be eating regular food by now. ANSWER: It’s not all that unusual to see fawns, especially smaller ones, ... READ MORE

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd