While there’s much debate on the subject, rubs can be a reliable form of buck sign. Bucks use (some) rubs to define their territory. Glands in the buck’s forehead produce an oily substance that contains a scent peculiar to that buck — a signature scent. They often pick out resinous tree species such as cedar to rub, apparently because it holds the scent the longest.
Bucks rub most where they spend most of their time. The rub is primarily a signal to other bucks, advising that a particular area is “taken.” He rubs trees around his core area and leaves them along favored travel corridors and in preferred bedding areas.
Rubs can tell where to hunt and where not to. Try not to invade a buck’s core area, letting the pattern of rubs help you determine his core area and prime bedding area so you can hunt between them.