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Rubbing It In

Check Out Our Tip VideosMany hunters believe rubs to be the most reliable form of buck sign. Some believe that the bigger the rub the bigger the buck. To an extent, both are true.

The big advantage of rubs is that they’re less likely to be made randomly than scrapes. Rubs are used for a whole lot more than getting velvet off antlers, including marking territory.

The buck marks his territory from glands on his forehead. There are three main types of rubs. There are the purely territorial rubs around the buck’s core area that are much like "No Trespassing" signs. There are rub lines that are strung out along a trail, indicating a buck’s preferred travel route. A communal rub often occurs where two or more bucks’ territories join. It is usually on a larger-than-average tree, and all the dominant bucks in the area will rub it. Such rubs are gold mines in terms of deer hunting, so mark them on a map when you find them.