Public land confusion

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BigHills BuckHunter
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Public land confusion

Unread postby BigHills BuckHunter » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:04 am

I found an area in marsh/riverbottoms that has about 40-50 rubs (not exagerating) in about a a 100 yard area. It all follows a creek that runs East to West then a big ridge to the south of it that runs East to West. On top of the ridge is land owned by Girls scouts of America so no hunting and it has many acres of planted red pines. I was wondering if this rub area was used by a bachelor group of bucks? My friend told me most likely a 2.5 year old by himself but I found up to 8 inch rubs in there and many beds with big rubs right next to them. These beds were in tall crp grass. Im assuming a bachelor group bedding area for these reasons. Im confused about it and also how would I hunt this? Doesnt seem to be a food source nearby either which really confuses me. Road is .4 miles to the East.


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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby badfaulkner » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:32 am

I'm not James Kroll by any means but I've got to assume that the bachelor groups break up by the time rubbing starts. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, forum members.

Now, it's not uncommon here in the South to find rubs...I promise I'm not lying...in July. I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes, taken a picture, and had a record book bowhunter here in SC verify what I'd seen.

Also, I have seen clusters of rubs all in the same area more than once. It looks like a rub bomb went off. It's always under an acorn producing oak tree in the swamp (for the does or bucks, I don't know) from the white oak family and every cypress sapling within a ten yard radius around it had been rubbed silly. I gotta believe one really territorial buck did that rather than a bachelor group.

The multiple beds in your scenario does support the bachelor group theory though.
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby dan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:46 am

Bad is correct... Buck groups are usually broke up around antler hardening time. If not, shortly there after. The beds could be the same buck bedding in different spots. Could be different bucks at the same time if they are far enough apart... That many rubs in that small of an area is most likely done mostly by two year old bucks. You might have an older one or two that pass thru now and then but the two year olds are the ones that really seem to enjoy killing trees.
With two year olds hanging around there that much, there likely aint older bucks bedding there very often or they would run the younger ones off and the rubbing would slow down... Maybe there are some does bedding nearby too and that is getting the younger bucks worked up more towards marking trees...
found up to 8 inch rubs in there and many beds with big rubs right next to them.

Diameter of the tree don't mean near as much as how high the rub is. There is a distinct height difference between 1 1/2, 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and older bucks. If there are some rubs that are noticeably higher, those would be from an older buck. In the midwest a deer rub that is belly high on me to its center is a mature buck of 4 1/2 or older... Waste high, 3 1/2... etc...
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby dan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:48 am

Doesnt seem to be a food source nearby either which really confuses me.

Bucks are more worried about safety when bedding than food.
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby BigHills BuckHunter » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:17 pm

Thanks for the insight Dan. Ill remember that waist high belly high tactic. I always aged a buck by his rub by the amount of damage done to the tree combined with width of tree. However,Ive seen trees no wider than my finger completely torn apart and even broken. Ive heard this could be an older buck too? Maybe this is another myth but when you find rubs with deep cuts in them does this signify a mature buck or is this done by 2.5 year olds too? Hope you know what im talking about it looks like someone took a knife and stabbed the tree.
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby Spysar » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:49 am

Any place with that many rubs is worth checking out. Rubs are a visual marker, as well as a scent post for all bucks. Usually every buck around will visit rubs even if they are not the original maker of the rub. You need to get a trail cam in the area, or just hunt the place and see what lives there. All bucks are individuals, and although those rubs may have characteristics of what a younger buck may do, you still don't really know until you see for yourself.
A buck will see you three times, and hear you twice, but he's only gonna smell you once.
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby dan » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:07 am

BigHills BuckHunter wrote:Thanks for the insight Dan. Ill remember that waist high belly high tactic. I always aged a buck by his rub by the amount of damage done to the tree combined with width of tree. However,Ive seen trees no wider than my finger completely torn apart and even broken. Ive heard this could be an older buck too? Maybe this is another myth but when you find rubs with deep cuts in them does this signify a mature buck or is this done by 2.5 year olds too? Hope you know what im talking about it looks like someone took a knife and stabbed the tree.

I was hunting a transition line once that was littered with Rubs... This was many many moons ago, probably 25 or more years ago. Still sticks in my head. One of the rubs was about 15 yards from my tree and was on about a 12 inch diameter tree with large deep grooves in it and appeared to be getting worked over quite often. All the pine needles and leaves were ripped out from around the base of the tree by the deers hooves while he rubbed... I could just imagine the monster who did that damage, at least till he showed up while I was hunting... It was a 1 1/2 year old spike or 3 point and he really gave that tree a work out.
After that the next time I got up there I took a better look, and could see it was really low to the ground and there were other signs like tracks and no big tracks that should of given it away.
When I was younger I tried hunting rub clusters with mixed success. Most of the action came from 2 year old bucks, and the action really depended more on nearby buck bedding... However,you described buck beds being right there nearby. I would give the spot a hunt or two. 1st off if the buck was a 2 year old, this year he may be a 3 year old and may use the same beds. I have seen areas full of rubs where the rubs stopped getting refreshed but the spot was still great cause an older buck moved in...
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BigHills BuckHunter
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby BigHills BuckHunter » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:35 am

Haha...thats a great story dan of that little guy tearing it up! I took your advice about the height of rubs and went out to my private land, couldnt make it to the public spot I talked about, and noticed that I could see a pattern in height as well. The tallest rub I found on a bedding area point off a field im looking to hunt this fall, was hip high. It was interesting to point out there was only one this high with many rubs about 3-4 inches lower. These are the 2.5's? Then some others very close to the ground. Several bucks using this point? About the public land with all those rubs. Most likely 2.5 year old makin them rubs but as Dan mentioned this year he will be a 3.5 and means a shooter for me! I just gotta get in there with the correct wind and see what lives there.
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:25 am

Right on, BBH. When you find those 2.5 yr. old rubs, if he survived the season now you've got a 3 year old on your hands. On high pressure public land around me, that is absolutely a target animal. Older bucks are VERY rare to find.

Just to show how strong the instinct for a buck to rub in his bed can be, a couple of years ago I jumped a button buck out of his bed- you guessed it, he scratched the tiny sapling up with his buttons that he was bedded against. Never heard of that before... 8-)
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby PredatorTC » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:23 am

Im not sure if anyone has already said this, but if your not sure where he is bedding yet, i would at least take a little look at those pines u mentioned. I know Dan says that most deer bed on the sides of pines where they can see out, but the other day i found an exception. There was a high spot in the pines that he was bedding on. But he was using his sight advantage. Just my $0.02
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Re: Public land confusion

Unread postby BigHills BuckHunter » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:42 pm

When I was scouting past winter on our private land I found a nice buck bed prolly 3.5 yrs old from the tracks he had and it was on the highest point of a stand of pines. I thought he was using his sight more than nose too.

Those pines I was talking about before are not public owned tho. Girls scouts of America owns them. I really dont feel like joining the club to get the access so I guess ill just stick to public.


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