Register  | Login
  Search
TOP STORIES
Ask The Biologist

What’s a Noob To Do?Bob Humphrey is the Biology & Deer Behavior field editor for Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine and holds similar titles with other major hunting publications.

He currently lives in Maine with his wife and two children. For more information about Bob, visit his website at www.bobhumphrey.com.

Click here to email your questions to "Ask the Biologist."

 

rule

Therein Lies the Rub:
Bucks rub their antlers to remove velvet and mark territory, but understanding rub messages depends on when and where the buck made them.

QUESTION: On my property in the Catskills region of New York, we see a few rubs in late September and early October, but the majority of rubs do not appear until early November. I want to know if buck rubs are primarily for the removal of velvet, or for marking territory and mock fighting to strengthen neck muscles. — Lou P.

Therein Lies the Rub

ANSWER: Bucks make rubs for several reasons, and sometimes there is seasonality to them. As days grow shorter toward the end of summer, velvet dies and begins peeling off antlers. Bucks will rub trees and branches to help speed the process, but the real rubbing won’t start for a few weeks. These early rubs can be few and far between, but locating them can be a good indication of a buck’s core area.

As the rut draws near, a sudden surge of testosterone causes an increase in aggressive behavior. One way bucks vent their anxiety is by rubbing trees. It’s probably coincidental rather than intentional, but this also helps them strengthen the neck muscles they may need for sparring and fighting later on. They may also rub trees as a display of aggression toward another buck, rather than risk injury in combat. In the latter case, these rubs can show up just about anywhere a buck travels at this time of year, and may only be used once.

Bucks also rub certain trees, presumably to leave a scent message, similar to a scrape. Although deer are not territorial in the true sense of the word — defending a specific piece of ground — they use scent to communicate their presence and, possibly, their vigor, status and readiness to breed. These traditional, or signpost, rubs occur along their regular travel routes and often are used year after year.

Click Here To Email Your Questions to "Ask The Biologist."

 

 

 

Recent Questions
Smoking in the Stand?
Does cigarette smoke adversely affect deer hunting?
 
Buck Fawns and New Territories
When fawns leave their mothers, do buck fawns generally stay in the area or leave to find their own territories? I've heard it's best to shoot the mother before the fawns are pushed away in order t...
 
Is it Okay to Harvest Young Deer?
Hi Bob. I was thinking of going for a fawn for several reasons. First, I do not need a large amount of meat. It's just me that will be eating it. Secondly, there seems to be only one doe and a couple...
 
Doe Harvesting: The Big Picture
We always hear about removing bucks with bad genetics from the herd, then we see all these hunters on TV shooting big does. Don't the does play a big part in the big picture?
 
Aging Toothless Deer
I've just harvested a Pennsylvania buck that we have collected many trail cam photos of over the past four years. Oddly, we've had very few live sightings of it. By the photos, we guessed it to be ...
 
Page 18 of 30First   Previous   13  14  15  16  17  [18]  19  20  21  22  Next   Last   
Pay Your Bill Online Google+ Buckmasters on Pinterest Follow Us On Instagram! LinkedIn Buckmasters on YouTube Follow Us On Twitter Buckmasters on Facebook!

Become A Buckmasters Nations Fan!