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Dan Wood

Big buck rubs

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Here are some nice rubs from a monster buck that I got a good look at a week ago. He was in the 180+ range - didn't come into bow range unfortunately, he was chasing a doe and came within about 50-60 yards..

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[This message has been edited by Dan Wood (edited 11-24-2003).]

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Small trees for a monster buck. By all means, I'm not saying it isn't a monster buck. I'm just saying the rubs are typical of any run of the mill deer. Here's a question. Do big deer "always" use bigger trees? Dan, you've seen the deer that did that, so you know that that's not always true. Do small deer use big trees? It's commonly believed that the bigger the tree, the bigger the deer. I wonder if this is "always" the case. Mostly we never see the deer rubbing, so we guess based on the size of the tree(I do). Dan's witnessed the deer, so this to me shows that big deer will use smaller trees. Is there a standard rule to follow as far as rubs go? smile.gif

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[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 11-24-2003).]

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I've seen plenty of small tree rubs made by big bucks. I think big tree rubs are more of an indicator that yes, its a big buck, where smaller trees its too hard to tell sometimes.

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For the most part I think big trees mean big bucks. But like you said, big bucks will use the small ones too. That's good to know, being optimistic and not ruleing anything out makes the day go quicker and keeps you more alert. Not knowing how big the deer are that are makeing the rubs can keep your attention longer. When I was a kid I use to think big deer tracks meant big bucks. It only meant it was a big deer.

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I think it isn't as important the size of the tree as it is the size of the rub. If a tree is completely stripped then it probably is a big buck. If there are just little rubs here and there then it probably a smaller buck. Remember that big bucks have more horns so they will make a bigger rub by rubbing all of the horns...

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When I look at a rub I also look at how deep the "grooves" are that are left in the tree. The base of the antler has many "knobbies" and on a larger racked deer these are usually bigger leaving deeper grooves in the tree. I also look at the height of the rub marks. A deer with a higher rack will generally leave marks higher up the tree. I also look at the scrapes in the area and see if there is a larger hoof print in it. I don't start digging around in each scrape since that will often times scare him away. I use a stick and look at a short distance. I've seen small deer make rubs on large trees also that's why I look at a few other items to help try and determine if it is in fact a larger deer.

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Dan, I also saw a very large Deer that made a rub on a tree that same size as your first picture he stopped and looked at me and I could see a very large rack which was at least 10 points,he was a dandy we hunt 3b and I havent seen him again,but I saw him at 10:30 Am. Have also seen a very nice 10 pointer a few years ago and I remember it was about 10 Am maybe hunters move them around at this time ? Good luck hope you get him

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Maybe the pics don't do it justice, but those aren't run of the mill rubs (at least not for the areas I've hunted). I've seen bigger, but these are very good size. That vertical tree was in the 5" diameter class. 95% of rubs I see are on the 1-3" variety trees. Also you can see a very deep and long tine mark on the top (this is about 60" off the ground).

I like to judge the rubs by looking at individual tine marks and how high they go along with the diameter of the tree. No doubt at all in my mind, rubs on larger diameter trees and rubs that extend higher on the tree are from larger bucks. I hunt rub lines a lot and get a chance to see the bucks running these lines. High tine marks along with the diameter and extent of pure damage to the tree is what I'm typically looking for.

The buck I saw I'm 90% sure was the buck marking this area and he was a monster.. I did see a lot of smaller bucks in the area too, so you never know...

As a general rule, big bucks will rub small trees, but small bucks will not rub larger trees (or at least won't be able to do much damage to larger trees).

[This message has been edited by Dan Wood (edited 11-26-2003).]

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fishnutbob,
The middle of the day during the rut I've always found to be best. The big guys seem to get up and chase does during the middle of the day. I've seen some really nice bucks at noon, chasing does. This guy came by at 8:30 chasing a doe, which was far after light as well.

I think pressure has something to do with it, I also think deer like to get up during the middle of the day for a little "break". I always try to sit until noon or a bit later during rut - sometimes I'll sit all day in stand.

This guy is free for another year at least. It was a 3 day archery hunt and is now over. I talked to a guy that lives in the area and he has seen him too - he estimated easily over 180 as well. That is what makes bowhunting so much fun... Maybe next year...

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I to have always just guessed that the larger the trees were rubbed by the larger bucks and also looked at the height of the rub and depth of the grooves. I had NO proof one way or the other.

A similiar question is the scrape. Several times one will find a small scrape and then there is a scape the size of a small car. Is there any relation to the size of the scrape to the size of the animal. I have always check for the size of the footprint and have found large tracks in small scrapes. I had a guy tell me this year that if you [PoorWordUsage]ed in a scrape it will tick the buck off. I havn't and don't think I would try it but wonder if anybody has tried that.

During the rut I find the mid day as the better times. At this time of the year it is cooler and the does seem to get up to have a snack and the bucks will be following them and once a doe is up and moving the bucks have a better chance of chasing them (she isn't sitting on it). I would say more then 50% of my deer are shot from 10:00 AM til 2 PM and I am sitting on runs.

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Canuck,
I don't know if the same holds true regarding scrape size, I've never really heard much about this either way.. I've always sort of figured the larger scrapes are just being visited by more deer. Some of the larger scrapes I've seen have more activity from does. It could be that a more dominant buck makes a larger scrape, or it could be the larger scrapes are just more active and being visited more often and by more deer.

I know a guy that is a very successful and avid bowhunter that likes to leave his "scent" around his stand. He also claims this will attract bucks. He more or less convinced me that this human scent at least doesn't bother them much - I haven't worried as much about it the past few years and haven't seen a real difference either way. I am extra careful about reducing human scent to an absolute minimum though - but when you gotta go, you gotta go. Most of the time I'll still carry a bottle in the stand, but if not, I don't worry about it.

A lot of guys will doctor up the scrapes and some even create fake scrapes to try and attract bucks into them. I had a couple smaller bucks come into real scrapes this year that I set up near. I seem to have the best luck staying away from the scrape and setting up downwind a bit.

Anyone have luck applying scent to the scrapes or creating fake scrapes?

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As far as rubs, I think your right about sheer damage, tine marks, and height being made by larger deer. I'd be somewhat leary about creating a scrape or scenting an existing one. You pretty much know the buck will visit his scrape if left alone, but I can see the logic behind this thinking. If you could only be 100% sure the scents are realistic, and wont spook the deer. Size relation of scrapes to deer is a guess..I guess. Dan, you and other bowhunters spend a lot of time in the woods observing animals and seeing them create and tend thier markings. Bowhunting adds a personal touch to the hunt as well as learning a great deal from observation. Just think, next year that buck will be even more of a trophy, well worth the wait! smile.gif

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The only way you can relate a buck and a rub is by playing sherlock. Instead of looking at the main tree look beyond it and on the ground to see what else he's hitting in the distance. The only thing you really be sure of is that hes got an itch on his head. As for scrapes, I'm not sure if the size has anything to do with anything. obviously you may see smaller tracks in it from does [PoorWordUsage]ing in it. And as for making scrapes,.....its very possible and very useful. This year I created 2 scrapes using drippers in an area a buck claimed, and he began to use the scrape I created and visited them more often than the original scrapes.

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