Ask The Biologist

Where’s the Meat?

Where’s the Meat?

By Bob Humphrey

A 100-pound deer doesn’t yield as much meat as you might think. QUESTION: Last fall, I shot my first deer and brought it to a local meat processor to have it prepared. When I picked it up, there was hardly enough meat to fill a grocery sack. I expected a lot more considering the deer weighed about 100 pounds. I’m wondering if I was take... READ MORE

She Didn’t Do It

She Didn’t Do It

By Bob Humphrey

We’re still learning about how whitetails interact with scrapes. QUESTION: Does the hot doe ever pee in a scrape to let the buck know she is ready? – Scotty W. ANSWER: It was once widely thought that bucks opened scrapes as an invitation to does, and that the does would then urinate in the scrape to announce they are ready and willing t... READ MORE

It’s a Date!

It’s a Date!

By Bob Humphrey

Calendar-based baiting law has our biologist stumped. QUESTION: My state just enacted a ban on feeding deer that begins June 1 and ends Dec. 15. I’m a little confused as to why they would do this. Any ideas? — Travis E. ANSWER: It does seem a little strange, and there are multiple possibilities. There are about as many different baiting... READ MORE

They’re Not Squeamish

They’re Not Squeamish

By Bob Humphrey

It’s okay to keep hunting an area where someone else has taken a deer. QUESTION: I’m a pretty new hunter and hear and read lots about deer and their fantastic noses. Will blood from a wounded deer keep other deer away from that area? If so, how long will they avoid the blooded area? – Bill F. ANSWER: The short answer is probably n... READ MORE

Where’s the Venison?

Where’s the Venison?

By Bob Humphrey

Get to know the nutrition facts about venison so you can share with your friends. QUESTION: I know wild game is better for you than red meat from the store, but are there some numbers on how much better and why? I’d like to tell my non-hunting friends about it. – Larry A. ANSWER: Both beef and venison lack carbohydrates and are comple... READ MORE

You New in Town?

You New in Town?

By Bob Humphrey

It probably doesn’t matter where a deer is from when it comes to scent. QUESTION: There are so many brands and types of doe-in-heat scent, so I’d like to know if one works better than others. Do deer smell different from region to region? For example, will an off-the-shelf doe in estrous scent work the same in Wyoming as it would in Ill... READ MORE

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

By Bob Humphrey

You can buy generic food plot seed, but do you really want to grow something not developed just for deer? QUESTION: Is any pea or soybean variety okay for a food plot, or are there specific types deer eat or avoid? ANSWER: Peas, soybeans, clover and alfalfa are all classified as legumes, and there are many varieties of each. Some, like soybeans ... 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 pr... READ MORE

Whitetails React Strongly To Hunting Pressure

Whitetails React Strongly To Hunting Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I’m from New York and have a good amount of property with food plots and the whole nine yards. The properties around me are highly pressured during gun season. During archery season I see deer all day, but during gun season they disappear. They’re not in plots or travel corridors. Any ideas why this might be? — Jon A. A... READ MORE

What’s the Magic Number?

What’s the Magic Number?

By Bob Humphrey

When hunting small parcels, much depends on your neighbors. QUESTION: How many deer can be harvested in a season off a 10 acre piece of land? It has not been hunted in 10 years and is in Texas. — Chris F. ANSWER: I can’t give you a definitive answer without considerably more information. That fact that it hasn’t been hunted is a g... READ MORE

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many bucks during the late summer and then none in the fall? QUESTION: I hunt my farm in Kentucky. It has a clover field, wheat and oat fields and in a good season we’ll have turnips and no hunting pressure. I have many pictures of big bucks during the summer, but they soon disappear. There are plenty of does. Wha... READ MORE

Jumping the Gun

Jumping the Gun

By Bob Humphrey

Early buck sign has Alabama hunters curious about the rut. QUESTION: I am in northeast Alabama (Jackson County) and seeing very early signs of buck activity. We are seeing huge rubs and scrapes. We do not usually see this much buck sign until mid- to late-December. Does this indicate an early rut? – Mike P. ANSWER: First it’s helpful to... 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

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

In the Bone

In the Bone

By Bob Humphrey

Antlers are full of minerals, so should we feed whitetails mineral supplements? QUESTION: What, if any, is the best mineral to feed deer? I add Hi-Mag mineral salt to my feed in the summertime and was wondering if I’m on track for helping antler growth. –Jerry A. ANSWER: Minerals are an important part of a whitetail’s diet. Not on... 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

Doe Dilemma

Doe Dilemma

By Bob Humphrey

Antlerless deer are the key to managing population numbers. QUESTION: My state recently announced that they are giving out a lot more doe tags this year than they did last year. I have not harvested a deer in three years and am hoping that getting a doe tag will make it easier. However, I’m also concerned that if hunters harvest too many does... 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

Designer Footwear

Designer Footwear

By Bob Humphrey

Like most coloration oddities, the cause is likely genetics. QUESTION: I shot a big buck in 1992 that scored 174. I got a half body mount should have got a full body. Anyway, his front feet are white and on the back feet, one toe is black and the other one is white. Could you tell me what causes this? — Ed ANSWER: We get a lot of questions ab... READ MORE

Book Smart

Book Smart

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter’s problem is a lot more common than most would admit. QUESTION: As a young hunter, I often get frustrated hunting bucks at our property in Alabama. I feel like they are almost impossible to pattern in the mix of pine thickets/deep hardwood draws/creek bottom habitat. Are there any books out there that would be worth reading? I&rsq... READ MORE

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd