Ask The Biologist

All in the Family

All in the Family

By Bob Humphrey

Don’t be surprised to see several generations of does together. QUESTION: Last fall while hunting over my food plot, I saw what I believe were the same does almost every night. There was obviously a big doe with three fawns, but there was also another doe that was smaller than the big one but bigger than the fawns. Could these deer be related... READ MORE

A Little Help from my Friends

A Little Help from my Friends

By Bob Humphrey

Your buddies might be right about food plots, but they might not be. QUESTION: I have a small 20-acre tract on the Edwards Plateau around Harper, Texas. I would like to create a food plot but don’t know what to use, where to buy it, and if everything I’ve heard about food plots is accurate. I know where feed stores are, but I would appr... 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

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

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

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

Is a Bean Just a Bean?

By Bob Humphrey

You can buy generic food plot seed, but do you really want to grow something not developed just for deer? QUESTION: Is any pea or soybean variety okay for a food plot, or are there specific types deer eat or avoid? ANSWER: Peas, soybeans, clover and alfalfa are all classified as legumes, and there are many varieties of each. Some, like soybeans ... READ MORE

A Twofer for Triplets

A Twofer for Triplets

By Bob Humphrey

Combine exceptional nutrition with good genes and you’ve got the ideal mix to see a doe produce fawn triplets more than once. Question:  I saw a doe with three fawns last year around the farm, and now again this summer I’ve noticed a doe with three fawns. I would guess it is the same doe, and she’s had triplets two years in ... READ MORE

Less Is More

Less Is More

By Bob Humphrey

Most of us hunt from our favorite stand way too often. QUESTION: How often can I hunt out of my favorite stand before deer feel pressured? – Bill W. ANSWER: Much depends on circumstances and how you hunt it. A lot of folks, mostly gun hunters, hunt out of permanent shooting houses over greenfields and do quite well. I have a permanent ladder ... READ MORE

Mowing A Clover Plot

Mowing A Clover Plot

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: Last year I planted a plot of Imperial Whitetail Clover. It came in really good, but someone told me I should mow it. I’m wondering when the best time to mow is? — K. Nelson, Brewton, Ala. ANSWER: There are two principle reasons for mowing a clover plot. One is for weed control. The other is to promote growth. If weeds are... 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

Night Shift

Night Shift

By Bob Humphrey

Could year-round food plots encourage night movement? QUESTION: We are hunting 200 acres and have 12 acres of food plots. The first two years we had mostly daylight movement the whole season. But we did not have any year-round food at that time, just fall plots. We are on year six now. For the past two years we also have year-round food plots and h... 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

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

Kickin’ It with the Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

You can sometimes tell a lot about a shot by the way a deer reacts. QUESTION: Recently I shot a deer, I thought, in the chest. Immediately after the shot, the deer bucked and kicked out both rear legs and ran off, seemingly hit hard and with its tail down. I took another shot while it was running off. I waited about 15 minutes and went to the site ... READ MORE

Can I Avoid Ticks and Chiggers?

Can I Avoid Ticks and Chiggers?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: What do you do to limit attacks from pesky ticks and chiggers? — Charles H. Answer:  You can use common DEET-based insect repellents that are sold under a variety of trade names like REPEL 100, Deep Woods OFF and Ben’s 100. However, their effectiveness is temporary. They do have odor, and although they are approved by th... READ MORE

Hole in the Head Buck

Hole in the Head Buck

By Bob Humphrey

Antler shedding and skull injuries are serious business for whitetail bucks. QUESTION: I was out shed hunting recently and found an antler that at first I thought was a shed but when I looked closer it had part of the skull still attached. My question is, is this a shed or was it broken off in a fight? Also, will this deer survive? — Will M.... 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

It’s a Guy Thing

It’s a Guy Thing

By Bob Humphrey

Buck decoys seem to draw more attention in more situations. QUESTION: When hunting during pre-rut or the rut, is a doe or a buck decoy more enticing? – Jim ANSWER: If I had to pick one or the other, I would opt for a buck in both situations. During the pre-rut, before does start coming into estrus, bucks are still working out and maintaining... READ MORE

Early Bird

Early Bird

By Bob Humphrey

How soon do mock scrapes become effective in drawing bucks? QUESTION: I was thinking about setting up a mock scrape this year, but someone told me I should wait until the rut before setting it up or I’d just be wasting time and money. What are your thoughts? — Chris C. ANSWER: While I have no scientific evidence to support it, I see no ... READ MORE

Too Much Wild Turkey

Too Much Wild Turkey

By Bob Humphrey

Have no fear, turkeys and deer get along just fine. QUESTION: This summer I’ve been noticing more turkeys on my property than I’ve seen in the past, and they’re spending a lot of time in my food plots. My neighbor says I should drive them off or they will keep the deer away in the fall. Is this true, and what is the best way to ke... READ MORE

Where’s the Meat?

Where’s the Meat?

By Bob Humphrey

A 100-pound deer doesn’t yield as much meat as you might think. QUESTION: Last fall, I shot my first deer and brought it to a local meat processor to have it prepared. When I picked it up, there was hardly enough meat to fill a grocery sack. I expected a lot more considering the deer weighed about 100 pounds. I’m wondering if I was take... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd