Ask The Biologist

Not a Licking Branch!

Not a Licking Branch!

By Bob Humphrey

Not all rut interaction by bucks is violent, and it’s likely more significant than you think. QUESTION: Last fall during the rut, I saw two bucks approach each other in a greenfield. Rather than fighting, they licked each other’s ears and face. Why would they do this? — Kevin M. ANSWER: The behavior you observed is not all that un... READ MORE

Where’s the Venison?

Where’s the Venison?

By Bob Humphrey

Get to know the nutrition facts about venison so you can share with your friends. QUESTION: I know wild game is better for you than red meat from the store, but are there some numbers on how much better and why? I’d like to tell my non-hunting friends about it. – Larry A. ANSWER: Both beef and venison lack carbohydrates and are comple... READ MORE

A Plot for All Seasons

A Plot for All Seasons

By Bob Humphrey

Why a seed mix can be a great choice for a multi-season food plot. QUESTION: My property is in south-central Indiana. I have about a 1.5 acres cleared in the center of my property, and I would like to put in a food plot for deer and turkeys. What would you suggest I plant? ANSWER: If your goal was merely to build a fall hunting plot, I might sugges... 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

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow

By Bob Humphrey

Kansas newcomer wonders if the rut will impact gun season. QUESTION: I’m new to east Kansas and would like to know when the rut happens in Miami County. The gun season for whitetails starts the 6th of December this year. – Bill ANSWER: I recently completed a revision of the Buckmasters Rut Calendar, which gives rut dates for all states ... READ MORE

Scared To Death

Scared To Death

By Bob Humphrey

You’ll need a good detective to solve this mystery. QUESTION: My father once brought home a doe he had taken. It had no wounds anywhere, but there was one small drop of blood coming out of the doe’s ear. We assumed he must have perfectly shot it through one ear and out the other. After mentioning it to other hunters, they said that a de... READ MORE

Control What You Can

Control What You Can

By Bob Humphrey

There’s not much you can do about genetics in free-ranging deer. QUESTION: I’ve noticed many of the bucks taken in my area have short tines. Is this a sign of inbreeding? Is there anything we can do to improve antler size? –Thomas P. ANSWER: As most folks know, it takes three things to make big antlers: age, genetics and nutrition... READ MORE

Fawns Gone

Fawns Gone

By Bob Humphrey

Have you ever wondered what happens to yearling deer when the mother doe goes into estrus? QUESTION: I am of the understanding that does will run their fawns off as they come into estrus. If this is true, when do they let their fawns return after they have been bred? I have heard right away, and I have heard maybe not at all. From seeing so many do... READ MORE

Mucinex Won’t Help That

Mucinex Won’t Help That

By Bob Humphrey

If you think your last head cold was bad, check out what deer sometimes endure. QUESTION: I found these crawling inside the nasal cavity of a deer. I’m told they are normal and harmless. What are they and it true they’re nothing to worry about? — Robert M.ANSWER: In all likelihood what you have encountered what are commonly referr... 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

Not By the Book

Not By the Book

By Bob Humphrey

There is no fixed set of rules on how whitetail breeding takes place. QUESTION: During the Illinois shotgun season just before Thanksgiving, a hot doe brought three small bucks under my stand. The biggest was a wonky-racked 2-year-old (I guess) that bred her right there. Afterward, all four took off running again. I thought a buck would lock down ... READ MORE

Thin Is NOT In

Thin Is NOT In

By Bob Humphrey

Reclaimed mining property offers challenges for food plot growers. QUESTION: I have a 155-acre farm leased. It was previously mining property, and the soil is very poor with a very thin top layer. I am trying to get food plots started, but don’t have the equipment or the time and money to prepare the soil properly. I have read about throw-and... READ MORE

In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist sums up the keys to deer hunting in just two short paragraphs. QUESTION: I’m just getting into bowhunting, along with my 10-year-old daughter. What are the most important things to know about the patterns of deer? We live in Oregon, and we don’t get the luxury of whitetail patterns. — Hans F. ANSWER: I’ll start... READ MORE

Need a Trim?

Need a Trim?

By Bob Humphrey

Cutting timber sounds simple, but start with a good plan. QUESTION: I recently purchased a woodlot for hunting and recreation, and we’re going to be cutting some firewood this year. Can you offer some tips on when/how to cut that will help the deer? ANSWER: It’s difficult to be too specific without more information, but I can offer some... READ MORE

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

We talk about breeding as an absolute window, but it’s not that exact. QUESTION: I’ve been running trail cameras year-round for a while now and never saw a picture of a fawn born in April until this year. Most years, it’s June before I see any. This doe must have been bred early, or she’s got a fast reproductive system. Just... READ MORE

Good Intentions

Good Intentions

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer in winter seems like a good idea, but it has serious consequences. QUESTION: I recently purchased a home in the Gettysburg/Littlestown, Pa. area on 2.74 wooded acres. There are many deer in this area and I have been feeding them shelled corn. I have not been hunting them. I wish to maintain their health and growth through the winter mo... READ MORE

When In Rome

When In Rome

By Bob Humphrey

If you try to manage deer on a lease, sooner or later you’ll run across a slightly abnormal whitetail. What should you do? QUESTION: Is a short bridgeline a recessive genetic defect, and should a buck with this trait be allowed to breed? — Ron Dahlseid ANSWER: Indeed, a short, bowed or Roman nose is usually the result of a recessive g... 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

Fresh Start

Fresh Start

By Bob Humphrey

It’s hard to know where to start when accessing new hunting ground. QUESTION: I just acquired new hunting ground. I Got to hunt it during the last week of bow season and saw lots of does. It consists of 10 acres of fields and 190 acres of woods. It seems promising, but I’m not sure how to get started. Where should I start in getting mor... READ MORE

You Can’t Get There from Here

You Can’t Get There from Here

By Bob Humphrey

If you want to know how many does to harvest, you have to know how many deer you have. QUESTION: How many does should you harvest per 100 acres to increase your total deer population? Also to decrease or keep the population the same? — Eugene W. ANSWER: I’m afraid you might not like my answer, but a friend of mine once said, “You ... READ MORE

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd