Ask The Biologist

Thoughts for Food

Thoughts for Food

By Bob Humphrey

Select a protein feeder type based on your goals; each has advantages. QUESTION: I would like to know how you feel about feeding deer protein at a free-choice feeder verses a time-release system. — Joe S. ANSWER: You haven’t provided quite enough information to give you too much detail on which might be a better option in your situation... READ MORE

It’s All Good

It’s All Good

By Bob Humphrey

What’s beneficial to bucks is beneficial to does, too. QUESTION: I hunt the western portion of northeast Kansas. I have noticed that we have some large bucks, but most of our does are small. Should I imply there is an overpopulation of does in my spot? I am unsure of the cause. I do not hang trail cameras because there are only four people wh... 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

You Can’t Do That Here

You Can’t Do That Here

By Bob Humphrey

Why does calling work so well on TV, but not in my neck of the woods? QUESTION: What (and when) are the best calls for New England deer? I watch TV, and they are always hunting somewhere that deer are plentiful. They use rattles, bleats and grunts, and it seems like deer just come running in from all over the place. What are the best techniques for... 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

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

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

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

By Bob Humphrey

You’ve heard of bucks that stay in velvet, but what about a buck that’s just off schedule? QUESTION: There is a buck on our hunting lease that has been visiting our feeders for three years. He stays in velvet at least a month to a month and a half later than all the other bucks on the lease. What would cause him to shed his velvet so la... 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

How Old?

How Old?

By Bob Humphrey

How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? Question:  In late July a mature doe was killed on the highway near my property. Since then I have observed a doe fawn alone around my house. I saw it in mid-September, and it runs from our movement and the dog and seems skittish. How old must a fawn be to survive without its mother? &mdas... READ MORE

Vanishing Act

Vanishing Act

By Bob Humphrey

What does it mean when traditional activity sites go dormant? QUESTION: I have been hunting this small woodlot surrounded by agriculture. There are many farms with similar small wooded areas attached where deer travel. My question is: I have hunted this small bush where there has been a scrape line for the past 12 years. I have always had multiple ... READ MORE

Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks and does are just different, including in how they use food plots. QUESTION: This year I have had several different bucks of different ages coming through my food plot, but it seems like all they are doing is passing through. I have just a small number of does that visit the plot on a regular basis. Could the bucks be passing through, checkin... READ MORE

Punch to the Gut

Punch to the Gut

By Bob Humphrey

Do paunch-hit deer always go to water? QUESTION: I shot a deer last fall with my bow, and it jumped just as I shot. When I found my arrow, it was covered with green slime and some blood. We tried to track it but were unable to find it until several days later. We found what was left of it near a small pond. Coyotes got the rest. My friend told me t... READ MORE

The Answer My Friend...

The Answer My Friend...

By Bob Humphrey

Geography plays a role in how whitetails react to wind. QUESTION: I recently read somewhere that according to research, high winds don’t affect deer movement. How can this be true? — David W. ANSWER: I can’t answer directly without knowing the source, but I suspect the author might be over generalizing. I’ve read several stu... READ MORE

Variety Is the Spice of Deer Life

Variety Is the Spice of Deer Life

By Bob Humphrey

If you have the room and the means, don’t settle on one food plot seed. QUESTION: I live in St. Lawrence County, New York. I tried planting brassicas, which did well for a few years. Then, I had several years of heavy weeds. I till every year, wait two weeks and spray with a weed killer, wait 10 days and plant. I think I might be tilling in w... READ MORE

Jousting with One Antler

Jousting with One Antler

By Bob Humphrey

No need to cull Spike on One Side (SOS or SOOS) deer. Researchers assign pedicle or early skull trauma as root causes of the phenomenon, not genetics. Question:  Two years ago we noticed some type of defect within our deer population when a guest shot a buck that had antler growth on only one side.  The other side had nothing, not even a... 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

Lay Off the Juice!

Lay Off the Juice!

By Bob Humphrey

What could be the cause of this buck’s abnormal thickness? QUESTION: Any idea what’s wrong with this buck? — Layton S. ANSWER: I once observed a Saskatchewan buck with a similar, although less severe, condition. He looked like a 50-gallon barrel on a sawbuck. The best I can do is speculate, based on what we know about whitetails. ... READ MORE

You Heard What?

You Heard What?

By Bob Humphrey

Even if bleach worked for creating salt licks, there are much better things to use. QUESTION: I've heard a couple of people talking about pouring bleach on stumps and creating a salt lick that deer love. Is there any validity to this? I would think the bleach would be harmful to the deer and other wildlife. — Ronny H. ANSWER: I must admit tha... 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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd