just a little info. about rubs

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by catfisherman369, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    Deer rubs are created when a male deer rubs his forehead and antlers against the base of a tree. In late summer and early fall rubs are usually made by bucks rubbing the velvet off their newly acquired antlers. During the rut and late season, rubs can be made by aggressive bucks strengthening their neck muscles or bucks just marking out their home territory. A bucks forehead gland will leave a scent to let other deer know who made the rub. Bucks sometimes use the same tree to rub but, as often as not, rubs are made at random before and during the rut. It will be easy to tell a tree that has been visited and rubbed multiple times from a tree thats just been rubbed once. The trees can vary in size from just a little sapling to a mature tree 4″ to 8″ inches wide. Bucks usually prefer a soft tree such as a cedar or a pine. Most experienced hunters say that the bigger the rub the bigger the deer. A spike does not have the spread between his antlers that it would need to rub a tree that a mature deer can get his horns around. Now that does does not mean big bucks rub only big trees. Remember big bucks can also rub thick bushes to remove velvet from its antlers. Rubs are fairly easy to spot in the woods. They are also a definite sign that a buck has been through the area. I look for a fresh rub line or a heavy concentration of fresh rubs when looking for stand placement. More often than not, you can pin point a bucks home territory by the rub lines that surround it. When scouting for rubs you should never touch them or spread to much human scent around the area. If you find several big fresh rubs with deep gouges and pieces of bark laying around it. Hang your stand or make a mental note of the area and get out. Chances are you have a wall-hanger frequenting the area.
     
  2. DIESELkat

    DIESELkat New Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    State:
    PA
    Hunting rubs at the wrong time of the breeding cycle can be downright painful. Usually hunting over a well defined rub line, as opposed to a random rub, during the pre-rut is a pretty good bet. While this is true, bucks will usually abandon rubs during the chase phase. It would be much more beneficial to hunt bottlenecks, inside bends, or downwind of field edges or bedding areas during the chase phase. Although you may catch a buck that is passing through the area checking up on a rub, its more likely going to be a long sit with little action.
    Another point to keep in mind when hunting rubs is to consider the direction that the deer is traveling when he made the rub. The "face" of the rub is going to be in the opposite direction that the deer was heading. Lets say that you find a rub 10 yards inside a field edge with the rub facing the field. More than likely that rub was made in the morning as the buck was returning from the field to his bedding area. Even though it may be a smoking hot freshly made rub, hunting over it in the afternoon will most likely be in vain. On the other hand, take the same rub pointing toward a likely bedding area and you have found yourself a good afternoon spot.
    Keep in mind that many bucks, and almost all mature bucks, will stage anywhere from 50 to 100 yards from a field edge prior to entering the field to eat. Say, for instance, you find an area that is 75 yards off the field edge and has rubs on both sides of the trees, some facing the field and some facing the woods. More than likely this area is a staging area between his bedding area and the first food source of his choice. Also, this area is more than likely going to be downwind of the food source.
    Also keep in mind that in early season, food sources change quite regularly. An established rub line with years of rubs is most likely an established territory marker and not a sign of a travel route persay. Lets say you find a hot rub line running from a likely bedding area to a food source. You hang a stand and hunt it for a week no sign of the buck and no rubs are being freshened on the rub line. You can be fairly certain that the predominant food source in the area has changed. In most areas of the country, fall food sources seem to change weekly. As soybeans dry up, apples and persimmons become a more favored food source. Soon after, the hard mast crop of acorns begins to fall. Most of the time acorns will draw deer from any other food source. Find the new food source and you will find the fresh rubs.
    During the "lock down" phase of the rut, rub hunting is downright pointless. Bucks are not concerned with freshening up rubs during this phase. But dont give up on rubs just yet. After the lockdown phase, bucks will need to regain body weight lost during the rut. This is the time to go back and visit the last rub lines made between food sources and bedding areas. Usually once the rut is complete, food sources become more stable and change less frequently. While the bucks wont nessasarily be hitting the rubs, it will give you a baseline as to the travel routes that they are using to get to the food. Typically bucks will try to get to the food that contains the highest percentages of fat and calories. This is going to be any acorns left over and then beans when the acorns are gone.