Ask The Biologist

Solunar Tables

Solunar Tables

By Bob Humphrey

What does our Buckmasters biologist think of sun/moon charts for predicting deer activity? That’s the topic of this week’s Ask the Biologist question. What do you think? Do you pay attention to game activity charts? QUESTION: Do solunar tables really work? — Jim M. ANSWER: Marcus Lashley, a graduate student at North Carolina Sta... READ MORE

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

By Bob Humphrey

Like all whitetail behavior, scrape activity is unpredictable. QUESTION: Last season I found several fresh scrapes and spent several days hunting over them, but I never saw any deer. A friend said I was wasting my time because bucks only scrape at night. Is that true? — Mike H. ANSWER: When it comes to whitetail behavior, two words you should... READ MORE

Dog-Gone

Dog-Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Does the presence of dogs push deer off a hunting property? QUESTION: If there are dogs running wild on our hunting lease in North Georgia and they are running the deer year ‘round, will this lower the deer density on our 1,605 acres? Also, do these wild dogs find and eat the fawns like coyotes? I would say yes, but I am not a biologist. We h... READ MORE

Forget the Neighbors

Forget the Neighbors

By Bob Humphrey

You can’t shoot a mature buck if there aren’t any left. QUESTION: The property I hunt is just 200 acres, and the neighbors shoot anything with antlers. Is it worth my time to pass up younger bucks? – Chris B. ANSWER: I suffer from the same affliction on my home turf, and it can be quite frustrating, especially knowing the potentia... READ MORE

Gut Shots Happen

Gut Shots Happen

By Bob Humphrey

The key to recovering paunch-shot deer is to back out quietly and wait. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle an argument. A friend told me that he would not hesitate to gut-shoot a deer if it was the only shot he had because he knows he’ll recover it. I say it’s a poor shot choice due to the high probability of not recovering the ... READ MORE

Kill 'Em All

Kill 'Em All

By Bob Humphrey

Left unchecked, weeds can choke out your food plot and waste a lot of effort and time. You can get rid of them, but it takes more of that effort/time combination QUESTION: I like to plant food plots using clover, rape and chicory. Everyone talks about killing the weeds, but no one gives the name of a good product that won’t kill my food plot.... READ MORE

To Drive or Not to Drive

To Drive or Not to Drive

By Bob Humphrey

It’s difficult to get to a stand unnoticed, no matter what method you choose. QUESTION: I am disabled and can’t walk to my deer blind. Will it affect my deer hunt if I drive my SxS to my blind? – Randy B. ANSWER: The short answer is: Probably. Any time you enter their domain, whether by ATV, truck or even on foot, it affects deer... READ MORE

Here’s the Rub

Here’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Find rub, set up stand, shoot deer, right? QUESTION: I found some fresh rubs, so I set up a stand nearby. I am very careful about scent control and I hunt the wind, but I have not seen any deer there in a week. What am I doing wrong? — John S. ANSWER: There are at least a dozen possible reasons for why your stand isn’t working out, many of wh... 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

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

Book Smart

Book Smart

By Bob Humphrey

This hunter’s problem is a lot more common than most would admit. QUESTION: As a young hunter, I often get frustrated hunting bucks at our property in Alabama. I feel like they are almost impossible to pattern in the mix of pine thickets/deep hardwood draws/creek bottom habitat. Are there any books out there that would be worth reading? I&rsq... 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

They Start Young

They Start Young

By Bob Humphrey

How soon a doe breeds depends largely on habitat. QUESTION: Do yearling does go into heat and breed their first year? — Gary K. ANSWER: I suspect by the way you’ve worded your question, you are misusing the term yearling. A deer becomes a yearling after passing its first birthday. By the time breeding season rolls around, a yearling doe... READ MORE

Melanistic Deer

Melanistic Deer

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I shot a melanistic 9-point buck on Nov.15, 2000. He dressed out at 174 pounds. Does anybody track or keep records of such rare animals? — Daniel S. ANSWER: We get a lot of questions and comments about odd deer, particularly color variations. Even in “normal” deer, pelage (fur color) can be highly variable, ranging fr... READ MORE

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

Point Restrictions: Good or Bad?

By Bob Humphrey

Love them or hate them, antler restrictions are a common component of many management plans. QUESTION: I live in Pennsylvania, and we have antler restrictions that I do not agree with. I don't feel we have more bigger bucks than we did before, and I know if you let a deer go, you’re letting him grow. But we are getting overrun with small buck... READ MORE

What Should I Plant?

What Should I Plant?

By Bob Humphrey

This is by far the most common food plot question. Unfortunately, there is no one correct answer. QUESTION: I live in eastern Massachusetts. I was curious what the best food sources would be to set up a food plot. I know the deer are around the local cornfields but is there anything else I could use on my plot for a bit more diversity to help attr... READ MORE

Sandbox Food Plot

Sandbox Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Although it takes some time, you can improve the soil of a sandy food plot. QUESTION: I’m currently part of a lease with a good group of guys, and we’re trying to do things right. We want to shoot mature deer, and we’re planting food plots for nutrition and to keep them in the area. We have one big problem, though: the soil on our... READ MORE

Hog Wild

Hog Wild

By Bob Humphrey

Sandy soil presents enough problems without having to contend with hogs, too. QUESTION: I have 500 acres that has a lot of sandy soil. I've planted stuff every year, and nothing seems to grow. The other thing is, I have hogs at the feed all the time. I have seen some really good bucks, but they won’t come to the feeder, so I'm trying to plan... 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

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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd