Ask The Biologist

Not a Flat Tire

Not a Flat Tire

By Bob Humphrey

If you hear this sound in the woods, get ready! QUESTION: I was watching two yearling bucks sparring in my food plot, and I heard a noise that sounded like a deer blowing its nose or hissing. Out stepped a bigger buck, and the two yearlings stopped sparring and kind of moved away. Is this normal? ANSWER: What you likely heard is referred to as a sn... READ MORE

Under Pressure

Under Pressure

By Bob Humphrey

Weather can get deer moving, but it’s not a simple formula. QUESTION: Several articles I’ve read recently said some weather fronts get deer moving during daylight. What should I be looking for? And is high or low barometric pressure better? ANSWER: There’s not a lot of supporting research, but my personal observations and those of... READ MORE

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

Decoys: Hype or Hope?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re having trouble with fooling bucks, you’re not alone. QUESTION: I’ve been experimenting with a deer decoy, and so far it seems to spook everything that sees it. Is that normal? I thought I’d have bucks rushing in to investigate. – Larry P. ANSWER: Using a decoy is much like using scents, calls or rattling. Mor... READ MORE

Too Many Deauxs

Too Many Deauxs

By Bob Humphrey

Don’t believe exaggerated tales about massively skewed doe-to-buck ratios. QUESTION: I live in northern Louisiana. Can you tell me the buck-to-doe ratio where I live? Also, is it okay to take one doe out of the area in the first week in December? — Jimmy S. ANSWER: Without contacting the state wildlife biologist responsible for the area... 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

Hair Club for Deer

Hair Club for Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist considers the different factors that contribute to a buck’s coloring. QUESTION: I am curious why some deer have a different color toupee. For example, we hunt a private track of land in Illinois. All of the deer taken over the years have had the typical grey face/toupee. I got a deer this year with an orange toupee. This buck ha... READ MORE

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

Florida is for Lovers

Florida is for Lovers

By Bob Humphrey

Is it possible to see a buck chasing does in turkey season? QUESTION: While turkey hunting in Florida this spring, I saw a buck chasing a doe, and the buck still had hard antlers. It was not inside an enclosure. This seems way out of the normal rutting time, and shouldn’t the buck have dropped its antlers by then? ANSWER: The whitetail rut is... 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

Ghost Deer

Ghost Deer

By Bob Humphrey

How is it possible to see so many tracks without seeing the deer that made them? QUESTION: Please, please help. I have been hunting for 20 years and I have just received permission to bowhunt two properties in northern Ohio. Both are small properties: 5 acres and 10 acres. I was more excited than I had ever been about deer hunting. They are in sub... READ MORE

That Theory Stinks

That Theory Stinks

By Bob Humphrey

New hunters take note: Don’t judge a deer by its droppings. QUESTION: I’m still new to deer hunting, but some of the more experienced guys I hunt with claim they can tell the sex of a deer from its droppings. They say small pellets are from does and fawns while large clumps are from a buck. Is there any truth to this? ANSWER: No. The shape and cons... READ MORE

Tweak My Food Plot

Tweak My Food Plot

By Bob Humphrey

If your food plot isn’t attracting deer like you want, change it. Test for fertilizer and lime use, add some fruit trees and vary plantings to create a deer cafeteria. QUESTION: I hunt in the Northeast, about 3 hours north of New York City. I have a 15-acre parcel of land that’s bordered by several hundred acres of woods on one side wi... READ MORE

Bucks Are Tough, But...

Bucks Are Tough, But...

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can survive serious injuries, but some don’t leave much hope. QUESTION: Do you believe this buck will ever recover? My main concern is infection or damage to his brain. The buck has been injured approximately two weeks and is still active and feeding but I’m concerned this injury may cause him to decline. Any suggestions wou... READ MORE

Where the Girls Are

Where the Girls Are

By Bob Humphrey

Should you find a new place to hunt if all you see are does? QUESTION: My trail camera is loaded with doe pictures, and the area I hunt is filled with does. I have seen a few trophy bucks, but at random and never consistent. Should I look elsewhere for a hunting spot if the bucks aren’t showing themselves? — Chris W. ANSWER: If your goa... READ MORE

Bug Problems

Bug Problems

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in the middle of the coast range in Oregon. I have always given my dogs brewers yeast with garlic and never had fleas or ticks. This year we have had both deer and elk in our yard almost every night. My dog now has fleas. Is this from the deer and elk? Both my dog and I have had deer ticks on us that we have removed. What can I do ... READ MORE

It’s a Date!

It’s a Date!

By Bob Humphrey

Calendar-based baiting law has our biologist stumped. QUESTION: My state just enacted a ban on feeding deer that begins June 1 and ends Dec. 15. I’m a little confused as to why they would do this. Any ideas? — Travis E. ANSWER: It does seem a little strange, and there are multiple possibilities. There are about as many different baiting... READ MORE

Oh where have they gone?

Oh where have they gone?

By Bob Humphrey

Disappearing deer are looking for the same thing—bedding cover, high calorie leftovers and love. Question:  I hunt on Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., and there is food, water and cover everywhere. Where are the deer traveling in early December? To cover or to food? —John T. Answer:  Though your question is geogra... READ MORE

Yikes!

Yikes!

By Bob Humphrey

Cringe-worthy growths likely not nearly as bad as they look. QUESTION: I recently saw a video of a deer covered with tumors. Do deer get the bubonic plague? ANSWER: Bubonic plague, sometimes called the black death killed more than 20 million people in Europe (a third of the continent’s population) in roughly five years in the 1300s. Fortunate... READ MORE

Public Land Big Boys

Public Land Big Boys

By Bob Humphrey

How do we better our odds? We know they're there! QUESTION: My wife and I hunt on public land here in Kentucky and enjoy great success in the limited time we can hunt. During the off-season, we set up trail cameras and capture thousands of deer photos of all shapes and sizes: from does and spikes to huge 13- and 14-pointers. But we rarely see the... READ MORE

When HD Is Bad

When HD Is Bad

By Bob Humphrey

HD is great for televisions, but not so much for white-tailed deer. QUESTION: Last summer I got a trail cam picture of a doe with floppy ears. I’ve never seen this before. Any idea what’s wrong with this deer? ANSWER: It’s difficult to say without more information, but there are a few things that suggest at least one possibility. ... READ MORE

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd