Ask The Biologist

Be Early ... or Late

Be Early ... or Late

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to set up depends on the type of stand you’re using. QUESTION: Our bow season is two weeks away, and I haven’t had time to set my stands yet. Do you think it’s too late? When is the best time to set stands? ANSWER: There are pros and cons to setting stands early and late. Whenever possible, I prefer to set my stands ... READ MORE

No Fleas on Me

No Fleas on Me

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in Alabama and have noticed ticks on just about every deer harvested, but I never see fleas. Weird? — Kenny L. ANSWER: I must admit I didn’t know the answer to this one, and it wasn’t easy to find. Several studies list common ectoparasites of deer as ticks, chigger mites, keds and both sucking and chewing lice - b... READ MORE

Just Ask Alice

Just Ask Alice

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered about the white mushrooms you see in the woods? QUESTION: I’ve seen deer eating white mushrooms in the pine forest. Are those mushrooms good for human consumption? — Duane F. ANSWER: I’m going to offer a vague answer. The reason is that some mushrooms are edible, while others are not. More important, some ar... 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

Standing Her Ground

Standing Her Ground

By Bob Humphrey

Brave doe was most likely protecting her fawns. QUESTION: Earlier this summer I was out hiking and looking for arrow heads when I came upon a doe standing in the corner of an overgrown field. She let me get quite close and kept stomping her feet and blowing at me rather than running away. Any idea why she would do this? It seemed strange. ANSWER: I... READ MORE

Where Are The Big Bucks?

Where Are The Big Bucks?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We never see big bucks in the area we hunt, even on our cameras. Even deer we shoot with bigger bodies seem to have small basket racks. What can we do to change this situation? — Ellis C. ANSWER: As you’re probably aware, the three main factors that influence antler growth are age, nutrition and genetics. Let’s look at ... 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

Something Missing

Something Missing

By Bob Humphrey

While antler oddities can be caused by missing or malformed reproductive organs, such a condition doesn’t always affect a buck’s rack. QUESTION: While deer hunting last year in Indiana, I shot a big 8-pointer. When I lifted the back legs to begin the field-dressing process, imagine my surprise when I didn’t see any testicles! Loo... 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

Gender Fender Bender

Gender Fender Bender

By Bob Humphrey

Without an examination, it’s hard to determine why a doe would have antlers. QUESTION: Many years ago, a friend hit a deer with his vehicle. It was a 10-point buck, but it didn’t have male genitals. That means it was a doe. Why did this doe have antlers? — Tracy F. ANSWER: Mammals are typically born either male or female, as deter... READ MORE

Hello Ladies!

Hello Ladies!

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: We have an abundant supply of whitetails on our Kansas acreage and enjoy their company immensely. As expected, there appear to be far more does than bucks. Allowing for the fact that hunting regulations favor the harvesting of bucks, I can find no data on the likelihood of a doe giving birth to a male vs. female fawns. Is what I am witnes... 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

Bros Before Does

Bros Before Does

By Bob Humphrey

There might be survival advantages to bucks forming bachelor groups. QUESTION: I’ve been observing and getting trail camera shots of several bucks together on my food plots this summer. I know that it is common for bucks to form bachelor herds, but I’ve always wondered why they do this. — Dan S. ANSWER: Much is known and much has ... READ MORE

Another Rasputin Myth

Another Rasputin Myth

By Bob Humphrey

It’s time to get rid of all those crazy stories about turkeys driving out deer. QUESTION: Turkeys are fairly new where I live, but I’ve noticed more every year. A friend says they’ll drive the deer away and eat their food. Is there any truth to this? ANSWER: I wish we could do away with this misconception once and for all, but lik... READ MORE

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

The Long and Short of Corn for Whitetails

By Bob Humphrey

Question: The deer food where I live is mostly acorns and leaves. Is it all right to just feed deer corn, or do they need something else? — Pery R. Answer:  The short answer to both questions is, “Yes.” Now for the long answer. You didn’t say where you live, but I suspect there is a lot more around for deer to eat. Th... READ MORE

Fool Me Once ...

Fool Me Once ...

By Bob Humphrey

We know deer respond to hunting pressure, but what about wounds? QUESTION: What are the chances of a deer with a non-fatal gunshot wound returning to the same location it was shot during the same hunting season? – Clarence S. ANSWER: There are many variables in play, including the type and severity of the wound, the circumstances involved an... READ MORE

Which Seed?

Which Seed?

By Bob Humphrey

What to plant in your food plot depends on your goals and circumstances. QUESTION: I live in northwest Indiana and have room for a 1-acre food plot. What should I plant? – Jim E. ANSWER: A lot depends on your objective. Given that you have room for only one plot, you can probably rule out year-round nutrition or warm-season feeding plots. Tha... READ MORE

Deer Browse

Deer Browse

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: My friend and I are hoping you can settle a bet. Two years ago one of the areas we hunt was cut for firewood, and the stumps grew a bunch of suckers. This spring we noticed something has been chewing them. I say it’s deer, my friend says rabbits. Is there any way we can tell.  — Herman D. ANSWER: The suckers you’... READ MORE

Gesundheit!

Gesundheit!

By Bob Humphrey

Yes, whitetails sneeze just like us, and often for the same reasons. QUESTION: I have heard deer make many different sounds, but this fall I had a deer come by me and it kept making this sound like it was sneezing. What does this mean? ANSWER: I could dazzle you with all kinds of possible explanations as to the deer’s exhalations, but what yo... READ MORE

Good Intentions

Good Intentions

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer in winter seems like a good idea, but it has serious consequences. QUESTION: I recently purchased a home in the Gettysburg/Littlestown, Pa. area on 2.74 wooded acres. There are many deer in this area and I have been feeding them shelled corn. I have not been hunting them. I wish to maintain their health and growth through the winter mo... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd