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scrape and rub line hunting

Old 05-21-2006, 04:37 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 210
Default scrape and rub line hunting

is there any truth to rub and scrape line hunting? here in MASSACHUSETTS there are alot of rubs and scrapes but i cant seem to find a pattern for them or line, they just seem to be made here and there. but the rubs seem to be hit year after year. i had a camera on a scrape that at least a half dozen different bucks checked out. i have had sections though with rubs everywhere no direct lines though. plus here in massachusetts they may use the same route but it maybe 7 days later or longer anybody else find this to be the same where you live? this is MASSACHUSETTS not ILLINOIS or another state down south?
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Old 05-21-2006, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default RE: scrape and rub line hunting

hey big ten i find that here in connecticut i seem to find the same thing depending on the area i hunt alot of times the deer around here kind of wander around but if you look closely they are often scraping in the general vacinity but the fall has been so screwed up weather wise i think that most of the scrapes get covered so fast you dont even know there, there
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:18 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7,876
Default RE: scrape and rub line hunting

Sure there's truth to it. The fewer bucks the clearer th lines are. 1/2 dozen plus would get confusing as they all are coming their own way. Picking the deer you want and tracking that particular one's route is some good tracking if you can do it. Around here we have few deer but getting better every year and the dominant buck of this woods almost always takes the same route. Had a chance at him 2 years ago but the place is small and he is always on the watch. This year the crops are as they were then and his pattern should be the same as then. Knowing what I do now I should be able to see him again maybe even geta shot off this time. I believe I shot at him 5 years ago but missed and hit a tree. Last year he destroyed the trees where he has entered the woods since his begining. I have a stand there and one next to his bedding area.

I'm only saying all this to show that there is truth to deer having particular travel routes. My brother who is a powerful hunter firmly believes it, works it, and hasanunbelievable eye at picking them out. I've seen him do it over and over and kill the deer that made them. Thinking of making up some sign's for this years hunting that say "The deer that made these rubs and scrapesis dead" for him to hang. He'd get a big kick out of it!
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 57
Default RE: scrape and rub line hunting

It could be like nodog said, that the rubs actually form lines but it's just hard to pick them out. It could also be that you're looking in an area where bucks spend time milling around rather than traveling through, like in staging or bedding areas, both ofwhich are valuable spots to be aware of.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:54 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: scrape and rub line hunting

Keep something in-mind, while carrying antlers, bucks will be actively rubbing from the time they shed they're velvet, to the time they drop they're antlers. Any area with concentrated rubs (more than say 10 in a 50 yard area), is defineatley worth studying. If they're is multiple scrapes in the same area, that's even better.

With that being said, just because you see a rub-line doesn't mean that a buck is going to be travelling in that area like it's a high-way, everyday. Most bucks have litterally thousands of rubs in they're home areas, with certain spots they seem to prefer to really go nut's in. Mostly, these will be areas where does travel, and where the buck wants to establish sign-posts alerting other deer to his presence.

Best method I've used to kill bucks on rub lines is to find the freshest possible sign, set-up, and hunt immediately. If you find a spot that was recently rubbed and scrapped up good (FRESH-FRESH-FRESH), you have to take advantage of the bucks activitly in that area right then, and sometimes you can catch him coming back through over a several day period. IMO, this is due to a doe that may be coming-in, or an area he knows holds lot's of does (which means during the rut he will be searching in the general area).

Keep one thing in-mind as well. Typically any area that is completely shredded is an area the buck feels most comfortable useing. Typically, the wind will be in his favor getting into and out of such areas. Make sure you have the wind, because he get's one whiff and game's over in that area. You may need to figure out a spot where he's coming and going from the "Core" area and surprise attack him there, where you can have an advantage with the wind. Good luck eh!
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11
Default RE: scrape and rub line hunting

Hi, don’t forget that deer, especially mature buck, love to walk in thick cover[/b].

Like you say the rubs are not aligned to make a so called rub/scrape line. I suggest you to check what type of trees arrangement in the area of your rub/scrape. Bucks love to walk in transition zones.
-if you hunt in forest area (no farm fields in more 3 miles) the big bucks in your area will always use topography at their advantage (the easiest place to walk, you would do the same thing, ex: less work to cross the funnel than the 2 or 3 hills, beaver dam, swamps). But don’t forget that these areas are sleeping area for buck when they want to rest. So during resting time they will go on top of hill and swamp to hide.

- if you hunt in farm area same thing apply but other thing to consider as well. The big buck could use field corners to go in field during day light, they use small strips of forest (again a funnel) to go to any wood lot between field. Transition zones here are very clear to see (farmer field and forest, and the same forest type of transition apply here, 2 type of wood met EX. Spruce – poplar, drainage system and any type of forest.)

Don’t forget that the best time to hunt rubs and scrapes for big bucks are in the two weeks before the first doe come in estrus (here I’m talking about first of the 80% does that will become in estrus in the so called rut in general mid November). Now you’re probably asking how to know when the first doe become in estrus. Simple the SCRAPING ACTIVITY stops (bucks are to busy chasing does, the time to establish who is the strongest one is over now it reproduction of the specie), it’s possible to see some scraping activity during the heat of the rut. Those scrapes are done most of the time by frustrated buck, the one who don’t have the chance to you know what with a doe lol. For few reasons, if you want more info ask I’ll explain.

During the rut you have to hunt where the group of does because it’s impossible to predict bucks movement, immature to mature ones. Except they will again use the topography (landscape) to walk the easiest possible. They will use funnels to their advantage, big bucks won’t go smell all does to see which one are in estrus. The big one will walk in the forest with the wind in their face or side from field to field, cut area to cut area in forest (any place where the does are usually during day light where does are eating have good potential). Then when they walk if they smell a doe in estrus they will fallow the smell in the wind. Then here they act stupid they go in the field directly without checking for their life (at this time of the year it’s reproduction of the specie that counts at the cost of their life sometime), this is why sometime you see big buck in open area during day light.

During the rut young bucks will often go directly in the field in the rut to check at the does. They don’t have the experience of mature one and that’s why they are easy to hunt compare to mature one and that is why you don’t see often or never see the mature buck of your area during hunting season. Don’t forget that you need a good population, sex ratio, age ratio in your area to have any expectation of bagging a mature animal.[/b]
Hope it will help you, don’t be shy to ask more info if you want.

Have a good one


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Old 05-22-2006, 02:54 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Default RE: scrape and rub line hunting

Scrape lines aren't myths. On my grandparents farm there is this old logging road that had scrapes and rubs on it year after year. The first year I bowhunted it I had several bucks coming along the road and stopping at the scrapes at first light. The next year they logged the area over. Two years ago the area was mature enough to hunt with stands again. I took the biggest buck of my life so far, from that road. This is an example of a good rubline that normally pays off for me. They tend to be on normal travel routes, or defined by geographical/habitat(transitionzones)features. These types of lines serve to affirm suspected travel routes.

There are a couple of anomolies you have to keep in mind. As mentioned before staging and bedding areas can havea lot of random patterned rubs that are created by bucks waiting for the woods to get dark enough for them to feel safe. Another abnormal manifestation of rubs are preliminary rubs that bucks randomly make as they are preparing for the pre-rut activities. These are often one time rubs/scrapes (a lot of times on field edges or in oak lots as they meander for food) that bucks make running up to more serious activities.

Part of determining the difference between one time, random rubs/scrapes comes from experience. Hunting an area year after year helps you see a reoccuring pattern. But you can help yourselfsee a patternwithout having hunted a spot for several years.
1. Look to see if the rub is along a travel route, or parallels one slightly downwind.
2. Look along the direction of travel(bare side of rub tends to be on side the buck is coming from and opposite from the direction he is traveling) and see if you can see another rub, and see a line emerge.
3.Check for old rub damaged trees. I have seen several trees from previous years rubbed along the same path. I have also noticed that bucks can prefer a specific size tree and even specific species of trees (sometimes he prefers aromatic trees like cedar or sassafras).
4. Try mapping all the scrapes you find and the direction of travel. Sometimes patterns emerge more easily that way.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:07 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southwest Ohio
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Default RE: scrape and rub line hunting

There is absolute truth to rub lines and scrape lines. Around here (SW Ohio) you can actually follow rub lines like a dotted line quite often. They change from eysr to year, but I have had great luck moving my stands when they first start showing up. I also love to hunt over the freshest scrapes. If you catch a buck when he first enters an area, then you should have a couple of days to hunt him before another doe 4 miles away goes into heat and he is gone, most of the time forever.
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