Stock in historical rubs or scrapes

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Coalcracker
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Stock in historical rubs or scrapes

Unread postby Coalcracker » Mon May 24, 2021 8:02 am

I'm not a big fisherman, hit the ocean a few times a year but otherwise I'm thinking deer. So, its slow for me.

Over the years I've taken note of where I consistently found rubbing and scraping activity. Unfortunately, despite it smacking me in the face I never really dove in to decipher what was happening. Not until the past few years anyway. I've been hunting all but 40 years but it wasn't until about 10 years ago I decided to seriously try killing mature bucks. I put on plenty of boot miles in that time and documented a lot of deer sign. What I've come to realize is there are certain locations that consistently have big buck rubbing activity and scrapes. The scrapes are more inconsistent but generally, a well hidden thicket opening is best from year to year.

But the rubbing, if there is a big buck using the area, he will let you know. Sooner or later during the season, I find these huge rubs appearing in the same spots from year to year. If there isn't a big buck around, the big rubs don't show themselves but my best locations have them every year. It definitely makes me believe mature bucks replace dead mature bucks or multiple mature bucks will use the same locations. Now, I scout for the best bedding in relation to these clusters of historical rubs. When big fresh rubs show or a big ole track cuts the earth, I'm pushing in on these bedding locations. Compared to just a few years ago when I would "follow" the direction of the rubs and set up a little ways in. Not knowing where the buck might be bedded. A not very effective approach I might say.

Does anyone else put as much stock in historical rubbing activity? Is this how many of you Beast hunters get it done?


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Re: Stock in historical rubs or scrapes

Unread postby Brokenarrow1980 » Mon May 24, 2021 9:17 am

Im new to this but most deer around my areas are dead or get real good at hiding. That being said there is not a ton of scrapes or rubs around but I try to relate the sign to bedding in most cases. I have yet to perfect this and its hard to find bedding because they bed in areas you don't expect when the pressure picks up but many many many walks is starting to pay off and im reading the subtle sign letting me know of proof of life. I would say in certain areas at least in my novice opinion only sign adjacent to buck bedding matters. Everything else just tells you who is using the property.
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Re: Stock in historical rubs or scrapes

Unread postby dan » Mon May 24, 2021 9:28 pm

Pretty much spot on... Sign goes hand in hand with understanding bedding... Sign alone just tells you he is around. But you need both.
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Re: Stock in historical rubs or scrapes

Unread postby Deerkins » Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:53 am

Most of the big bucks in my area leave very little sign. It’s not until after a good one was killed, or during post season scouting, where I can really search the area over, that I eventually find sign that correlates with a big deer.

As an example, I only found only one tall rub on an oak flat from the buck I killed in 2016 that said “good deer”. Last year I only saw two rubs from the deer I killed when, I plowed through some thick stuff during the retrieval. Both deer I had pegged on cameras. I can think of several more that if it weren’t for stumbling on the most minuscule of sign, one wouldn’t know a mature deer was in the area.

For different reasons, a buck can have a temperament, that leads to him not putting a lot of sign down, but no matter what, he has to move around to live, and if he moves you can capture a pic of him.

What I’ve learned, is that off season scouting for sign is great, to get you into areas that bucks prefer, but it is no guarantee that those areas will will pan out in the near season. That is why in my opinion, aggressive in season or close to season scouting with cameras, is the way to go in poor mature buck herds areas.
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Re: Stock in historical rubs or scrapes

Unread postby Lockdown » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:30 am

Deerkins wrote:Most of the big bucks in my area leave very little sign. It’s not until after a good one was killed, or during post season scouting, where I can really search the area over, that I eventually find sign that correlates with a big deer.

As an example, I only found only one tall rub on an oak flat from the buck I killed in 2016 that said “good deer”. Last year I only saw two rubs from the deer I killed when, I plowed through some thick stuff during the retrieval. Both deer I had pegged on cameras. I can think of several more that if it weren’t for stumbling on the most minuscule of sign, one wouldn’t know a mature deer was in the area.

For different reasons, a buck can have a temperament, that leads to him not putting a lot of sign down, but no matter what, he has to move around to live, and if he moves you can capture a pic of him.

What I’ve learned, is that off season scouting for sign is great, to get you into areas that bucks prefer, but it is no guarantee that those areas will will pan out in the near season. That is why in my opinion, aggressive in season or close to season scouting with cameras, is the way to go in poor mature buck herds areas.


This aligns with my perspective and experiences.


Regarding historical rubs, I see lots of bedding areas that have a lot of things going for them (things telling me “hunt here”) but seeing historical rubs really gives me the confidence to put time and effort into that spot.

Sometimes you can even make out REALLY old scars. For example a 9” diameter tree that got rubbed when it was 3 or 4”. When I see those and also rubs from the last 3-4 years, that is a spot that is worthy of my time.


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