Ask The Biologist

Go the Distance

Go the Distance

By Bob Humphrey

To beat the pressure on public land, get off the beaten path. QUESTION: I hunt in Oconto County in Wisconsin. It’s made up of a lot of tall hardwoods and pines but does have some diversity. I’ve put 10 miles on foot scouting and cannot locate any deer. The land is heavily pressured. I tried getting off the paths and going way back into ... READ MORE

Cull or Management Buck?

Cull or Management Buck?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I hear people use the terms “cull buck” and “management buck” but I don’t understand the difference. Can you shed some light on this? — B. Warren ANSWER: I’ll do the best I can, but there are no hard and fast definitions for either term. Much depends on specific management objectives of the landow... READ MORE

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to be in the woods is whenever you can get out there. QUESTION: As a Life Member of Buckmasters, I constantly read articles about lunar effect on deer movement and behavior. I have seen articles that emphasize the Lunar Wheel to hit the nail on the head in predicting the best times, the worst times, and the don’t-get-out-of-bed ... READ MORE

Mow ‘Em Down?

Mow ‘Em Down?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I grow a food plot every year. This year I planted rye, turnips and clover. This is my first experience with turnips, and I need to know if I should mow it. It’s really getting tall, and I need to know if I need to do anything to keep it under control. — Ryan ANSWER: That’s an interesting combination since each plant has... 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

Call me Pat

Call me Pat

By Bob Humphrey

What could cause a buck to start growing antlers in mid-October? QUESTION: I live in Illinois and was out checking trail cameras this weekend (late December). It appears that I have a deer around 6 or 7 that just started growing his antlers in mid-October and has been gradually getting bigger over the past two months. I’ve never heard or seen... READ MORE

Long Live the King

Long Live the King

By Bob Humphrey

Why do some bucks keep their racks so far into winter? QUESTION: I run trail cameras on my feeders, and in the last week of February I’m still getting pictures of a mature buck with antlers. My question is, when do bucks shed their antlers? — Bruce W. ANSWER: Antlers serve several purposes. Bucks use them as offensive and defensive weap... 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

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

Saltaholic

Saltaholic

By Bob Humphrey

Just like us, deer love salt, but it’s not really beneficial. QUESTION: CWD just expanded into where I live in south-central Pennsylvania. Is it okay to continue offering salt? I don’t want CWD to spread, but feel the deer still need it. I was wondering if offering salt might bring deer together and increase the chances of spreading the... READ MORE

Pelletized or Powdered?

Pelletized or Powdered?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What’s the big difference between fast acting lime and regular aglime or ground lime. — Duane F. Answer:  Lime comes in two forms, pelletized and powder. Pelletized lime is easier to handle because it typically comes in bags. It’s also easier to apply because it can be spread by most gravity fed spreaders. It takes ... 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

Forever Six

Forever Six

By Bob Humphrey

A spike might not remain a spike, but what about mature bucks? QUESTION: I have been hunting whitetails in Oklahoma for 35 years. For years, I have been running trail cameras and feeders on several acreages that we hunt. All of our bucks are recognizable from year to year, and most all of them tend to be 8-pointers with a few 10-pointers. Every onc... 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

The Early Bird

The Early Bird

By Bob Humphrey

Be on the lookout for deer sign while you're in the turkey woods this spring. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, are there things I can watch for that will help me in deer season, or will the sign be meaningless by the fall? – Tom J. ANSWER: Any time you're in the woods, there's a chance you can find helpful deer sign, no matter wha... READ MORE

Just Scraping the Surface

Just Scraping the Surface

By Bob Humphrey

Like most rut activities, scrape-making is fairly predictable. QUESTION: Do bucks start making scrapes as soon as their antlers are hard? ANSWER: Most scraping activity occurs in the fall and signals a sort of unofficial beginning to the rut as bucks paw the ground and deposit urine and other scents to signal they are ready, willing and able to bre... 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

Hole in the Horn

Hole in the Horn

By Bob Humphrey

Pockets of air in deer antlers are another strange buck mystery. QUESTION: I know a guy who shot a buck last fall that had a tubular hole in its antler. I’ve also seen pictures of this before. Can you tell me what causes this? ANSWER: Tubular holes or pores in antlers are not all that uncommon, but they often generate a great deal of speculat... 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

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

By Bob Humphrey

Like an old dog, it’s just about impossible to get a big old buck to change his ways. QUESTION: How can I change the pattern of big bucks traveling at night? — Gary from N.J. ANSWER: My knee-jerk reaction would be to put something in their way so they have to go around it, but I suspect that’s not the answer you’re looking f... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd