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ZDavidMiller

rubs & rub lines

13 posts in this topic

Where to look?

In your experiences, where do you look for buck sign, mainly rubs. What types of cover and terrain features. I am hunting in an area that consists of wetland cattails and bramble with islands of upland Decid/Con mix, bordering two bean fields, with little terrain features or elevation for that matter. I am not seeing much where I hunt in terms of rubs or scrapes. I know there is at least 3 mature bucks in the vicinity, I have seen them. But I cannot find a single scrape or rub. Any help appreciated.

I will post an ariel.

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stand2-1.jpg

stand1-1.jpg

You can see where my stands are, any stand placement tips wouldn't go unappreciated!

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First of all I wouldn't get all hung up on lack of rubs and scrapes this early in the game....Territorial rubs should begin in the next few weeks and scrapes should start appearing in earnest about the 3rd week in October, so lack thereof at this point is no cause for concern.

I like the stand locations, but without knowledge of beddin locations it is hard to determine if they are optimal or not. At this time bucks pretty much only have food on their mind and still may be in groups. So hunting between food and bedding grounds is a good bet, once we get further along you might even start seeing rubs lines, giving away travel routes or general locations. Once the middle to end of October rolls around, I would consider moving stand locations between known doe bedding areas or areas that create a natural funnel or neckdown. It looks from your arial that you have a couple of funnel areas, stand #9 seems to be in on already, and in that same picture, the lower left portion seems to have a pretty sweet funnel as well, bucks travel great distances in search of does and at all hours of the day during this phase, so funnels are an awesome spot to find a mature buck.

Looks like a great chunk of property for sure! Good luck and stick a pig!

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Thanks for the tips stratos! Here is what I got for you and anyone else.

As far as I can tell on the second picture, they are all bedding somewhere in the swamp to the east of the fields, ( behind the swamp it is residential). I am not sure where they are bedding in the first picture and I do not want to risk jumping deer to find out. Do you guys have any feelings about where they are bedding in either picture please let me know.

Up until this past week they had been feeding heavily on the new growth of the beans. It was hard to tell how many deer were out there as they usually didn't show until past dark. Now the beans have begun to turn and are pretty dry. Will they continue to feed on the beans themselves now or is it dead as a food source? I will post deer trails ( in green) where I know them to be on the second photo. The stand on the funnel I have not had any time to scout well and do not know a whole lot about the deer habits. Again any help is much appreciated.

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deertrails-1.jpg

Green lines are the known deer trails, or where I have seen deer travel while on stand. I haven't scouted much east of the beginning of the green lines, it is thick and I did not want to kick up any deer.

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Is that water just west of the trail yo marked? It's hard to judge distances in a picture but it looks like your stand is about 150-200 yards or so off the field? I'm probably way off. But anyway, it looks like you are set up between food and bed right now, are you seeing deer while in the stand? One concern is to have exit and entance routes to your stand that minumize the potential of spooking deer. I still see deer in dried beans, but the go from eating the leaves themselves (when green) to eating the actual beans. But it does seem, at least where I hunt, that the deer move off the beans and on to alfalfa, after that gets a few good frosts corn seems to be the preferred choice. But that is certianly not a rule, just an observation on the land I hunt.

What are the red lines, you're access routes?

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stand2-2.jpg

Here is topo of the stand set on that funnel.

You are correct I am around 150 yds of of the field to the west and about the same to the field to the south. Will deer hang out in corn when the corn is stunted to severely stunted?

I am seeing deer, usually 1 to 3 at a time, does, spikes and young on stand 15 to 60 yds out. They have appeared so far either from the woods directly to the west of stand #4 and then travelled NW around the tip of the woods, between woods and cattails grazing, or from the cattails headed S along the woods to the east of stand #4. They generally appear around 6:30-6:45.

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Also that is water, and the red lines are PM access routes, and blue is the AM access route to the southern of the two stands. Exits are tough, generally I get picked up in the field by a truck, as I figure with the farmers the deer are used to and do not get too spooked.

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Sure if there is sufficient cob/kernal development. I guess it depends on the other food sources in the proximity, if there is irrigated corn then they may opt for that simply because it may offer more protection and or concealment. Check the field for sign and food, if neither exist, I wouldn't think the deer would bother with it.

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I was going to reply earlier that stand #3 needs to slide to the right a little to take advantage of the natural funnel and the fact it is by a field corner. It seems as though deer are drawn to inside corners in a field. Your 'trails' confirm that they are using the funnel and the corner. Utilize being where they want to be. Also take into consideration that if North is up, you will want to be even further to the right to play the prevailing winds so they can not 'wind' you.

Stand #9 is my kinda stand! I like it!

Good Luck!

Ken

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I second what Ken said about stand number nine, get on the corner of that field, once I moved them, I got alot closer. Deer like point A to point B routes, they will skirt that little corner, often coming out in the open to graze and feed, the should walk right past that corner.

Also second the "not to worry about lack of rubs". I used to get like that. The last two years about the end of October to the start of gun season, the bucks would just TEAR UP the field edges. I couldn't go ten feet without seeing a scrape, but until then, they were every 100 or so. If this is the first time you are hunting the area, you should see a major increase in sign in 4 to 5 weeks. Get in your stands now and don't be afraid to move them with the changing deer patterns. Last year I had to move two stands and it greatly increased the proximity of the deer. I often saw them but they were a long way off in the field. If you do move the stands, move them off of the trail and make good shooting lanes into the field. Move them midmorning to early afternoon so you don't spook the deer. Good luck, stick with your natural funnels.

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Thanks everyone for the advice, I too thought of putting that stand on the corner, however winds in that area seem to also come from the SW, in what conditions should I risk hunting that stand? Should I save #9 for the pre-rut and rut? Also if anyone has some good pointers what kind of cover and terrain feature combos usually accompany rubs? What areas are likely candidates for a mature buck's bed? Thanks guys.

Zach

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A SW wind now blows your scent over two of the trails...so of you move it to the East and maybe a bit South you can hunt it in any westerly wind, unless the deer come from the west....then consider moving it to the east and hunt only in an east wind. Or put up another stand in that area to cover more than one wind direction. Lots of factors to think about.

Saving a stand location is a good idea, personally I have two stand locations that I do not even hunt until the last 10 days of October, they are placed between doe bedding areas and are located in a funnel, I want to stay out of there until then so I don't risk spooking too many does out and having them change thier patterns. Come the pre-rut the does are your best friends.

As far as terrain features lending to buck sign I am not sure that there is a direct correlation between the two, I come across rubs and scrapes from the thickest of cover to isolated sparse patches of scrub brush. I do know that mature bucks like to travel in corridors that offer the greatest protection and limiting thier exposure, such as saddles and low areas between bedding and feeding areas, so therefore you might see a distict rub line in areas such as this. And bucks will bed anywhere the feel safe, brushy, swampy, the stuff you wouldn't want to walk through.

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