Ask The Biologist

Picky Deer?

Picky Deer?

By Bob Humphrey

If you’re planting food plots and the deer aren’t using them, try to be different. QUESTION: I own some marsh land in lower Wisconsin. In the spring, there is standing water but it dissipates as time goes by to being moist. What crops would do best in this marshy soil? I've planted turnips two years in a row but have seen no deer eatin... READ MORE

In-Woods Plot Plants

In-Woods Plot Plants

By Bob Humphrey

Last week we had the most common food plot question. This week we feature the second most posed query. QUESTION: What seed do you recommend for planting in shaded woods for spring, summer & fall? I can’t get a tractor to the plot, and it is only about 20x30. — Jim D. ANSWER: I suggest you go one of two ways: The easiest would be t... READ MORE

Hint: It’s Not the Head

Hint: It’s Not the Head

By Bob Humphrey

You can’t go wrong aiming for the spine when bowhunting for turkeys. QUESTION: What is the best area to shoot at a turkey with an arrow? How well do they make it through deep snows in the winter months? ANSWER: Okay, this question isn’t about deer, but our submissions have been a little light lately, so what the heck. You have several o... 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

The Maine Issue

The Maine Issue

By Bob Humphrey

Rumor says deer numbers in Maine are shockingly low. Is that true? QUESTION: An outfitter in Maine recently reported that the deer herd numbers were so low they were not booking any deer hunts and they were not sure when they might be doing so in the future. Does that sound correct to you that Maine herd numbers are low? If so, what would it take f... READ MORE

Cotton Is King

Cotton Is King

By Bob Humphrey

You don’t have to buy protein pellets to provide deer with supplemental food.QUESTION: We have heard that mixing cotton seed hull with our current feeding of corn and Antler Max is very beneficial for white-tailed deer. Is that true? Also, we have gathered lots of oak acorns and plan to add them to the mix this year. This is stuff we put in our gra... READ MORE

Everyone Outta the Pool!

Everyone Outta the Pool!

By Bob Humphrey

Stagnant water doesn’t seem to be harmful to whitetails. QUESTION: I just read a tip about putting a kid’s plastic swimming pool out to help keep deer on property during droughts. My question is: how do you keep the water from becoming stagnant and full of mold, or does that matter for wildlife? — Ronny H. ANSWER: I’m not su... READ MORE

Numbers Game

Numbers Game

By Bob Humphrey

So how exactly do states determine how many permits to issue every year? QUESTION: The gun season in my state is bucks only unless you are selected for a doe tag. Then you can shoot any deer. The number of doe tags given out changes, sometimes a lot from year to year. My question is, how do they decide how many doe tags to give out? — John D.... READ MORE

All They Can Eat

All They Can Eat

By Bob Humphrey

Feeding deer isn’t as simple as dumping out bags of protein. QUESTION: I’ve started feeding deer store-bought protein feed, but I’m looking to cut down the cost. I’m wanting to mix my own feed, but I’m not sure what is best to mix and how to calculate the nutritional factors. What would you suggest? I know genetics pla... READ MORE

Sun and Sand

Sun and Sand

By Bob Humphrey

Are great for vacationing, but too much are not good for food plots. QUESTION: What’s the best food plot plant for sandy soil? ANSWER: A lot depends on climate and moisture, as well as the specific soil type – whether it’s sandy loam, loamy sand or just plain old sand. However, you do have several options for food plots in loose, ... READ MORE

Twice as Nice

Twice as Nice

By Bob Humphrey

Should we double-seed our food plots to get better results? QUESTION: The club I'm in is talking about double-seeding the fields this year to see if we have better results. I've read in the past one of the biggest mistakes we make is over-seeding and not putting out enough fertilizer. Our club is located in north Alabama and is 5 miles up a mountai... READ MORE

Were Having Triplets!

Were Having Triplets!

By Bob Humphrey

It’s pretty common to see a doe with two fawns, but how often do they have triplets, and can you predict what sex they’ll be? QUESTION: I shot a white-tailed doe on Dec. 26 in Middle Tennessee. She had three button bucks with her, and I would guess they were hers by the way they acted traveling with her. While field-dressing her, I di... READ MORE

Tracking Bucks

Tracking Bucks

By Bob Humphrey

Our biologist says you can’t identify a deer by a single track. QUESTION: I’m hoping you can settle an argument for me. Is there any way to tell the difference between a buck track and a doe track? –Harold B. ANSWER: Ah, yes, this is one of those classic deer camp debates that will probably go on forever. It is not possible to tel... READ MORE

While the Iron is Hot

While the Iron is Hot

By Bob Humphrey

The clock is always ticking on early season bachelor buck groups. QUESTION: I’ve been watching a small group of velvet bucks visit the same field almost every evening. Our bow season is still a month away. Will these bucks still be here when the season opens? There’s a couple good ones, and I’d like to get a crack at one. — ... READ MORE

Long Live the King

Long Live the King

By Bob Humphrey

Why do some bucks keep their racks so far into winter? QUESTION: I run trail cameras on my feeders, and in the last week of February I’m still getting pictures of a mature buck with antlers. My question is, when do bucks shed their antlers? — Bruce W. ANSWER: Antlers serve several purposes. Bucks use them as offensive and defensive weap... READ MORE

Mix It Up

Mix It Up

By Bob Humphrey

When you have the luxury of a larger food plot, go with a variety of plants. QUESTION: I have a 5-acre field on 20 acres, and I would like to make a food plot. I was thinking of 2 acres of corn and something else on the remaining 3 acres. My property is in west-central Minnesota. What would you recommend to plant that would attract the deer and hel... 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

Mow ‘Em Down?

Mow ‘Em Down?

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I grow a food plot every year. This year I planted rye, turnips and clover. This is my first experience with turnips, and I need to know if I should mow it. It’s really getting tall, and I need to know if I need to do anything to keep it under control. — Ryan ANSWER: That’s an interesting combination since each plant has... READ MORE

Therein Lies the Rub

Therein Lies the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks rub their antlers to remove velvet and mark territory, but understanding rub messages depends on when and where the buck made them. QUESTION: On my property in the Catskills region of New York, we see a few rubs in late September and early October, but the majority of rubs do not appear until early November. I want to know if buck rubs are pr... 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

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd