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Interesting Buck Behavior

spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
I think my action packed quota hunts have reshaped my thinking and approach on romp and stomps.  To be honest, I don't find a lot of sign on r&s.  At least nothing obvious.  I at least have now resolved how subtle rubs can be.  Found one the other day on a two foot tall sweet gum.  The trunk was probably 1/4" in diameter.  Could only see the rub walking in one direction.  It was the first time I was actually able to walk a rub line.  Walked it all the way to someone's tree stand lol
Even though I've got rubs figured out, I simply don't see them on the r&s like I did this year on the quota hunts.
I decided, after returning to lifeless woods again, my time would be better spent finding an area the best sign I could find, which for me, now means rubs.  I'm still not sure I've ever found a scrape.  I'm not sure how to visually distinguish them from rooting, and every time I think I've found one, there's no biting branch.
A couple weeks ago, I found a massive rub.  Inch and a half diameter tree that had well been polished.  It was dark with oils at the base of the rub.  It was right on the edge of impenetrably tight cover of gallberries and briars.  I decided to post up downwind of it under a short oak that had a thick umbrella of cover for me to sit under the rest of the afternoon.  I actually had to cut a few branches in front of me to give me a worry free unobstructed shooting path.
Before I left, I ended up setting up a camera on the tree I was sitting under, hoping to catch the buck tending to his rub. 
First of all, it's the biggest buck I've caught on camera to date.  And sure enough he comes out of that tight cover.  He's tending the rub every few days.  Always at night of course.
Here's where it gets interesting.  Because I've never, with any certainty, found a scrape, I decided to create a mock scrape in front of the camera below the branches of the oak I was sitting under.  Well, when this buck first appeared on my cam, the next night, he first tended to his rub.  He then walked over to my mock scrape and..... completely ignored it. What was interesting is that where I cut the branches, he's been biting.  Vigorously.  Always a certain branch.
So was that coincidence?  That I picked his biting tree to sit under.  Or was he responding to the branches I cut over my mock scrape?  He's biting and rubbing his face every time he comes by, never does anything with the scrape.  Nothing that looks like a scrape in the area.
There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.

Replies

  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    edited December 2019 #2
    I've also noticed.  He always comes from the same direction, headed in the same direction.  He's got a circuit he's working.  Earliest he's shown himself is 8pm, so I don't even know where to try and head try and head him off.  He comes out of a massive patch of gallberry that is surrounded by a few cypress ponds and marshes. 
    I've been mostly ground hunting but I think next sit, I'm going to climb a tree on the edge of that gallberry patch.
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    edited December 2019 #3
    Also, that big rub is the only one I can find.  I've walked every trail coming and going to it, out to 50 yards or so.  Walked the edge of the gallberries.  Nothin.
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • GeetchGeetch St. Pete and JasperPosts: 228 Deckhand
    edited December 2019 #4
    I like rad hunting lingo. 

    What type of tree were the branches you cut on? 
  • meateatermeateater south flaPosts: 517 Officer
    both bucks i harvested this year i found by hunting there scrapes       yes i look for rubs but when i find a active scrape with a little time you will be able to tell if its active    smell first   then debri or leaves freshly cleared out   tracks        i put a camera on that sucker to gather info     size of buck,  time he hits it ,  ect.    i dont make mock scrapes often but will freshen up ones i find with buck urine or bury a tarsal gland under the scrape and will scrape the surface clean with a stick. i have put cameras on fresh rubs many times and never got a pic or just a couple in 10 days but find a active scrape a week or two before the rut you might get pics everyday. a scrape looks nothing like rooting so dont worry bout mixing the two up.  as far as deer biting that one branch ive watched them lick and rub on same little branch for 10 minutes even though scrape is 20 yds away or maybe the branches you cut gave off a scent that he likes. under oaks is a great spot to find scrapes both mine where under small oaks in secluded areas on non quota public land wmas.keep at it and good luck.
  • gritsnhuntin1gritsnhuntin1 Posts: 1,180 Officer
    I have a few spots on public land that tend to have scrapes unded the same few trees every year. Each one has a licking brach as well. The mature deer only seem to work them at night so I usually hunt a good bit away from them. I still put cameras on two in order to see the deer using them. I just don’t seem to have any luck setting up close to them. Deer definitely seem to prefer the ones with licking branches over them.
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 971 Officer
    spangler said:
    I've also noticed.  He always comes from the same direction, headed in the same direction.  He's got a circuit he's working.  Earliest he's shown himself is 8pm, so I don't even know where to try and head try and head him off.  He comes out of a massive patch of gallberry that is surrounded by a few cypress ponds and marshes. 
    I've been mostly ground hunting but I think next sit, I'm going to climb a tree on the edge of that gallberry patch.
    I know theres still time left in the deer season but your particular spot especially if you get him on camera after the season would be one spot I'd be hunting come bow season next year  He will feel alot more comfortable heading out of his bed before sunset early in year.  I come across alot more scrapes down here than rubs but a buck will spend alot of time rubbing trees once there velvet starts shedding. I already posted this picture but I poured quite a bit of tinks on this scrape right before I set up the camera and these 2 little bucks were on the scrape 20 minutes after shooting light. I got probably 200 pics of them messing around with each other and that was only night I had any deer check this scrape was when I poured tinks. Pretty sure I read somewhere that one of the glands on a whitetail that they can tell if another or different deer is in a particular area is right below there eyes.  That's why they always use the biting or licking branch like a dog peeing on a hydrant. Marking a territory 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,671 Admiral
    I found 2 small Oaks today on a Walk About for next Season..one had 3 Scrapes under it , the other had 2 and their 50 yards apart.
    Spangler your gonna have to catch that Buck in the morning coming back to his Bedding area , they don't come out if pressured until dark thirty...Unless...It's raining a bit.
    I see my late season bucks right at dark in lite rain or just Shooting light in the morning..you got a half hour and you might as well leave.
    I'd go in that Thick the last weekend your gonna hunt there on a real windy day with a Shotgun and try and bump him up...got nothing to lose.
    I'm done hunting deer now but I'm Scouting with a gun and checking all them areas I watched the deer come out of and go into all season..Show Time...Spray and Pray..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • swampdogswampdog Central FloridaPosts: 1,066 Officer
    Spang rubs and scrapes come in all sizes. Most scrapes I see on my R&Ss are the size of a plate or garbage can lid. The biggest I ever saw was the size of a car hood (in a WMA). I saw a huge (for Florida) buck in that area during bow season. Even got to see him check a doe right after she peed and lip curl. I still see that buck in my memories. 
    My experiences also show big bucks will often rub a substantial sapling. I get pure joyous when I find a rub on a tree the size of my arm or fence post. 
    Keep going and reading the sign, it’s part of the hunt.
    Different are the hog rubs. You’ll find where they rub there full body on a fence post sized tree. The rub will color the tree almost black from the mud in their wallows. The hight of the muddy rub will indicate the size of the hog.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 14,463 AG
    Bucks around here don't really go back to rubs once they make them (and they are made for different reasons) but will visit scrapes over and over  (but not always) and multiple bucks will use the same one. The :licking branch" you refer to, what they are doing is putting scent on it from glands in their head. Can't remember ever finding a scrape that was not under a low hanging limb or branch. 
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
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