Big Buck Rubs Deer Sign

deer sign

I found these big buck rubs along a travel corridor.

Big Buck Rubs

I love to find a big buck rubs when I’m deer hunting. Seeing a big one really gets me fired up. When you first see one, usually you make a b-line straight to it, to check it out, then you start scanning the immediate area for more rubs or scrapes.

Locating And Interpreting Deer Sign

A lot of times when you find rubs you will find scrapes also. If you find an area that has a high concentration of big buck rubs, and or scrapes, or a rub line, you should hang a stand downwind of this area and hunt it.

Late in the summer to early fall the bucks begin to rub to remove velvet from their antlers. At this time they are usually in bachelor groups. Then as fall approaches their testosterone levels increase, they separate and get more aggressive. They strengthen their neck muscles by rubbing and sparring with other bucks. They leave their scent when they make rubs. They have forehead scent glands, and when a dominant whitetail leaves his scent on a rub, it let’s the other deer know that he is way up the social ladder. A buck that is out looking for love during the rut can scent check a rub and usually tell if there is a more dominant buck in the area.

Rubs can help you determine which direction a buck was traveling. If the scarred side of the tree is facing the feeding area, usually that would be when he exited his bedroom in the evening to go feed. If the scarred side is facing the bedding area, that would be when he is returning to his bedroom early in the morning.

When I was sixteen, I went deer hunting at my uncle’s house in Madison county in Georgia. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I had discovered my first rub line on a hardwood ridge, that was beautiful. I was so excited to hunt the spot I drove over an hour by myself early that morning. When I got there it was starting to break daylight. I had just enough time to get my portable Baker tree stand on the tree, and get up the tree.

big buck rubs

Rub lines can be a great place to hunt.

I was now overlooking the first rub line I had ever hunted over. It was a cold frosty morning and I could hear the buck making his way towards me down the ridge. I shot him at about forty yards. I didn’t realize it at the time but the rub line was leading from the feeding area to the bucks bedding area. I was an inexperienced deer hunter back then, but I knew this spot was special when I saw those rubs leading the way down that ridge. It was the first racked buck I had ever taken. And man I was proud. I had to drag that big boy out all by my self. When I called my dad to tell him I got it, I think I made it seem a lot bigger than it actually was. I was excited. I’ll never forget that day. It all probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t found those big buck rubs. 

 

Small Tracts Big Bucks

big bucks of Gwinnett county

This is my of my first big bucks.

One should never under estimate the potential of small tracts of property for deer hunting big bucks. More and more big bucks are being taken every year off of small tracts of land. I think due to the fact that these tracts have everything that the deer need to survive, along with little or no hunting pressure. This allows the deer to reach the age to develop to full potential.

Big Bucks

Just a few weeks ago a friend of mine called me while I was on my way to work at 4:30 am. He drives a big rig for UPS. I could hear the excitement in his voice. He had just seen a monster buck crossing Roswell road in the city of Roswell, Georgia. Which is a very busy city. Then just yesterday a friend of mine said another friend of ours saw a monster buck in Roswell in broad daylight. That’s two big bucks within a month in a very busy city. The deer are very good at adapting to all the development going on around them. Another friend of mine regularly goes deer hunting for suburban trophies and has been very successful at it, he has taken several nice bucks hunting with a crossbow. Some of the nicest bucks taken in Georgia every year come from Fulton county, which is as big city as it gets. One of the biggest bucks I have on my wall at home came from a fourteen acre tract of land my dad owned in Gwinnett county. It wasn’t in the city but it was a small tract of hunting property. If you have deer hunting privileges on a small tract of property and you haven’t hunted it yet you might want to. You just might get that trophy buck of a lifetime.This is the Gwinnett Buck I took on a fourteen acre tract.

Tree Stand Safety

Every year we hear about someone being injured falling from a tree stand while deer hunting. There are some things that you can do yourself to ensure it never happens to you when climbing your stand to ensure tree stand safety.

I myself am very lucky, when I was around fourteen years old I was building a permanent stand in the fork of a tree, in the rain no less, and fell about seven feet and landed in the fork of the tree. I was scouting some land near my dads house and had found signs of some big bucks. I immediately went and got the wood, hammer, and nails, and started building. In a light drizzle I’m up in this tree leaning around nailing, with my feet on the big steel spikes I had driven into the tree. I was making good progress and the in a spit second I fell, I was stuck in the fork of the tree, it knocked the breath out of me and scratched me and bruised me up pretty good. It hurt bad. I was able to get myself down without any further damage and went back to my dads house which was a long way through the woods. I easily could have been paralyzed that day. I know it was stupid but it happened so fast. I never returned to build that stand. I learned a lesson that day, but I was one of the lucky ones, it could have been much worse.

Tree Stand Safety

There are some things that you need to think about before climbing when deer hunting stand.

Tree Stand Safety

Know how to use smart tree stand safety techniques.

  • Always read the instructions and warnings that come with your stand. Save them and read them every year before using your stand.
  • Always know the weight limit and never exceed that limit.
  • Use every safety device provided with your stand.
  • Wear a fall arrest system full body harness. Single belts and chest straps are not recommended. Inspect your fall arrest for wear or damage. Hunting is fun but can be dangerous.
  • Practice hanging at ground level in your full body harness, before going to the woods. To get the feel of it. So you will learn what it is like to have to hang suspended. Use the harness exactly as the directions say.
  • Always let someone know where you are going to be hunting.
  • Hunt with a buddy if at all possible. Although I know for me sometimes the only time I can hunt is by myself.
  • Take a cell phone with you, a walkie talkie, whistle,  flashlight. Keep them within reach always while in the tree.
  • Put your stand on the proper tree for your tree-stand. A healthy tree  that is straight and that fits within the size limits of your stand.
  • Use a rope to pull your gear and bow or unloaded gun up. Don’t ever climb with anything in your hands.
  • Always lower your gear down on the other side of where you will be climbing down.
  • Know your limits. Don’t be in a hurry when climbing or descending.
  • Don’t extend but about a foot at a time.
  • Make sure the stand has a good bite on the tree on every move.
  • When climbing a ladder always keep three points of contact at all times.

Deer hunting big bucks is dedicated to helping teach safety in the woods when hunting. And hopefully you will hunt safe.