Ask The Biologist

There’s the Rub

There’s the Rub

By Bob Humphrey

By themselves, buck rubs might not mean they hang out in a given area.

QUESTION: While turkey hunting this spring, I found a place where deer had made several rubs. I’m wondering if it would be a good location to hunt this fall? –Erik F.

ANSWER: As is often the case with questions we receive for ATB, it’s difficult to give a firm answer without more information.

Deer rub trees for different reasons. Sometimes it’s part of the process of shedding velvet and building up neck and shoulder muscles for the forthcoming rut, in which case they’ll rub whatever tree is nearby at the time. They also commonly rub along field edges, which is probably related to displacement behavior – they’re eager to get out in the field, but hold up and wait for signs of danger, and while they wait, they displace anxiousness by rubbing.

And they make and maintain traditional signpost rubs. The latter are typically along well used trail systems and/or near core areas. It’s difficult to say what the circumstances are with the rubs you found, but placing trail cameras in the late summer and early fall could provide much better answers.

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd