Jump to content


Photo

What Do Rubs Mean?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 MVHC

MVHC

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 41 posts

Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:45 PM

Hello All...

I live in northern California and the area where I hunt, the season wraps up before the rut gets going...Having said that I located an area last fall that had numerous old rubs in about a 12 acre area....I was out hunting turkey the other day and decided to check the area for turkey sign. No turkeys, but there were big numbers of new rubs that were obviously made last fall during the rut....

From a strategy standpoint, what does this area mean to me? Do I work the area with tree stands toward the end of the season? What are your thoughts? Clearly if I could hunt it during the rut it would be a hotspot despite the fact that much of the rubbing probably occurs at night, yet do you guys think bucks could be staging in and around the area before the rut actually gets going...The deer in the area are migratory and the area I found is part of the winter range, yet with a bit of snow I've killed bucks at the same elevation during the last week to 10 days of the season....

Thanks in advance.....

#2 cahunter70

cahunter70

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts

Posted 11 April 2010 - 04:12 PM

I am no expert here but I guess I would say it kind of depends where you found the rubs. Private land or public. By that I mean if it were a ranch that was lower in elevation then the bucks may be resident deer and they probably live year round in a smaller general area. So locating these rubs may be a benefit.

If you are talking public land like the NF or even Wilderness areas then the bucks you would be talking about normally reside in the high country until weather pushes them lower. The buck or bucks that made those rubs probably don't live anywhere near that area during the hunting season. Just my opinion.

#3 BRIGHTEYES

BRIGHTEYES

    BTC Addict

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,343 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sutherlin, Oregon
  • Interests:Christian walk, family, huntin, hikin, picture takin

Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:09 PM

That makes two of us in the non expert column. Some of your questions reminded me of some of my own, so I got out my dog eared copy of "Blacktail Trophy Tactics". He says that most rubbing is done before the rut, in practice for the battles to come. The only other time of any significance is when they're rubbing off the velvet. So if your season is just prior to the rut, maybe hanging around there is a good idea. He agreed that almost all rubbing is done at night though.

There's a couple pages on the subject of rubs. If you have access to a copy, it's a very good read. It sure opened my eyes, after many years of not understanding what's going on.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has a quiver full of them. Ps.127:4,5


#4 singleshot

singleshot

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 747 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 12 April 2010 - 05:18 AM

I do not live in a migratory area, so my knowledge is based on the later.

Unless it's thick where these rubs are at, 12 acres is rather large to be considered a core area. So I want to say that what you probably have is an area that is used by multiple bucks up to and during the time when they rid themselves of their velvet. After which, the bucks separate and (in my area) disappear from existence.

In the area that I hunt, rub lines are the thing to watch for (pre-rut activity around my area). This indicates a travel route for the buck and one in which he is using often enough to get around to consider hunting. When the rut gets here, I see smaller treeís (3 to 4 feet in height) and Scotch Broom rubbed more so than any of the larger treeís that one seeís rubbed earlier in the season. Truth be known, Iím not sure Iíve ever seen a large rub made (note: I said made, not tended.. I'm positive bucks re-scent rub lines) during the rut. I just donít think the bucks get their testosterone generated fix rubbing a 4 or 5 inch in diameter tree vs. tearing a smaller one to shreds.

Trail-cams, binoís and spotting scopes will be your friend at this point.

Again, my knowledge is based on what I see and how I hunt up here in Oregon.


Singleshot
We've all got our style of hunting, as long as it's within the law, ethical and you enjoy it.... Go for it.

#5 MVHC

MVHC

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 41 posts

Posted 12 April 2010 - 08:50 AM

Thanks for the feedback....I'm very interested in reading more...I feel like I've stumbled on a real opportunity to learn and maybe score a buck....The area is well below the elevation where the bucks would be rubbing of velvet...It lays out like this...I know it is winter ground, because the roads into the area are closed during the winter so as to not disturb the deer....

My 12 acre estimate may be off, but I think it is close....Basically it is a hardwood ridge that ends on a round point. It is in the national forest. The ridge is surround by STEEP canyon on three sides....I looked around and there are rubs in evidence going back in time for years....All the rubbing is done on soft wood pines that are all 1 1/4 inch in diameter or less...In the period after deer season I hunted the area for bear because there were lots of acorns around...I didn't find any bears, but I did see bucks...I wasn't really looking for rubs....

I'm certain that the rubs are made by a number of different bucks, I mean there are lots of rubs and I'm only seeing a fraction of them...Some of them looked to be really violent when others not so much....I've found rub lines lots of times, both old and new in other areas, but I have never found an area with such a high concentration of rubs. It is sort of hard to find a tree of the size and type that the bucks like to rub that hasn't been worked over...I have no idea how far the rubs drop down into the canyon...

The idea that they are made prior to the season is very interesting...That would mean that the activity is occuring during the rifle season....My theory at this point is that the bucks are coming out of the canyon and doing their thing on top of the ridge at night....I should invest in a trail camera...My tentative plan for success at this point is to work the edges of the ridge from a treestand, but not on a daily basis...l think my best chance for success would be toward the end of the season during overcast stormy weather when the low light might tempt a buck to come up out of the canyon....The season ends around the first weekend of November and the rut typically takes place between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15 from what I've heard and observed....This makes me wonder about rattling....I've never done it in my life....

I've heard that whitetails make a rub line and return to it time after time...I wonder if blacktails do the same thing...Clearly from the evidence in my area they do the same amount of rubbing at the same place every season....

More feedback please...Thanks Cal

#6 MVHC

MVHC

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 41 posts

Posted 01 October 2014 - 11:24 AM

Oh Boy...I started this thread 4 years ago...Well I'm back with more rub talk!

 

I got Boyd's book.....

 

I'm currently hunting a piece of low elevation public ground in Northern California....The area doesn't have many deer, but there is a small resident population. Since hunting success is rare, hunting pressure is pretty light most of the time....Without bucks being harvested, there are a few big mature bucks in the mix...Its the sort of area where you won't get much action, but you could walk away with a real wall hanger if things go your way....

 

I selected my ground blind based on rubs. I located an area that is essentially a saddle between to low ridge tops that eventually fall away in to a huge canyon. Both Ridge tops are thick with pines, live oaks and lots of brush...The saddle area is more open, dotted with lots of blue oaks and some  scrub pines....It's the sapling pines that the bucks rub on....The saddle's pines represent a history of buck activity in terms of rubs. There are dozens and dozens of them. Some of them look to be a decade old, while others are still bubbling pitch from last fall. Some of the trees are the size of my thumb, but a few of them are the size of a baseball bat...Those get my heart racing...LOL...

 

I've been sitting on the spot as much as I can early and late in the day....This should be a good test of sitting on a rub line. The deer are relatively undisturbed even though its a public area. Since there are bikers and hikers about daily the deer are used to the sounds and smells of humans....My season runs until early November....If the resident bucks are traveling those rub lines pre rut I've got a pretty good chance of seeing one....About a month ago I walked the general area around my stand and made mental notes on where the rubs were, which trees weren't rubbed and how the rubs looked....This way I'll hopefully know if a new rub pops up...I wish I had a trail camera, but I don't...

 

I'll keep you all posted...I know rubs mean something and I know we can exploit them...I'm just not sure how yet....LOL



#7 kmorefield

kmorefield

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 44 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Redding, CA

Posted 01 October 2014 - 02:47 PM

I'm not sure where exactly you are hunting, but in some parts of northern California, those rubs could just as easily be from elk.  The elk really focus on the small pine trees, and you will find rubs from trees the size of your fingers on up to trees as big as your thigh!  Of course, those rubs will often extend WAY up into a tree, and big limbs will be ripped from the trunk...

 

Ken



#8 MVHC

MVHC

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 41 posts

Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:02 PM

I wish they were elk....Nope no elk around...Just blacktails....



#9 Johnathen

Johnathen

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NOR*CAL

Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:25 PM

MVHC along with Boyd Iverson's book check out Trophy Blacktails by Scott Haugen he talks more about rattling and calling for Blacktails then any other book I have read.  It may help you out.



#10 shedhorn

shedhorn

    BTC Addict

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,991 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Medford, OR
  • Interests:Hunting and Family

Posted 02 October 2014 - 05:51 AM

Fresh rubs = sit your but down and rattle!


It's tough to push a rope.

#11 MVHC

MVHC

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 41 posts

Posted 02 October 2014 - 07:03 AM

Hey Shedhorn.... I've been kicking that around...I'm going to do it as we get toward the final 10 days of October...Our rut is suppose to peak the first time on Dec. 15...I'll be heading out around that time to try it too, even though the season will be over...My camera will still work...Nobody rattles in Ca....

 

Just that sound might be enough to draw in one of the resident bucks in my area... I'm sure they'd be curious to know about "new bucks" in their living room....



#12 MARSH BUCK

MARSH BUCK

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 82 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nor Cal

Posted 02 October 2014 - 09:21 PM

I don't hunt the hills much, i spend most of my time in the valley. I see light rubbing usually starting out in August. Deer are just rubbing off their velvet, I find it hanging in the trees all the time. Not very big or aggressive rubs. The willow trees they prefer aren't beat up to bad. Then starting in October all the way till the end of deer season rubs start getting bigger and much more destructive. Tearing small button willows damn near out of the ground. If we get a good cold snap and a few decent rains bucks around here start to get kinda rutty to full blown chase mode the last week of the season. I don't think they are breeding yet, just harassing does 24/7. Keeps them off their beds for large portion of the day if it's cool and damp out. Any was to get to the point, early season velvet rubs don't seem to mean much around here. Deer wondering around picking a random tree shedding off their velvet. But late season rubs are territorial markers, same exact trees get hit every season. If that area is holding a decent amount of does and you happen to kill the big boy that set up shop around there. A day or two later a new buck will move in and start and new bunch of rubs. Seems like they will block off an area of around 50 to 100 acres to them selves. With the small bucks cruising the edges of that older bucks zone. 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users