Ask The Biologist

Cold Spell

Cold Spell

By Bob Humphrey

Temperature definitely affects deer movement, but how it does so is determined by location. QUESTION: I have heard that deer will lay up until temperatures get above freezing. Is this true, and at what temperature will they start moving? — Glenn E. ANSWER: How temperature affects deer depends, to a certain extent, on location. Ask any Saskatc... READ MORE

Chew on This!

Chew on This!

By Bob Humphrey

Sharp-toothed rodents are one reason shed hunting is a late-winter, early spring activity. QUESTION:I found several shed antlers this winter and noticed one was all chewed up. Why are some chewed and others not? What does that, and why? ANSWER: The most likely explanation for why some are and some aren’t is that the chewed ones are older – have bee... READ MORE

Chewing Tobacco

Chewing Tobacco

By Bob Humphrey

Could deer actually be interested in a chaw? QUESTION: I'm a tobacco chewer, and three times this season I witnessed a buck stop and stick his nose right into a spot where I'd dumped a spit cup. I also watched two young bucks lick and paw the ground, then start fighting over it! I couldn't believe it when a mature buck also licked and pawed the sp... READ MORE

Deer Browse

Deer Browse

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: My friend and I are hoping you can settle a bet. Two years ago one of the areas we hunt was cut for firewood, and the stumps grew a bunch of suckers. This spring we noticed something has been chewing them. I say it’s deer, my friend says rabbits. Is there any way we can tell.  — Herman D. ANSWER: The suckers you’... READ MORE

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

18 Wheels and a Dozen Theories

By Bob Humphrey

The best time to be in the woods is whenever you can get out there. QUESTION: As a Life Member of Buckmasters, I constantly read articles about lunar effect on deer movement and behavior. I have seen articles that emphasize the Lunar Wheel to hit the nail on the head in predicting the best times, the worst times, and the don’t-get-out-of-bed ... READ MORE

Hot to Trot

Hot to Trot

By Bob Humphrey

You just can’t predict the rut, regardless of temperature. QUESTION: This year, right about the time of peak rut, we had a really warm spell and I hardly saw any deer. I’m wondering is it even worth hunting when it gets warm like that? ANSWER: There is research showing that daytime deer activity slows down when temperatures are unseasonably warm, e... READ MORE

Viral Minerals

Viral Minerals

By Bob Humphrey

It’s amazing how fast word gets around in the deer community. QUESTION: Everyone writes about the importance of mineral sites, but nobody gives ideas of what to use to attract deer to new mineral sites. I know they will eventually find them, but how do you attract them to one for first time? ANSWER: A lot of our ATB questions require long, co... READ MORE

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

Is There a “No Man’s Land” for Shot Placement?

By Bob Humphrey

Question: Last year, my son shot a 6-point buck with his shotgun. He claims he waited at least 30 minutes and didn’t push the deer. We finally found some blood about 30 yards from the spot of the shot and tracked the deer with a very slight blood trail for well over 3/4 of a mile before we finally lost it. At the end of the trail, the blood ... READ MORE

Makin’ It Through

Makin’ It Through

By Bob Humphrey

It’s hard to imagine deer making it through a brutal winter, but some always do. QUESTION: We’ve had over 100 inches of snow this winter where I live. How well will the deer survive? — Steve R. ANSWER: Without more information, I can’t offer specifics, but I can provide some generalities. For starters, they’ve been doi... READ MORE

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

Happiness Is a Large Gut Pile

By Bob Humphrey

They do things a little differently in the South, and that includes gutting deer. QUESTION: I am from the Northeast and went down South last year to hunt for the first time. The guys I hunted with told me if I shoot a deer I should drag it out whole and not gut it in the woods. I thought they were pulling my leg at first, but they were serious. The... READ MORE

Time To Make Another Set

Time To Make Another Set

By Bob Humphrey

It seems a shame that big bucks drop their antlers, but it’s part of the natural cycle. QUESTION: I found a shed antler in late December, but I also have pictures of bucks that still had antlers in late January. What makes some bucks shed earlier or later than others? – Shawn L. ANSWER: Antlers are a remarkable and mysterious natural ph... READ MORE

Give Deer More of What They Need

Give Deer More of What They Need

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: The deer concession next to me has been clear cut...hardly a tree left. I am thinking/hoping those deer will be coming to my green fields this year. What can I plant that will provide lots and lots of forage for an increase in deer?  Do I double plant what I have used?  Is there another suggestion? — Bart L. ANSWER: I can... READ MORE

Wretched Excess

Wretched Excess

By Bob Humphrey

Why a bumper acorn crop doesn’t make for the best hunting conditions. QUESTION: The place where I hunt has a lot of oak trees, and this year’s there’s a ton of acorns but I’m not seeing as many deer. Is the population down, or should I just hunt somewhere else? — William A. ANSWER: A bumper acorn crop can be a double-e... READ MORE

Call me Pat

Call me Pat

By Bob Humphrey

What could cause a buck to start growing antlers in mid-October? QUESTION: I live in Illinois and was out checking trail cameras this weekend (late December). It appears that I have a deer around 6 or 7 that just started growing his antlers in mid-October and has been gradually getting bigger over the past two months. I’ve never heard or seen... 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

Cradle Robbers

Cradle Robbers

By Bob Humphrey

Where are all these young deer coming from, and where are the giants? QUESTION: I have a 700-acre lease on the Pee Dee River in South Carolina that’s mostly thick cut-over — perfect bedding cover. This is the fourth year we have been attempting to let our deer get bigger but this year we were overrun with spikes, 3- and 4-pointers. We r... READ MORE

One Tough Myth

One Tough Myth

By Bob Humphrey

The spike question has more lives than Rasputin. QUESTION: Does a spike always remain a spike? Or next year could he become something more? It seems like people believe once a spike always a spike, but when I ask someone they all say that’s what I’ve been told. I don’t know who this person is, but he or she sure seems to know a lo... READ MORE

Drop that Fur!

Drop that Fur!

By Bob Humphrey

Piles of deer hair leave turkey hunter wondering about predators. QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I’ve been finding a lot of clumps of deer hair in the woods. I’ve heard that coyotes have become a bigger problem in my area and I’m wondering if this could be the reason. — Carroll D., Edgefield, S.C. ANSWER: Coyote... 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

Turkey Invaders

Turkey Invaders

By Bob Humphrey

Contrary to the myth, deer and turkeys do quite well together. QUESTION: I live in Maine, and the state started transplanting turkeys into my area about 10 years ago. Now we have lots of turkeys and fewer deer. The turkeys seem to be outcompeting deer for things like acorns and possibly causing more disturbance to them. What do you think? — K... READ MORE

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd