Ask The Biologist

No Fleas on Me

No Fleas on Me

By Bob Humphrey

QUESTION: I live in Alabama and have noticed ticks on just about every deer harvested, but I never see fleas. Weird? — Kenny L. ANSWER: I must admit I didn’t know the answer to this one, and it wasn’t easy to find. Several studies list common ectoparasites of deer as ticks, chigger mites, keds and both sucking and chewing lice - b... READ MORE

Mix It Up

Mix It Up

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails like variety in both their diet and habitat. QUESTION: Can I put a fall food plot in a field where the rest of the field is left overgrown with natural browse? — Ray H. ANSWER: Absolutely. In fact, it might even be more effective than converting the entire field to a food plot. Deer like variety, both in their diet and their habita... READ MORE

Okay To Be Different

Okay To Be Different

By Bob Humphrey

Whatever the cause, irregular antlers can be awesome! QUESTION: When I was a kid and through all the years of my life, I have been told by folks that non-typical bucks are a result of inbreeding among the deer population. Does that hold water? ANSWER: There are many possible reasons for bucks having irregular antlers. According to Kip Adams of the ... READ MORE

Growing Like a Weed

Growing Like a Weed

By Bob Humphrey

Left unchecked, weeds can take over your food plot. QUESTION: I need a good herbicide to kill grass and broadleaf weeds in my clover. One of the big name brands has performed poorly. Is there anything else? — Larry L. ANSWER: Without more detail, like what region of the country you live in, what type of plants you’re trying to eliminate... 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

Foot Fetish

Foot Fetish

By Bob Humphrey

Hoof abnormalities might mean your deer survived EHD. QUESTION: I hunted in a group this year, and three of the deer we harvested had hoof pads that where coming off as a single piece. We could see new pads under old ones. I’ve hunted 30 years and never saw this before. All the deer looked healthy. What causes this? — Sherry W. ANSWER: ... READ MORE

Hair Club for Deer

Hair Club for Deer

By Bob Humphrey

Whitetails can lose hair for a number of reasons, but this is one odd case. QUESTION: Reckon y’all can tell me about this bald spot? The deer was taken Dec. 30 in northeast Georgia. — Patrick T. ANSWER: I have seen deer with similar marks, although not as large or as distinctly hairless. My first thought is that it is the result of a ... READ MORE

Ticket to Paradise

Ticket to Paradise

By Bob Humphrey

Even small food plots can help deer through times of need. QUESTION: I want to plant a summer food plot. I live in central Georgia. What is your recommendation for a half-acre? ANSWER: It’s difficult to get too specific without more information, but I’ll offer a general suggestion or two. Summer is a critical time for protein in a deer&... READ MORE

How Long Have I Got?

How Long Have I Got?

By Bob Humphrey

All the talk about whitetail age classes begs the question: What’s a normal life span for a deer? QUESTION: How long can a whitetail live? ANSWER: I like it; short and to the point. So I’ll give you an appropriately concise answer. Free-ranging white-tailed deer are exposed to a variety of dangers including disease, predation and hun... READ MORE

Here’s the Rub

Here’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

Find rub, set up stand, shoot deer, right? QUESTION: I found some fresh rubs, so I set up a stand nearby. I am very careful about scent control and I hunt the wind, but I have not seen any deer there in a week. What am I doing wrong? — John S. ANSWER: There are at least a dozen possible reasons for why your stand isn’t working out, many of wh... READ MORE

Pee Brain

Pee Brain

By Bob Humphrey

We still don’t know exactly how much information whitetails get from urine scents. QUESTION: There are so many brands and types of doe in heat scent. Does one work better than others? Do deer smell different from region to region? For example, will an off-the-shelf doe in estrus scent work the same in Wyoming as it would in Illinois? Do you h... 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

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

Pine Plantation Predicament

Pine Plantation Predicament

By Bob Humphrey

Despite appearances, you can improve deer habitat on pine plantations. QUESTION: The area I lease in northwest Louisiana is mostly planted pine forest. I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to make the land more attractive to deer. ANSWER: Assuming the landowner uses this property for commercial pine plantations, food plots might n... READ MORE

A Different Kind of Decoy

A Different Kind of Decoy

By Bob Humphrey

Is putting a mannequin in your stand going to far? QUESTION: I’ve got a question for you about deer sight. While in a treestand, do they perceive you as a blob or large object? Or do they perceive your clothing pattern/detail and not so much on the exact image of  your body? I hope this makes sense. Also, I’ve seen articles about p... READ MORE

Red Snow

Red Snow

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter seeks answer to strangely colored deer urine. QUESTION: I’ve been out hunting for shed antlers and seen several spots where the deer pee looks red and bloody. It’s well after the rut, and I’m wondering if you can answer why this deer urine is this color? –Daniel ANSWER: I, too, have observed this, although I never really bothered to re... 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

Size Matters

Size Matters

By Bob Humphrey

Biologists aren’t exactly sure what antlers are for, but bigger seems to be better. QUESTION: It seems like it takes a lot of energy to grow a new set of antlers each year. Does a buck really gain anything from having bigger antlers? — Brian S. ANSWER: A clue to the answer actually lies within your question. It does indeed take a lot of... READ MORE

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

Play Time

Play Time

By Bob Humphrey

Just because deer don’t usually do something doesn’t mean they won’t ever do it. QUESTION: I consider myself to have pretty good knowledge of deer and their habits. I deer hunted for years before my disability. Now I watch our deer cam. We just had a doe give birth to twins. The doe had the babies out one night about 2 to 3 a.m., ... READ MORE

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd