Rubs On Creek Bottoms

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HunterBob
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Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby HunterBob » Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:17 am

So I am trying to understand this same scenario that has played out for me at least three separate times at three separate locations. On an afternoon hunt I am far into a property (mile or more) scouting with the hopes of hunting. I find an area where there are a bunch of very fresh rubs (5-10 separate trees) in a very close proximity. These areas are creek bottoms with ridges overlooking the creek.

All three times I set up between the rubs and the water, to pull my scent toward the creek. All three times I saw nothing move even though I sat till dark.

I'm wanting to learn from this as clearly I am missing something. What are your experiences with a bunch of rubs made in the creek bottoms? Are these night rubs? Is this an indicator that a buck had a doe bedded down in the area the day before? Are these areas not good to set up on but can give an indication about where the buck are?

Would love to hear others' thoughts.


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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby rhagenw » Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:48 am

Could it be possible they are bedding on those points looking into the creek bottom and caught your movement?
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby Huntress13 » Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:44 am

I'm interested in hearing others answer. My question would be, what time of day did you set up? I assume mid day or mid afternoon since you are scouting in? Bucks may be on the ridges and daytime thermals are pulling up.
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby UntouchableNess » Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:58 am

When was it? Pre, peak, post rut?

I've got a go-to place that sounds kind of like what you have described. Mine is more scrapes than rubs, but there are usually a few trees that get abused every year. A weather front moving in has helped get them on their feet earlier, late afternoon. They might not be making it there until after dark or making the scrape line on the return to bedding.
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby MichiganMike » Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:05 am

From My experience- he is bedding a little more on an interior transition in the creek bottom near the doe bedding. The does typically bed in a creek/river bottom on an oxbow or where there is some kind of vantage point where they can see. He may be bedding on the ridge somewhere too in morning to catch the does coming in. That depends on the wind direction and amount of pressure. But from my experience in my area- usually in the interior in the creek bottom because of the pressure up top. Ill usually see pretty defined trails coming from his bedding down there if he feels hes safe. But either way- He's probably pretty close, so watch your access. You may have bumped him without knowing also. Ive been there!
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby HunterBob » Tue Jun 29, 2021 9:06 am

rhagenw wrote:Could it be possible they are bedding on those points looking into the creek bottom and caught your movement?


It's highly possible, although in one of the situations I was very mindful of this. Found the area mid-day and then came back hours later moving slow and hiding behind trees, only moving when there was wind or an airplane going overhead. Set up in a saddle climbing on the side of the tree that hid me. Still not movement... I know this obviously happens alot, I am trying to figure out these type of rubs and if they are worth setting up on in the future.
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby HunterBob » Tue Jun 29, 2021 9:09 am

MichiganMike wrote:From My experience- he is bedding a little more on an interior transition in the creek bottom near the doe bedding. The does typically bed in a creek/river bottom on an oxbow or where there is some kind of vantage point where they can see. He may be bedding on the ridge somewhere too in morning to catch the does coming in. That depends on the wind direction and amount of pressure. But from my experience in my area- usually in the interior in the creek bottom because of the pressure up top. Ill usually see pretty defined trails coming from his bedding down there if he feels hes safe. But either way- He's probably pretty close, so watch your access. You may have bumped him without knowing also. Ive been there!


The does almost exclusively bed on the ridges where I hunt. Should have mentioned that I hunt in the South and the terrain is almost all ridges and river bottoms, big woods. I think it's highly possible that the bucks are bedding on the ridges also, but didn't want to go up there to find out and scare them off. Maybe I should just to verify and come back another day... Just hard to pass up hunting on sign that is this fresh, especially when there are 10 fresh rubs within 20 yds!
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby jmaas07 » Tue Jun 29, 2021 9:15 am

What time of the season were you throwing sits at it?
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby MichiganMike » Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:08 am

HunterBob wrote:
MichiganMike wrote:From My experience- he is bedding a little more on an interior transition in the creek bottom near the doe bedding. The does typically bed in a creek/river bottom on an oxbow or where there is some kind of vantage point where they can see. He may be bedding on the ridge somewhere too in morning to catch the does coming in. That depends on the wind direction and amount of pressure. But from my experience in my area- usually in the interior in the creek bottom because of the pressure up top. Ill usually see pretty defined trails coming from his bedding down there if he feels hes safe. But either way- He's probably pretty close, so watch your access. You may have bumped him without knowing also. Ive been there!


The does almost exclusively bed on the ridges where I hunt. Should have mentioned that I hunt in the South and the terrain is almost all ridges and river bottoms, big woods. I think it's highly possible that the bucks are bedding on the ridges also, but didn't want to go up there to find out and scare them off. Maybe I should just to verify and come back another day... Just hard to pass up hunting on sign that is this fresh, especially when there are 10 fresh rubs within 20 yds!

I see. That's interesting. Up here in my area, just about ALL the deer are bedding on the edges of thick tangles in river bottoms because of all the pressure. Especially from late October into November. If their in the high ground- usually its in or around clearcuts with thick undergrowth. I don't doubt they bed on ridges at times, I just don't focus there enough to know for sure. I just feel too much to go wrong.
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby Ack » Tue Jun 29, 2021 11:42 am

I can’t really help with how they are using that type of area, but it does sound like the perfect scenario to soak a camera for a season to get future intel.
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby HunterBob » Tue Jun 29, 2021 11:53 am

jmaas07 wrote:What time of the season were you throwing sits at it?


All three of these places were early November, which is peak rut for our area.
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby Ghost Hunter » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:07 pm

I have a ridge that runs for about 1/2 mile or little over. Bucks will run those ridges next to thick areas chasing or waiting on does during day if not bothered. At night they will run bottoms chasing does. When activity gets hot and heavy they will run bottoms during day time or even bed in bottoms in an area that is thick and near doe travel areas.

I would start with walking top of those ridges and work your way down looking for beds, rubs, any tell tell sign. Don't run through take your time an study it and try figure why they do what they do.
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby rhagenw » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:40 pm

HunterBob wrote:
rhagenw wrote:Could it be possible they are bedding on those points looking into the creek bottom and caught your movement?


It's highly possible, although in one of the situations I was very mindful of this. Found the area mid-day and then came back hours later moving slow and hiding behind trees, only moving when there was wind or an airplane going overhead. Set up in a saddle climbing on the side of the tree that hid me. Still not movement... I know this obviously happens alot, I am trying to figure out these type of rubs and if they are worth setting up on in the future.

So to be clear these rubs are just a bunch randomly together or follow a linear pattern? If it’s a cluster (just a haunch) without good cover, sound or wind protection it may be night sign but I see bucks bed and stage in the open before pressure kicks in
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby rhagenw » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:42 pm

rhagenw wrote:
HunterBob wrote:
rhagenw wrote:Could it be possible they are bedding on those points looking into the creek bottom and caught your movement?


It's highly possible, although in one of the situations I was very mindful of this. Found the area mid-day and then came back hours later moving slow and hiding behind trees, only moving when there was wind or an airplane going overhead. Set up in a saddle climbing on the side of the tree that hid me. Still not movement... I know this obviously happens alot, I am trying to figure out these type of rubs and if they are worth setting up on in the future.

So to be clear these rubs are just a bunch randomly together or follow a linear pattern? If it’s a cluster (just a haunch) without good cover, sound or wind protection it may be night sign but I see bucks bed and stage in the open before pressure kicks in


Edit if it’s linear i witness bucks rubing a travel path out if it’s bed...like I said this is just what I’ve seen
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Re: Rubs On Creek Bottoms

Unread postby Lockdown » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:48 pm

Chances are there is bedding nearby but it’s not guaranteed. I would check the map for suspected bedding and follow the likely trails toward suspected bedding (this summer/right now) from the rubs.

Setting up between rubs and water is the right idea, but it’s not necessarily the right MOVE. Knowing where the beds are is crucial. If you can’t find their hiding spot, setting up over the rubs themselves will most likely yield a poor result.

In a different comment you mentioned peak rut. Keep in mind you could be doing everything right minus one thing: hunting it at the wrong time. When I think peak rut I’m thinking does. If you’re not on the does you’re not on the big buck either.

Are those rubs there early season? Better find out!

So step one, FIND THE BEDDING. Don’t wait until next year. Find it now.

Step two: during season you need to wait until you know they’re using said bedding. THEN hunt it. Don’t just guess. I used to guess a lot and it rarely works ;)


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