Ask The Biologist

Planned Deerhood

Planned Deerhood

By Bob Humphrey

How effective are deer sterilization programs compared to hunting? QUESTION: Parts of a town near me are being overrun with deer, and some folks want to allow bowhunting. Opponents say that’s cruel and that we should just sterilize the does. What can I tell folks to convince them sterilizing is a bad idea? — Curtis F. ANSWER: First you ... READ MORE

Turkey Invaders

Turkey Invaders

By Bob Humphrey

Contrary to the myth, deer and turkeys do quite well together. QUESTION: I live in Maine, and the state started transplanting turkeys into my area about 10 years ago. Now we have lots of turkeys and fewer deer. The turkeys seem to be outcompeting deer for things like acorns and possibly causing more disturbance to them. What do you think? — K... READ MORE

Hold the Onions

Hold the Onions

By Bob Humphrey

Watch what you eat to help reduce your odor footprint. QUESTION: Are there certain foods I should avoid while deer hunting? I’ve heard onions and other foods can actually release scent through your pores. What do you think? ANSWER: Certain things like coffee and asparagus are know to produce foul-smelling urine. Eating some foods, like onions... READ MORE

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

By Bob Humphrey

It helps to know when to start looking for the telltale signs of buck activity. QUESTION: When do bucks begin to rub trees and leave scrapes? – Will P. ANSWER: A better question might be: When do they stop? As most hunters know, deer behavior in general is ruled by photoperiodism, changes in the amount of daylight. As the days grow shorter, p... READ MORE

Size Matters

Size Matters

By Bob Humphrey

Biologists aren’t exactly sure what antlers are for, but bigger seems to be better. QUESTION: It seems like it takes a lot of energy to grow a new set of antlers each year. Does a buck really gain anything from having bigger antlers? — Brian S. ANSWER: A clue to the answer actually lies within your question. It does indeed take a lot of... READ MORE

Missing Bucks

Missing Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

With so many factors out of your control, QDM doesn’t always work. QUESTION: For several years now on the property I hunt, we have been practicing QDM by passing up yearling bucks. My goal is to shoot a mature buck, but I have yet to even see one. We run several trail cameras and I have not even gotten any pictures of a mature buck. My neighb... READ MORE

Better Late than Never

Better Late than Never

By Bob Humphrey

While we sometimes see late-born fawns, it’s not the norm. QUESTION: I live in southeastern Connecticut, and this past season through the month of October I watched a doe and her fawn. The fawn was very small and still had its spots. The last week of October the doe was killed by a car in front of my property. I saw the fawn wandering around ... READ MORE

Where Are the Deer?

Where Are the Deer?

By Bob Humphrey

If they aren’t visiting your food plots as much, look in the oak stands. QUESTION: I’ve noticed that deer are not coming into the fields this fall like last year. Is it because there is a lot of feed this year in the woods? ANSWER: There could be several reasons, but that is the most likely. When there is a lot of natural food available... 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

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

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Last year, my son shot a 6-point buck with his shotgun. He claims he waited at least 30 minutes and didn’t push the deer. We finally found some blood about 30 yards from the spot of the shot and tracked the deer with a very slight blood trail for well over 3/4 of a mile before we finally lost it. At the end of the trail, the blood ... 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

The Infamous Perfect Shot

The Infamous Perfect Shot

By Bob Humphrey

Is there a spot in a deer’s chest where an arrow wouldn’t strike vital organs? QUESTION: While bowhunting recently, I shot a buck and made what I thought was a perfect broadside shot. We found blood and tracked for some time, but after several hours the blood ran out and we were not able to find the buck. I have heard there is a spot in... 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

Dog Gone

Dog Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Even with predator control, you might not see more fawns. QUESTION: I am in a deer management cooperative with several other landowners. Part of the reason for forming it was that we were seeing a lot of predators, mostly coyotes, and there seemed to be a lot of does with only one fawn, or no fawns at all. Three years ago, we started an aggressive ... READ MORE

Why Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?

Why Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: When do bucks shed their antlers, and why? — Riley O. Answer:  Antlers are fascinating works of nature’s art, and one of their most interesting characteristics is that, like leaves on a hardwood tree, they are deciduous. Each year a new set is grown then cast off. Photoperiodism plays an important role in this process. ... READ MORE

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

By Bob Humphrey

They do things a little differently in the South, and that includes gutting deer. QUESTION: I am from the Northeast and went down South last year to hunt for the first time. The guys I hunted with told me if I shoot a deer I should drag it out whole and not gut it in the woods. I thought they were pulling my leg at first, but they were serious. The... READ MORE

How High’s the Water?

How High’s the Water?

By Bob Humphrey

There are food plot crops that do well in moist soils, but it depends. QUESTION: We live in south-central Pennsylvania and have a very wet 20 acres that only has some wild grass and weeds in it. What could we plant to attract deer in our November to January hunting season? – Mike S. ANSWER: Much depends on what you mean by “very wet.&rd... READ MORE

To Pee or Not to Pee?

To Pee or Not to Pee?

By Bob Humphrey

There is no concrete answer to this question, but it’s likely okay. QUESTION: I know you’ve probably had this question before but can deer tell the difference between human and deer urine? –Marc S. ANSWER: We really don’t know exactly what deer perceive through their sense of smell or how they interpret scent, but we know th... READ MORE

Beach Buck Confusion

Beach Buck Confusion

By Bob Humphrey

Is Florida home to three different species of whitetails? QUESTION: I live in Florida and am hoping to be a better deer hunter. Florida has three subspecies of white-tailed deer. I’m familiar with the Key deer, but what is the difference between the Florida coastal whitetail (O. v. osceola) and the Florida whitetail (O. v. seminolus). &mdash... READ MORE

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd