Ask The Biologist

The Nose Knows

The Nose Knows

By Bob Humphrey

Q: While bowhunting this fall I heard a deer making a sound I’ve never heard before. It was kind of like a snort, but not like the blow a deer gives when it smells you. It was more like a quick sneeze, and it did this several times. Do you know what this might be? A: It’s difficult to say for certain, but it very well could have been... READ MORE

Mane Line

Mane Line

By Bob Humphrey

Q: I noticed fine longer hair on this doe, on her head and a line down back of her neck almost like a very fine mane. Is this common? A: Yes. Most deer show some type of hair line down the back of their neck. Most often it’s just a different color, usually darker. Sometimes it’s longer and bristly. This is what biologists refer to as... READ MORE

When To Use Can Calls?

When To Use Can Calls?

By Bob Humphrey

Q: I’ve been told that can calls are very effective at calling in deer. I’m wondering when the best time to use it would be and how often. A: Biologists have identified approximately 12 distinct whitetail calls, including vocalizations and variations of the snort. Can calls are designed to imitate a bleat. The bleat is most often mad... READ MORE

Over or Under

Over or Under

By Bob Humphrey

Q: The members of our hunt club are trying to decide how many does we should take this season. Without hiring a biologist, is there a way to tell if our population is too high? A: There are many variables involved but there are a few things you could do that might at least give you an indication. State wildlife agency biologists generally have a... READ MORE

Hunter’s Best Friend

Hunter’s Best Friend

By Bob Humphrey

Tracking dogs are incredible, but how do they know which deer to follow? Question: I made a bad shot on a buck during early bow season, so we backed out and called for a tracking dog. It turned out to be a long track through an area with lots of deer, and we didn’t find any blood until the end. I’m wondering how the dog was able to i... READ MORE

Are They Fibromas?

Are They Fibromas?

By Bob Humphrey

Q: We had this picture come up on our game camera and wondered if it was cutaneous fibromas or something more serious? She looks really horrible and on side views you can see its eyes but any forward sight is completely blocked. Will they go away eventually or stay on her, her whole life?  Can you still eat the venison from her also? &nbs... READ MORE

Blow Hard

Blow Hard

By Patrick Dunning

We’ve all heard deer snort, but what are they trying to accomplish? Question: When a deer can’t see you and they puff [blow], what is the exact reason for it? Answer: Deer react to real or perceived danger in different ways. They may run or sneak away, or simple hold tight and wait for the threat to pass. Sometimes they stomp thei... READ MORE

How Much Meat?

How Much Meat?

By Bob Humphrey

There are some guidelines about how much meat to expect from a single deer. QUESTION: I generally process my own deer, but some of the guys I hunt with take theirs to a butcher. Last year they were complaining about how much meat they got back. Is there some kind of formula that will tell you how much meat a deer should yield? ANSWER: You sho... READ MORE

What’s the Best Shot?

What’s the Best Shot?

By Bob Humphrey

Shoulder or vitals, a well-placed shot should result in a clean harvest. QUESTION: I’ve always been taught to aim for the vitals on a deer. Last year I went down South where some of the locals talked about a shoulder shot and how it’s better because it drops the deer on the spot. Is it a better shot, and where should I aim? ANSWER... READ MORE

He Wore Brown Velvet

He Wore Brown Velvet

By Bob Humphrey

If you like antlers with fuzz, you might have to travel. QUESTION: I’ve always wanted to shoot a buck in velvet, but by the time our archery season begins most of the bucks have shed. What can I do to tick this off my bucket list? ANSWER: Unless you’re lucky enough to encounter a rare exception to the rule, your best bet is to tra... READ MORE

It Is Decidedly So

It Is Decidedly So

By Bob Humphrey

Sometimes getting an answer from Bob is like consulting a Magic 8 Ball. QUESTION: I’ve been getting pictures of a pretty good buck on my trail cameras this summer, and I hope he’ll still be around during hunting season. What are the chances this buck will stay around? ANSWER: For questions like this, my quick answer is that you&rs... READ MORE

Just One Week

Just One Week

By Bob Humphrey

There’s no specific best time to take vacation during a long gun season. QUESTION: Our state has a month-long gun season in November. I’m planning on using a week of vacation time for this upcoming deer season but I’m wondering which would be the best week to take. How can I decide? ANSWER: Rather than provide a direct answe... READ MORE

Danger Everywhere

Danger Everywhere

By Bob Humphrey

Deer fawns have to worry about predation, and a whole host of other dangers. QUESTION: I saw two fawns, but one of them had an unusual thing happening to both of its shoulders. Do you know what’s happening to this sweet animal? ANSWER: The best I can do is speculate based on the evidence provided. From the photos, the markings are most ... READ MORE

It’s What’s for Dinner

It’s What’s for Dinner

By Bob Humphrey

Fawn predation is a growing problem, especially in the Southeast. QUESTION: I’ve been hunting since I was 20 and am now 56 years young. Where I live in North Carolina, I have seen a bunch of new fawns dropping off my cameras. I try my best to keep up on the predator control and I would like to know if maybe seeing more hogs and bears would... READ MORE

Short By a Nose

Short By a Nose

By Bob Humphrey

It’s natural for whitetails to exhibit different physical traits ... to a point. QUESTION: Are there two different types of deer bred in Jackson County, Alabama? We are seeing deer with very short noses. We got one this morning that has a short nose and didn’t have a tooth in its head. We were thinking that the short-nosed deer were young, but that... READ MORE

Seeds for the South

Seeds for the South

By Bob Humphrey

Wherever you live, match your plot seeds with climate and soil conditions. QUESTION: If you were to put in a food plot in red dirt in the South and have to have it planted before Oct. 1, what would you plant? ANSWER: You have several options depending on your objectives, local climate and soil conditions. I would probably not recommend high-protein... READ MORE

Leave Fawns Alone

Leave Fawns Alone

By Bob Humphrey

Most cases of abandoned fawns are actually cases of human misinterpretation. QUESTION: We were fortunate enough to have a doe give birth in our neighbor’s yard back in May. The doe had twins. The yard is completely fenced in, and the neighbors are here in the home only during the summer. Three days ago we noticed the gate was open, and that one of ... READ MORE

Thank You, Mom

Thank You, Mom

By Bob Humphrey

Fawns don’t spend a lot of time with their mothers, but the time they spend is critical. QUESTION: I’ve heard different things about harvesting a doe with fawns. Some people say the fawns will survive on their own. Others say they won’t, and they need their mother to teach them how to survive. I’d like to know if it’s okay to shoot a doe with fawns... READ MORE

What's In a Name?

What's In a Name?

By Bob Humphrey

Did you ever wonder how whitetails got their scientific name? QUESTION: Not sure this is actually a biology question, but I've always wondered how white-tailed deer got their scientific name. What does it mean? ANSWER: Scientists use a system know as binomial nomenclature to assign unique (Latin-based) scientific names to all species. Under this sy... READ MORE

White Out

White Out

By Bob Humphrey

Shooting a white deer can get you a ticket in some places. QUESTION: I’ve been seeing an albino deer in one of the places I hunt and was planning on trying to hunt for it this fall. Then someone told me it is illegal to shoot white deer. I’m wondering if this is true, and why. ANSWER: Whether it’s legal or not to shoot white deer (which includes tr... READ MORE

Copyright 2023 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd