Ask The Biologist

It’s a Guy Thing

It’s a Guy Thing

By Bob Humphrey

Buck decoys seem to draw more attention in more situations. QUESTION: When hunting during pre-rut or the rut, is a doe or a buck decoy more enticing? – Jim ANSWER: If I had to pick one or the other, I would opt for a buck in both situations. During the pre-rut, before does start coming into estrus, bucks are still working out and maintaining... READ MORE

The Night Owl

The Night Owl

By Bob Humphrey

A mature buck is often nocturnal. Be patient and hope he makes a mistake. QUESTION: I’m getting pictures of a big buck on my trail camera, but only at night. Lately it’s been every night, but I never see him during the day. What can I do? — Adam P. ANSWER: I The short answer is be patient — and careful. If you’re consi... 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

Down But Not Out

Down But Not Out

By Bob Humphrey

Deer are tough – there’s just no other way to put it. QUESTION: This winter, I shot a buck and knocked it right down, but then it got up and ran away. We tracked it for a long way and found two large puddles of blood but did not find the deer. Then we brought in tracking dogs and jumped the deer, but it ran away and we did not recover i... 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

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

By Bob Humphrey

Cold and extreme cold temperatures affect how well deer detect scents and odors. Watch deer lick their noses to increase humidity and their scents-ability. QUESTION: While I tend to believe that sound travels better in the cold and allows a deer to hear an intruder/hunter sooner, does extreme cold — less than 32 degrees — affect how we... READ MORE

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

Beer Hops as Deer Feed?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re going to shoot that deer, at least buy him a drink first. QUESTION: My wife works for a micro-brewery. Can I feed the deer the cooked hops from the beer? ANSWER: That’s a darned good question. I didn’t know the answer (had never even considered it) so I went to the most reliable source I could find. Finding no reference ... READ MORE

Don’t Spoil the Meat!

Don’t Spoil the Meat!

By Bob Humphrey

Here's another buck myth that needs to go away. QUESTION: I harvested my first deer this fall, a buck. When my neighbor came over to see it, he told me I needed to cut the tarsal glands off or it would spoil the meat. I never heard that and am wondering if that's true. ANSWER: No, it's not. I guess you might call that a rural legend. Myths like onc... 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

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

You can sometimes tell a lot about a shot by the way a deer reacts. QUESTION: Recently I shot a deer, I thought, in the chest. Immediately after the shot, the deer bucked and kicked out both rear legs and ran off, seemingly hit hard and with its tail down. I took another shot while it was running off. I waited about 15 minutes and went to the site ... READ MORE

Got a Light?

Got a Light?

By Bob Humphrey

Does smoking in a deer stand really affect your success? QUESTION: I have shot many deer over the years, and generally every time I had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. However I have only shot does. My question is, does smoking really affect seeing deer? — Quentin B. ANSWER: That’s a good question. An acquaintance of mine, who is a... 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

Too Much Wild Turkey

Too Much Wild Turkey

By Bob Humphrey

Have no fear, turkeys and deer get along just fine. QUESTION: This summer I’ve been noticing more turkeys on my property than I’ve seen in the past, and they’re spending a lot of time in my food plots. My neighbor says I should drive them off or they will keep the deer away in the fall. Is this true, and what is the best way to ke... READ MORE

How Many Does?

How Many Does?

By Bob Humphrey

Habitat is the biggest determiner of how many deer your land can hold. QUESTION: How many does per acre should a west-central Alabama lease hold, and how do you count/identify the number of does per acre on your property? ANSWER: We often get questions that apply to a specific region, state or locality, and the answer sometimes has much broader app... READ MORE

The Gray Nose Deer

The Gray Nose Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Question:  My son recently harvested a 9-pointer in northeastern Maryland. The buck had a light grey colored nose. We’re curious, has this ever been seen before? — David M. Answer:  White-tailed deer are remarkable creatures, and the more I study them, the more I realize just how diverse they can be. Most folks are familiar w... 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

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

True Blood

True Blood

By Bob Humphrey

Exactly how much blood can a deer lose before it succumbs to its wounds? QUESTION: How much blood must a deer lose after being shot with a broadhead before it dies? — Joe R. ANSWER: I found several unscientific sources that claimed deer will die after losing between 2 ½ to 2 ¾ pints of blood. The Texas Bowhunter Ed course notes:... READ MORE

Picky Deer?

Picky Deer?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re planting food plots and the deer aren’t using them, try to be different. QUESTION: I own some marsh land in lower Wisconsin. In the spring, there is standing water but it dissipates as time goes by to being moist. What crops would do best in this marshy soil? I've planted turnips two years in a row but have seen no deer eatin... READ MORE

Not a Licking Branch!

Not a Licking Branch!

By Bob Humphrey

Not all rut interaction by bucks is violent, and it’s likely more significant than you think. QUESTION: Last fall during the rut, I saw two bucks approach each other in a greenfield. Rather than fighting, they licked each other’s ears and face. Why would they do this? — Kevin M. ANSWER: The behavior you observed is not all that un... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd