It’s rarely easy when it comes to white-tailed deer hunting, especially when it comes to bowhunting. But there is a way to use a buck’s antler rubbing tendencies against it that may end up putting meat on the table and antlers on the wall. Bucks like to mark their territory with both visual and scent cues for other deer to find. The trick is to pit buck against buck, providing them with a place to size up the competition. It involves a little bit of work, but that work can definitely help put a good buck in your sights at close range. It involves placing a somewhat artificially rubbing post in a conspicuous location that is within bow range.
The How To for a Rubbing Post
First, locate the species of tree in your area that whitetail bucks prefer to rub. Typically, this is a softer wood species. Select a young tree of this species that is about 3 to 4 inches thick about 5 feet off the ground. If it has a branch coming off of the trunk at about 6 feet in height, so much the better as this will save you some additional work. Cut it down at the ground and take it to your deer hunting spot. Find a spot that offers you a perfect shot and dig a hole that is 2 feet deep. Next, place the tree in it and fill the hole so that the tree is solid. If you have loamy soil or sand you may have to attached some 24 inch long piece of 2×4 to the tree so that it creates a bigger base and offers more stability.
If your tree has a branch about 3 1/2 to 4 feet off the ground then bucks are going to love your antler rubbing post because they can also leave scent on the licking branch above. If you’re post lacks a branch, then you have to make one. Not a problem. Just drill a horizontal hole through the trunk, wedge in the appropriate size limb and secure with a screw or wire to create a licking branch for territorial bucks.
Food plots attract deer, but it’s often difficult to pin-point exactly where the deer will enter and exit them. A properly place rubbing post will literally bring the bucks to you from across your food plot, and at just the right distance for a great shot. Just make sure your stand is set up for the situation.
Hormones Control Antler Rubbing by Bucks
Source – “Rising levels of testosterone circulating in the buck’s blood toward the end of summer have caused the final maturation of the antler and the death of the antler velvet. In only a matter of days, the velvet covered antler is transformed into a polished weapon of competition.
These rising testosterone levels (which will continue to rise until levels peak during November) result in a number of physiological and behavioral changes that prepare bucks for the competition for breeding privileges. Whereas bucks during the summer tend to be somewhat docile creatures content to ‘hang out’ with the guys within a fairly small home range, anticipation of the upcoming breeding season literally get ‘in their blood’.
Metabolism changes and muscle mass increases, particularly in the neck and shoulders. Sperm production increases. Behaviorally, bucks become more aggressive and increasingly intolerant of each other. Brief sparring matches begin to occur as bucks try out their new headgear, and test the strength and will of their future opponents. Activity of certain scent glands increases and bucks begin to make their presence known to other deer in the area. And, as a result, buck rubs begin showing up in the deer woods – to be followed later by scrapes.”
A Rubbing Post for Buck
Wildlife biologists for some time have believed that communication takes place at rubs through scent communication. It is suspected that the scent left by older, more mature bucks suppresses the breeding urge of younger whitetail bucks. This makes sense, but I don’t know for sure if it play out this way in the wild. Whitetail research using genetic techniques was able to determine that all ages of bucks participate in the rut. Young bucks rub antlers, chase does, leave scent and can effectively pass on their DNA too, it seems, but they do not breed as many does as older bucks.
A properly placed rubbing post for deer plays to bucks for all of the reasons mentioned above, but it mostly plays on their desire to pass on their genes. Scent is used to let other bucks know that they are in the area, but it also leaves scent for does too. Increase your deer hunting success by baiting in bucks into bow range with a antler rubbing post and a licking branch. It will work better than feed or a food plot alone.
If you love Texas, you will LOVE this video!