Lockdown wrote:Great points Maine and Joe.
Maine's example of how he put the pieces together on that bedding area kind of made me smile. It's kind of like a 3 piece puzzle. The subtle but huntable bedding areas can be very hard to figure out until you have all three pieces. In his scenario, he had piece A (bedding that didn't look that great) piece C (food with rubs... he sees that all the time... nothing new) and it wasn't until piece B (rub line on the trail in between the two) that he had the AH-HA moment.
It's tough enough as it is, but low density and poor age structure areas make it even tougher to find bedding that is used consistently. I usually find bedding in the spots I mark on an aerial, but deciphering buck from doe bedding is the hard part. Especially when you have bucks rubbing and scraping in doe bedding during rut Keep in mind nobody is right all the time. Some guys on here make it look incredibly easy.
I had a couple times this year that I found rubs way away from suspected bedding. When I randomly came across them on the way in, I walked right by them thinking they were nothing. After I found the bedding and followed all the trails out, I got led right back to those rubs. I like to follow trails a long ways from bedding, [glow=red]especially[/glow] if there isn't much sign in the bedding/staging area. Even if there IS a lot of sign in there, where are they going after that? I often have ag fields in multiple directions... which one are they going to? I do think bucks will stage in one direction and do a 180 when they're ready to head out. So keep that in mind.
The "distant" rubs are very likely made during darkness, but who cares. A rub line is a rub line, and an important piece of the puzzle. Hunt it at the source. [glow=red]It might be 75-100 yards between rubs maybe more, and there might only be a couple[/glow].
Maine is talking about a rub line that runs a HALF MILE from bedding. Just think about that...
Maine what did that rub line look like from bedding to food? How many how often? Were most facing bed or food?
Most were facing the bedding. And without careful inspection, you would not necessarily pin it down as a rubline. You mentioned that being far apart. But I knew the direction of the bedding that I found the day before and headed in that direction. Some type of GPS device is the only way to really go about this. Its all timber. So every spot really looks like another. As I was tracking back to the beds that I found, I could see rubs. And it was the large amount of rubs headed in that direction that started pushing me in that direction to begin with. They started to lessen but as I kept going...would find another rub every so often, all headed in the same direction.
I really did not get a chance to track it back to the food source...my wife was expecting me home ...and I was running late. I plan on getting back in there as soon as I can. Thats really what I want to see if the rubs go both ways. Its good stuff to find. Observation and trail cams really are going to reveal whether the deer are still using it this year.
Now its putting together when and where I am going hunt 1000-1500 acres of timber. Really, its going take bunch more work as summer approaches. Mainly, I need to see what food sources are producing this year and make plans accordingly. Food or lack thereof is going to change destination spots.
BUT this is one of the many spots I have found this year. So there is a lot of the "observe and see who is around" type of thing that I need to do before fall. My plan this spring was to build upon what I did last year as far as adding new ground. Kind of went overboard