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.
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.