Ask The Biologist

Clover Alternatives

Clover Alternatives

By Bob Humphrey

What can I plant in Sharkey clay that will help stop erosion and is easy to maintain? QUESTION: I have recently placed a pond on my property to help out wildlife during drought conditions in northeast to east-central Louisiana. The soils are Sharkey clay and I am looking for advice on a grass cover planting. I have had success with clover in these ... READ MORE

Hatch a Plot

Hatch a Plot

By Bob Humphrey

Food plots don’t have to be big, but it’s important to plant even small ones properly. QUESTION: I live in southeast Illinois and want to create a small food plot, about 50x50 feet. It will be in the shade and in a flat creek bottom. The soil is yellow clay with fescue grass growing on it. Can you tell me what type of seeds I should pla... READ MORE

Backyard Biologist

Backyard Biologist

By Bob Humphrey

Could trail cameras be used to track fawn birth and calculate the conception dates? QUESTION: Do you think I could use my trail cameras to tell when the rut occurred in my area? If I see pregnant does at my camera one week, and the next week they’re skinny again, could I back-date to determine conception? — Ken P. ANSWER: Well, I suppos... 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

Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

By Bob Humphrey

Is it possible a buck could still be rutting in April, even in Alabama? QUESTION: I hunt in northeast Alabama, on the Tennessee state line. I’m not surprised to see bucks with one antler but was surprised to see this 8-pointer still had both its antlers in April. I was really surprised to see jet black hocks. I always thought that was a sign ... READ MORE

Yellow Turkey Legs

Yellow Turkey Legs

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: In the spring of 2014, I was in Minnesota and shot a wild turkey that had yellow legs. There was a very light pinkish hue to them. What would cause this? Was it a mutation, a released raised bird or a dietary problem? — Craig K. ANSWER: It’s difficult to say without more information, but any of the causes you listed are possi... 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

How Rare Is a Piebald?

How Rare Is a Piebald?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I saw a piebald buck last year, however I did not get a shot at him. This year I got him with my crossbow. My question is, how likely is it that I will ever see another piebald deer on my property? — Ronnie Plumlee Answer:  Piebald deer are certainly a curiosity, and we get a lot of questions about them. This aberrant colorati... 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

Blow Myth Blown

Blow Myth Blown

By Bob Humphrey

Can you tell the sex of a deer by whether it snorts at danger? QUESTION: One of my hunting buddies was telling how he had a buck blowing at him repeatedly. When I asked him how big it was, he said he didn’t know because he never saw it. Then I asked how he knew it was a buck, he said because it was blowing. I’ve heard several other peop... READ MORE

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

Brrr. Catch My Drift?

By Bob Humphrey

Cold and extreme cold temperatures affect how well deer detect scents and odors. Watch deer lick their noses to increase humidity and their scents-ability. QUESTION: While I tend to believe that sound travels better in the cold and allows a deer to hear an intruder/hunter sooner, does extreme cold — less than 32 degrees — affect how we... READ MORE

The Night Owl

The Night Owl

By Bob Humphrey

A mature buck is often nocturnal. Be patient and hope he makes a mistake. QUESTION: I’m getting pictures of a big buck on my trail camera, but only at night. Lately it’s been every night, but I never see him during the day. What can I do? — Adam P. ANSWER: I The short answer is be patient — and careful. If you’re consi... READ MORE

I’ll Have a Salad

I’ll Have a Salad

By Bob Humphrey

Cattle farmer asks if whitetails exhibit the same diet shift as his cows. QUESTION: Female livestock that are healthy and mature enough to breed go through a process of preparing their bodies for the breeding during a period called flushing, where cows will feed on high quality forage to meet this need. I have witnessed a significant change in the ... READ MORE

Fired Up

Fired Up

By Bob Humphrey

Will the fire that swept through my property help or hurt the hunting? QUESTION: We had a fire on the land we hunt in Georgia, near the Alabama border. How will this affect our deer’s lives and behavior? ANSWER: It’s really difficult to say without more specific information, but I can offer some generalities. Fire is not necessarily a b... READ MORE

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

By Bob Humphrey

It helps to know when to start looking for the telltale signs of buck activity. QUESTION: When do bucks begin to rub trees and leave scrapes? – Will P. ANSWER: A better question might be: When do they stop? As most hunters know, deer behavior in general is ruled by photoperiodism, changes in the amount of daylight. As the days grow shorter, p... READ MORE

Now You See Him...

Now You See Him...

By Bob Humphrey

Question: I have a question on the eyesight of deer and other wild animals concerning the lack of camouflage. You see outfitters wearing blue jeans while the hunter is completely covered in camo. Other times you see hunters with bright, shiny chrome rifle barrels and scopes. Deer must surely know by now that a shiny barrel or scope means danger. It... READ MORE

Typhoid Whitetails

Typhoid Whitetails

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails carry brain worms that can be fatal to moose. QUESTION: I live in southern Maine, and someone told me the reason we don’t have more moose where I live is because they get a brain worm from deer. If that’s true, why doesn’t it kill deer too?  — Todd H. ANSWER: What you’re referring to is a parasitic nema... READ MORE

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Every situation is different when it comes to tracking a deer. QUESTION: I read lots of stories about bowhunters who shoot a buck and then back out of the woods. Many times they find the deer very close to where it was shot. It seems to me that if you do not retrieve the animal and field-dress it quickly, the meat has spoiled. In my humble opinion,... READ MORE

Feed or Seed?

Feed or Seed?

By Bob Humphrey

It’s tough to decide between a feed program and food plots. QUESTION: I have 480 Acres leased in Butler County, Alabama close to Fort Deposit. I have 10 small food plots mostly in the half acre range. I also have two feeders situated in different locations near the center of my property. Would the deer herd in my area benefit more from summer... READ MORE

New Food Plots

New Food Plots

By Bob Humphrey

Buckmasters' biologist offers thoughts on getting started. QUESTION: Bob, I found an approximately half-acre clearing where I want to create a food plot. I live in Tennessee, so the summers are very dry and hot. When and what should I plant to get those big bucks coming to my plot? Also, what is the best food for deer to consume year round? &ndash... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd