Ask The Biologist

Looking for a Cure

Looking for a Cure

By Bob Humphrey

Even your friendly deer biologist is susceptible to buck fever. QUESTION: This question is more about human biology than deer biology. How can I control my buck fever, and in my case, deer fever? I’ve been hunting for over 30 years now and have harvested hundreds of deer (mostly does, with one buck per year in Indiana), but I still get deer f... READ MORE

Less Is More

Less Is More

By Bob Humphrey

Most of us hunt from our favorite stand way too often. QUESTION: How often can I hunt out of my favorite stand before deer feel pressured? – Bill W. ANSWER: Much depends on circumstances and how you hunt it. A lot of folks, mostly gun hunters, hunt out of permanent shooting houses over greenfields and do quite well. I have a permanent ladder ... READ MORE

A Plot for All Seasons

A Plot for All Seasons

By Bob Humphrey

Why a seed mix can be a great choice for a multi-season food plot. QUESTION: My property is in south-central Indiana. I have about a 1.5 acres cleared in the center of my property, and I would like to put in a food plot for deer and turkeys. What would you suggest I plant? ANSWER: If your goal was merely to build a fall hunting plot, I might sugges... READ MORE

Mowing A Clover Plot

Mowing A Clover Plot

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last year I planted a plot of Imperial Whitetail Clover. It came in really good, but someone told me I should mow it. I’m wondering when the best time to mow is? — K. Nelson, Brewton, Ala. ANSWER: There are two principle reasons for mowing a clover plot. One is for weed control. The other is to promote growth. If weeds are... READ MORE

Hair Club Bucks

Hair Club Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

We wonder if there’s a market for Rogaine for whitetails. QUESTION: Last fall, I noticed a couple bucks with bare spots on their back or rump. I have seen this before and was wondering what might cause it. — Ron C. ANSWER: There are several plausible explanations. Bare spots can be caused by repeatedly going under or through wire fences... 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

What A Difference A Day Makes

What A Difference A Day Makes

By Bob Humphrey

It’s true. In most cases, a doe’s peak release of hormones, indicating her willingness to breed, only lasts one day. QUESTION: Is it true a white-tailed deer is only in heat for a brief 24 hours? — Linda C. ANSWER: In most cases that’s fairly accurate. In order to conceive, a doe must be ready, willing and able.  Heat... READ MORE

Can I See Your ID?

Can I See Your ID?

By Bob Humphrey

The best way to determine the age of a deer depends on where it is. QUESTION: What is the best way to age a deer? — Richard E. ANSWER: Well, that depends on what you mean by “aging a deer.” If you mean determining how old it is, the answer depends on whether the deer is dead at your feet or alive in the field. The quickest and eas... READ MORE

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act

By Bob Humphrey

Can tracking a wounded deer run all the other deer off a property? QUESTION: A friend was bowhunting on my property in southern Maryland this year, and he arrowed an 8-pointer with his recurve. We tracked it through a few coveted bedding areas and pretty much covered a good portion of my 150 acres of hunting land. Two weeks later, I’m still n... READ MORE

How Long Have I Got?

How Long Have I Got?

By Bob Humphrey

All the talk about whitetail age classes begs the question: What’s a normal life span for a deer? QUESTION: How long can a whitetail live? ANSWER: I like it; short and to the point. So I’ll give you an appropriately concise answer. Free-ranging white-tailed deer are exposed to a variety of dangers including disease, predation and hun... READ MORE

What’s Up, Doc?

What’s Up, Doc?

By Bob Humphrey

Deer maladies are tough to diagnose without a hands-on examination. QUESTION: Can you tell me what’s wrong with this deer? — Alex W. ANSWER: That’s a good one. Without actually seeing the deer, the best I can do is offer a few possibilities. The most common reason for lumps or protrusions on deer are fibromas, essentially benign skin tumors. ... READ MORE

Canned Response

Canned Response

By Bob Humphrey

We bet you haven’t heard this about using can calls for whitetails. QUESTION: I’ve been trying to learn how to call deer, and some of my friends suggested I try a can call. Can you tell me what situations I should use it for? What type of call does it imitate? How often should I call? ANSWER: Biologists have discovered that deer use a variety of vo... READ MORE

Supplemental Winter Feeding

Supplemental Winter Feeding

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We had a really bad winter up our way, and a number of folks I know put out food to help the deer survive. A bunch of deer were found dead in my town, and the state says it was due to feeding. How is this possible? — Brian A., South Hampton, N.H. ANSWER: This is a topic we’ve covered before on the web and in Buckmasters Magaz... READ MORE

Split Personalities

Split Personalities

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter wants to know why deer in his area exhibit a sudden mood swing. QUESTION: I deer hunt in northern Minnesota in the Grand Rapids area. There are a few hay fields in the area, but other than that it’s brush country. During the spring and summer, deer like to feed on new growth in the wide ditches and to escape the constant mosquitoes and... READ MORE

Control What You Can

Control What You Can

By Bob Humphrey

There’s not much you can do about genetics in free-ranging deer. QUESTION: I’ve noticed many of the bucks taken in my area have short tines. Is this a sign of inbreeding? Is there anything we can do to improve antler size? –Thomas P. ANSWER: As most folks know, it takes three things to make big antlers: age, genetics and nutrition... READ MORE

Once in a Red Moon

Once in a Red Moon

By Bob Humphrey

There are many moon theories out there, but here’s another to add to the list. QUESTION: What is a red moon, and when does it happen? I hear this all the time: “Hunt the red moon.” My calendar doesn’t have a red moon on it, and it’s a deer hunting yearly calendar. — Mike Z. ANSWER: I’ve heard all sorts of t... 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

What's a Noob To Do?

What's a Noob To Do?

By Bob Humphrey

A majority of us were taught how to hunt when we were little, but what if you didn’t come from a hunting family? QUESTION: What books or resources about deer movement would you recommend for someone new to hunting. — Jack ANSWER: Why do I feel like you’re setting me up with this question? First, if you’re not already a membe... READ MORE

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

What Does the Future Look Like After HD Disease?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: We in Virginia are going through what some say is hemorrhagic disease. We had suffered a decrease in deer population and see sickly deer with split, fallen-off hoofs and so forth. I was wondering if you could shed any light as to what we can expect in our future. The VDGIF website has given us some information. Answer:  The VDGIF we... READ MORE

Hair Club for Deer

Hair Club for Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can lose hair for a number of reasons, but this is one odd case. QUESTION: Reckon y’all can tell me about this bald spot? The deer was taken Dec. 30 in northeast Georgia. — Patrick T. ANSWER: I have seen deer with similar marks, although not as large or as distinctly hairless. My first thought is that it is the result of a ... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd